Yes, some advisors think this is a nice problem to have — getting rid of clients. Actually, I have found sticking with the right kind of client is a huge part of being a successful advisor. That means to be very careful with how you are planting your garden, and when to do the necessary pruning.
Recently our COO Josh and I went through our entire client list and identified those clients who were (to put it nicely) very high maintenance.
Now don’t get me wrong — our practice is built around helping the high maintenance clients feel loved up and comfortable. Even I, the woman who had 12 hour-and-a-half meetings with a client before she pulled the trigger, has a breaking point. Yes, that point where you don’t care how valuable the relationship could be, you just don’t have the patience, the mental energy or the time to deal with this person sitting across the table another minute. You sense that even if you spend all the time in the world with them, they will never be happy. These are the ones to prune.
Here are a few lessons I have learned along the way.
Rule No. 1: Choose your clients carefully in the first place.
Our first meetings are a chance for me to interview prospective clients to see if they are a good fit for us. I never worry about showcasing our firm, because they wouldn’t be in this meeting if they hadn’t heard a lot of good things about us from their colleagues.
I spend a lot of time trying to get to know clients during the data intake. I want to know where they come from and how they make decisions about their money. Another issue: What kind of person are they, really, and will we be able to satisfy them? My overall goal is to only work with wonderful, fun clients, who refer us to lots of other people just like them.