Recently I had the misfortune of cracking a tooth, requiring my first (and hopefully last) root canal procedure. In considerable pain, I drove to the endodontist’s office (seriously, I didn’t know there was such a thing as an “endodontist”) and in less than 20 minutes the pain was gone. I then walked to the receptionist’s desk and wrote a check for $1,000.
Walking out, I realized I never gave the doctor’s fee a second thought. It never even occurred to me to ask what it would cost before he got started.
Heck, I would have paid five times that amount without blinking. I was in serious pain and wanted someone to alleviate it. I had no desire to ask any questions or even seek a second opinion. I just wanted the pain to end.
For most doctors, this is the typical patient-client experience. The patient has discomfort and wants to alleviate it … as fast as possible.
It may seem obvious, but doctors work only with people who have problems. With the exception of the annual wellness visit, few people see a doctor unless they really need to. Can you imagine what would go through a doctor’s mind if a new patient said, “Doc, I feel great, and my regular doctor, who I love, just gave me a client bill of health. But I’d like a second opinion. I’m interested in seeing what you do and would like to get some of your ideas.”
Absurd, and yet, that’s the world of so many financial advisors. In fact, some even market the idea of getting a second opinion.
Patients need doctors for the products and services they provide. There is no other way to obtain them. But for us, those days have passed. We are not needed for people to acquire any financial products. Whether you want to accept it or not, your clients can obtain any product or service you offer through their smartphone. It is not in their best interest to engage a financial advisor simply to buy product.
There must a stronger reason — a higher purpose.