Early in my career, I found it easy to blame others for why people would meet with me but didn’t become clients. My excuses were: “The other advisor must have gotten involved,” “They just need time to think about it,” “I’m sure they will give me a call back when the time is right,” “If they would just listen to me,” “They think I’m too young,” and so on. After stopping and thinking about it, I finally figured it out. The reason they didn’t become a client was me.
Tom and Heather didn’t want to lose any more money in the stock market, so safe alternatives seemed like a logical solution. After meeting with them a few times, we signed the paperwork and the process was moving forward–until I got a message they wanted to hold off until they looked at a few other options. Instead of doing the blame game, I picked up the phone and called them. I asked them to come back in. Perhaps we didn’t clearly communicate on some issues, and if they decided not to move forward, I would honor their wishes and close their file. They agreed.
The mistake I made was not taking enough time to fully understand what was important to them. Sure, I had all of the statements and a data-gathering form and knew they did not want to lose any more money. But simply knowing they didn’t want to lose money wasn’t enough. As silly as it sounds, I asked them why they didn’t want to lose any more money. I learned they wanted to leave money to their daughter. I asked why that was important to them, and they explained their daughter was disabled, and they wanted to make sure she was provided for if they were gone.