Your Assumptions Can Derail Successful Prospecting


It can be easy to think potential ideal clients already have great advisors and get discouraged by that. Instead, develop your confidence so you can find out for sure if they might need and want your help.

  • Know what kind of people are your ideal clients and be on the lookout for them.
  • To build your confidence, consider the worst-case scenario. How bad can it get?
  • Engage with people. Start by introducing yourself, listening and asking thoughtful questions. You never know what you might learn.

Related: Don’t Get Too Emotionally Involved


Beware of making assumptions. They can derail you before you even get started.

Often, as advisors, we can rush to assume that wealthier families whom we’d love to work with are already spoken for: they already have an advisor in place, chances are they already have their estate details taken care of, they already have a CPA and a private banker in place. . .

Sometimes these assumptions might be true, but we can quickly rush to these assumptions without verifying the facts. We shouldn’t rush to just assume everyone who we think would make an ideal client for us is taken care of and get dejected about that without checking out the facts first.

I’ll never forget my weight-training coach telling me that he would far rather compete against a lifter who had twice his ability but who thought he wasn’t in with a chance than a weightlifter with half his ability who thought the competition was up for grabs—who thought he was in with a shot. My coach knew the power of confidence. You need to have confidence as a financial advisor and not simply assume that everyone you’d love to work with—that everyone you come across who might be an ideal client for you—is taken care of. You don’t know that. Sure, they might have a great advisor they love, but what’s relevant here is that you don’t know that to be true, and so, that should encourage you just to get out there and give it a shot. Get to know this person. Let them see how you can help, but make sure to ask the appropriate questions so you can learn what kind of help they might be looking for.

Be confident in your approach! Don’t assume they are already working with an advisor down the road who manages only million-dollar-plus families. Don’t get into that headspace where you talk yourself out of putting together a potential relationship with this person, who might turn out to be a dream client for you. You’re only going to find out if this is possible if you approach the person confidently with the attitude that you really have nothing to lose. At the very least, you’re going to get to know someone in the process.

So, to approach more of your ideal clients confidently,

  1. Know what you’re looking for. Know the type of people who youmost want to service.
  2. Get confident. Be confident and simply start the conversation with them. Ask yourself, “What could go wrong from doing this? What’s the worst that could happen from this?” Think about that answer and realize you can probably easily get through even the very worst case scenario.
  3. Take the step. Engage. Introduce yourself to them. Learn more about them through asking intelligent questions.

Don’t assume that someone who could be an ideal client for you will already have an advisor taking good care of them. With all the skills and knowledge you have to be able to help people (just like you help your existing clients) don’t put yourself on the back foot by thinking they must already be spoken for. Get confident, get ready to ask good questions, introduce yourself to them, and—surprise, surprise—they might become your next ideal client.

I look forward to bringing you another Distraction-Proof Advisor Idea next week.