Are you endangering your business by being overly accommodating to clients and members of your team?
So asks Kevin Bishopp, director of advisor growth strategies for Private Client Services at Russell Investments, in a May 24 “Helping Advisors” blog post—while admitting that he himself has a hard time saying no. Being an excessively accommodating people-pleaser is a weakness he’s working to correct by saying no more often, and Bishopp believes other advisors might want to brush up on their naysaying skills.
“I see this same weakness in advisors,” Bishopp writes. “The real challenge is that advisors view an inability to say ‘no’ as a strength; one that results in good decision making or positive brand attribution. But I would ask you to look at this another way, because while it feels good to be accommodating to clients and team members, excessive accommodation can be detrimental to the business.”
Here are five tips to advisors from Bishopp on how to just say no:
1) Drop clients who don’t take your advice: Keeping these types of clients in your book for additional revenue is bad for both parties, Bishopp writes. “Both parties are better off by finding an alternate advisor (whose advice they will take) or by transitioning to a direct, low-cost solution. Just say no.”
2) Don’t tolerate clients who treat you or your staff poorly: Building a strong and valuable team takes time, so remember that your team members are more valuable than any single client relationship, Bishopp advises. “If you want to empower your staff, let them decide which clients need to go. The goodwill and loyalty it generates will more than compensate for the financial loss, if any.”