Advisors: Is Offering More Hurting Your Business Relationships?

With the onslaught of roboadvisors and cookie-cutter portfolio performance reporting shaking up our industry, the most important, non-duplicable differentiator you can offer is personal, relationship-building time with clients. But with so much to do, how do you make that time?

One of the best ways to gain back some time is to focus on a limited number of products and investment options. A conversation I had with a mutual fund national sales manager last week highlighted the problem and solution: she said the greatest challenge she saw among advisors was overloading their plates by offering too many products and platforms, leaving them little time to focus on client relationships.

As a coaching client was recently about to leave for his company’s annual conference, we had been discussing his talking to different vendors there about their offerings. Wisely, he said he was finding himself less and less interested in hearing about other products.

“I’ve spent a good amount of energy and time selecting our mix, and I know exactly why we include what we offer,” he explained. “It’s working well, and I need to stay focused on a limited, yet effective offering so I can put more focus on servicing clients. I know that what we have is most useful for us right now, and so I’m not wanting to spend time considering other options.”

My client had judiciously made his platform choices and was sticking with them. Looking into all the various products available may seem like a good idea – but if you have products and a process that is working for you, it’s really wasted time you could be using elsewhere.

Resist the temptation to continually add new products. By staying focused, you can more easily scale your business and add new clients. You’ll also develop deeper conviction for what you offer and how you help people.


So, if you’re feeling stretched with trying to monitor too many items and wondering how you can find valuable time to spend building relationships with your clients:

  • Stop mindlessly expanding. Decide that any new client who begins with you needs to adhere to your investment models and rational. Continuing to bring in more and more broadly allocated assets and simply keeping them in your mix will soon have you stretched too thin, just trying to monitor everything.
  • Develop core investment models. Develop your rationale so you know what you offer and why. This knowledge will help you stick to your focused business approach and the models you have chosen.
  • Review your book. Strategically seek opportunities to move more clients into your models. You’ll have fewer varieties of investments to monitor, allowing you to better leverage your time by directing more of it to relationship management.
  • By staying focused on what you provide, you’ll have more time to devote to what matters most – your relationships with your clients.