“Just when you thought you were winning the rat race, along come faster rats.”
You can find the saying on T-shirts. Here’s another one, this time from Warren Buffett: “Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked.”
Today, there’s a big opportunity for motivated, newer advisors to gain clients. Unfortunately, it’s at the expense of certain established advisors.
Many established advisors are coasting. Thanks to fee-based income and annuitized business, revenue keeps rolling in, as long as the client remains invested with the firm.
You might know some advisors who are “semi-retired.” It’s not official, but they come into work three days a week. They “work from home” on Mondays and Fridays. They take frequent vacations. Long lunches, too. Their retirement plan is to be carried out feet first on a stretcher. They will collect revenue as long as there’s revenue to collect.
You might assume they have embraced call forwarding, taking incoming client calls at home. No. They leave day-to-day client contact to their sales assistant, who often covers other advisors, too. Overwhelmed and underappreciated, they often jump ship, leading the advisor to complain they just can’t find good support staff anymore.
This is the newer advisor, highly motivated to build their practice. We are in a business where it’s easy to define success. If you find 100 of the right clients, delivering an average of $1 million each into your managed money program, at a 1% average rate, you have become a million-dollar producer. It’s not that easy, but it boils down to finding 100 of the right people with the potential to bring over a large amount of retirement and investment assets.
Unsurprisingly, the new advisor runs into plenty of prospects who already have an advisor. If they have a good advisor who gives them excellent service, that’s wonderful. If they don’t, that relationship is in play. It’s logical that one advisor’s best client is another advisor’s best prospect.
What Can the Hunter Do?
The interests of the client must come first. All clients deserve excellent service. If they aren’t getting it, you have the potential to deliver it instead.
Establish yourself as the alternative.
It’s a person you see often. You explained what you do. They told you they have an advisor. “I’m sure you are very happy with your advisor. Let me know if anything ever changes.” Don’t press the point. Drip on them with anonymous success stories.
Make them feel important.
Remember details. If they mention stocks they own, file it away. Learn the names of their children. Issues they are facing in their lives. They know you want their business. They are feeling “courted.” Their current advisor may be taking them for granted. You are letting them know they would be an important client if they ever made the move.