Beverly Flaxington is a practice management consultant. She answers questions from advisors facing human resource issues. To submit yours, email us here.

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Dear Bev,

We have spent a great deal of time over this last year examining our client base, identifying the niche market we should focus on and creating a segmented approach to service our clients most appropriately. Two of our more senior advisors have pushed back at every turn. saying that niche marketing is too limiting and that segmentation means that we are treating our smaller clients with less attention than we should.

Many of us do not see it this way. We believe this will help us to focus our efforts and give our clients the service that aligns with their needs.

Is there a way to change an advisor’s mind who is pushing back on this so they can understand my view and see that it isn’t a negative but rather a positive?

I.W.

Dear I.W.,

Is there any validity to their viewpoint at all? Have you tried to understand what’s underneath their concerns? Have you allowed them to voice what’s bothering them in an open and inquisitive manner? I’m not suggesting you agree with them, or even that I agree with their perspective; I’m suggesting that sometimes people need to be heard – really heard – before they can agree or embrace a new initiative. Many times, I see advisory firms push out something new or make decisions without consulting team members. Then it is harder for those who weren’t involved in the process to go along. They question “Why?”