Six Comebacks for “I Already Have an Advisor”

“I already have an advisor.” Has anyone ever answered “What do you do” and gotten a different answer? We go to different social events and meet different people, but the same question gets asked and the same answer is given. Here are a few ways you can take the conversation forward.

  1. I expected that. That seems obvious. We just established it’s the standard answer to the boilerplate “What do you do” question. This might be followed by: “I am sure you are happy with your current advisor. Here’s my card. If anything ever changes, please give me a call.” You are establishing yourself as the alternative. This might seem a bit pushy, but it’s a starting point. Now we will look at other approaches.

  2. How long have you been with them? This is a tactful question. You aren’t promoting yourself or running the other person down. You can follow up with other questions like “How did you find them?” You are being polite and gathering information.

  3. What do you like best about them? This could also be approached via “Would you recommend them?” If they are speechless, you might ask: “Why do you stay with them? Lets take a more positive approach, they are giving you a list of virtues. Congratulate them on having found a good advisor. Change the subject.

  4. In what areas do you feel there is room for improvement? This relates to the previous conversation. You have learned their advisor has good qualities, but you want to continue learning about the relationship. You ask about areas for improvement, aka, what they are not getting in the relationship. When a person tells you what they aren’t getting, they are telling you what they want. You might summarize by saying, “In the ideal relationship, you would want…”

  5. When was the last time you heard from them? Lack of communication is a primary reason clients leave advisors. Unfortunately asset based pricing means advisors get paid regardless how much (or little) contact they have with their clients. By asking when they last heard, you can introduce a standard. You might say: “In volatile markets like this one, we try to be talking with every client at least once per quarter.

  6. Successful people have multiple advisory relationships. They told you they already work with someone. You start your response with “I expected that” as in the first example, but you take the conversation in a different direction: “Successful people often have multiple financial advisory relationships. You are obviously successful. How many do you have? This ties into the logic most people identify with the word “successful.” It also ties into the idea you only need one provider. You have one barber, one auto mechanic and one dentist. In The Millionaire’s Advisor by Russ Alan Prince and Brett Van Bortal, the authors make the case wealthy people have an average of three financial advisors. You are setting another standard, “What successful people do” and making the case they should fit into this category.

You do not want to be pushy, but you want to stay on the radar. This often involves a combination of being respectful while also making your point.

Related: Get the Most Out of Attending an Industry Conference