Should Advisors Demand All or Nothing?

What do you do when a prospect thinks diversification entails using multiple financial advisors?

While talking with a prospect often they’ll mention to you that they want to have you manage some of their assets, while maintaining working with another advisor who will manage the rest of their assets, and assume this is just fine [with you]. Now, you don’t get angry at this point, and you must realize what ultimately is going on: subconsciously the person is looking to keep control. They don’t want to feel like they are ceding control of their assets to just one person, so if they have two or even three [advisors], they feel like ultimately they are in the driver’s seat. Don’t get angry and annoyed. Just get ready to work with this. This is how you do it: you can clarify with them that you work with all of your clients’ assets, and here’s why. “It’s kind of like talking with an architect and beginning to design your dream home. And then having you, halfway through, say you’re also going to maintain contact with another architect who will have input and feedback about your home, but those architects not only aren’t going to talk, you’re going to try to meld two completely different plans together and think that you’re going to come up with a wonderful project. No matter how talented either of these architects is, you’re going to end up with chaos, with a mess. Ultimately, which one are you going to listen to? For peace of mind and to help you stay on track, you’re going to have to choose one. “That’s why we take this approach when we meet people like you, when understandably, you have a relationship with someone else, or you might even be liking doing it by yourself online, and you just want to bring us a portion of all of your assets. “It’s imperative that we see the whole picture, and ideally oversee the whole picture, so that we can put down a plan of where we want to get to. We partner together, with just you and me (or us) working together, to get you over the finish line.” To use language like this,
  1. Be comfortable using an analogy that works for the circumstance. You need to get the wording you want to use and practice it.
  2. Don’t be afraid to bring this analogy out. It can feel like it’s a bit of an affront to where the person is coming from, but you want to succinctly clarify, “This is how we work.”
  3. Obviously it’s a case-by-case circumstance. Sometimes if you are just starting out and this person, maybe rightfully so, is only going to trust you with a portion of their assets, you have to decide [if you are willing to accept working with them under these circumstances]. But don’t decide then and there, as the conversation is unfolding and that might be the case that they are going to present to you. You have to decide, “Am I going to work with this person with a portion of their assets right now and expect everything later, or am I going to flat-out refuse unless I get everything coming on board now.”
You want to have those decisions – those defaults – already preset in your mind, with what track you’re going to go down should that particular circumstance arise. Related: Words That Win Business