To know or not to know! Recently I had a call from an advisor who was facing a dilemma. He had been referred to an individual who “was looking for new investment ideas” by a friend. He eagerly called this prospect, scheduled a luncheon to “get to know you.” The luncheon was interesting to say the least. The prospect told him he had $20 million in investable assets. He was unhappy where he was and wanted to move. The advisor was shocked. “I had no idea you had that much money” was his first response. He further dug a hole for himself by saying, “You are the type of client I want to build my business around.” This from a 10-year veteran in the business!

The prospect seized the moment and immediately said, “Let’s talk fees.” The advisor begged off until he could “put together a proposal for him.” His dilemma is how he should move forward with this individual.

  1. He has to reposition himself and partner with an advisor who already has clients in this space.
  2. He has to do a far deeper discovery of why the prospect really wants to move his account.
  3. If it is not because of a desire for lower fees or for a higher level of service, he should then present a plan of action to solve, not a proposal to sell.

Some lessons to be learned from this:

  1. Never ever see a prospect without first doing at minimum a Google search of the individual. For Weylman Center members, also go to the Community Research Lab and research their occupation or profession. Use the links there to discover issues the local association in their line of work or special interest group are facing.
  2. First meetings should be postured as an opportunity “to determine if we can be a resource for you” versus just rapport building or getting to know you.
  3. Always talk about what you can do for them as a result of your discussions, never what they can do for you! I.e., “build my future business with clients like you”, etc.
  4. Adjust your mindset and see yourself as bringing value versus hoping for business.

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