From the June 2008 issue of Investment Advisor • Subscribe!

June 1, 2008

The Cost Issue

When you're talking to a prospective client who is balking at the cost of your services, it's probably because they don't perceive enough value. I'm reminded of the advertisement, "Lowest prices, great service, highest quality, pick any two." Price is important at all levels, but perhaps it becomes more important as wealth declines. Value is also important but I believe its importance rises as wealth increases.

Sometimes when an advisor doesn't immediately find success in signing up a prospect, the advisor may react by dipping into his bag of tricks and using every sales technique known to man, but if the client doesn't see the value, she won't make an affirmative decision. This type of interaction is simply an attempt at coercing people and is another reason for the resistance that we, as advisors, sometimes encounter.

A potential client needs to possess two things before I can help them. First, they must genuinely need my services and second, they must have the means to pay my fee. So assuming they can afford it, the only thing that remains is for me to demonstrate value.

Reprints Discuss this story
This is where the comments go.