January, we started talking about envisioning our future and helping our clients envision theirs.

Someone who read this article called me and said, “Well, is that really what we do? Aren’t we all about selling annuities?”

I said no. It’s really about helping the clients envision their future. As an advisor, we get paid to do one thing, and that is to basically control money. We get paid when we have money in motion, M.I.M.

Essentially, what we’re trying to do is help a client take better care of their money. We do this by removing it from an inefficient source and placing it into a more efficient source. With this we can help them envision their future and fulfill that vision. Our goal is to put them into a better product and that will aid them to achieve their goal. That’s really what we do.

In the process we would get paid some sort of a commission or a fee. Hopefully it won’t cost the client money, but rather help him make more money where he can get a better and safer return with less risk to no risk at all, depending on the products you market.

As an efficient advisor, the bottom line is to get paid for (1) moving money, and (2) controlling or managing the money.

I talk to advisors all the time. They say, “I’m not really concerned about my closing ratio or when a client takes action. I just want to do it at a time that’s right for them.”

At that point, I have to ask this question: When is the right time to help your client move to a better advisor? One who is more caring about the client’s wants and needs, and has the knowledge to put them into a superior product? I would hope that the answer is now.

How long should the process take? There should always be some urgency to close the deal now. Heaven forbid you don’t close the deal and the client, for whatever reason, ends up staying with their current advisor, or they go to another advisor who fast-talks them into some really bad product.

Then later on down the road, something inappropriate happens to the client. The next thing you know, he loses a bunch of money and he has to surrender an annuity with huge surrender charges. Or maybe they are in a product where there are no guarantees, and the accounts drop like rocks like they did from 2000 to 2002. Who is to blame for that? I would say you, the advisor, if you did not attempt to do your duty and close the client.

Remember, the greatest sale you can ever make is a sale to yourself if you believe that you are the right advisor. If you provide the right service; see the big picture; really care about the client and his family; can help them save taxes, and can really protect them from a lot of the black holes that are out there trying to get into their pockets, then you owe it to them to close them now.

Have a sound game plan and really look out for your clients’ best interest. You need to have that urgency. Essentially you’ll need to be like a gospel preacher and spread the word. Get people to take action now. It’s all about taking action, because if you have a great financial plan and a great product but you don’t help them take action, it’s all a matter of waste.