We are having more conversations with clients about their spending habits. This is a major transition in the advisor-client relationship.
I’m a woman among much older male partners and I sense that no matter how much I’ve done, how far I’ve come and how much I’ve proven myself, they do not see me as their peer. They believe I contribute less to the firm.
Our founder has decided to turn us into a sales operation. He has hired a consultant to work with us, has put goals in place for new sales and is turning those of us who are investment experts into nothing more than sales agents.
We are putting a new system into place to ensure some of the commissioned people in our firm are acting in accordance with the pending DOL changes. They have been pure product salespeople and need to become advisors who use a consultative approach. This is a wholesale change in both thought process and systems and I don’t believe our management realizes how much is involved.
Many thanks to those who joined me last week for my webinar, Strategies for Dealing with Difficult Clients. Whenever I get questions on how to handle someone who is difficult, or what to do when a client (or employee) is unreasonable, I focus first on the differences in style.
My boss is a terrible communicator. He rarely holds meetings to speak to us as a team, but when he does he always stumbles over his words or says something totally inappropriate. He will say things that are meant to inspire us or motivate us but they come out garbled and un-motivating.
Recently my new boss was hired. This guy is about 15 years younger than I am and thinks he knows more than he does.
Lately we have been dealing with clients who are aligning themselves with centers-of-influence whom we find very difficult. These people have an opinion about everything we do. But they are not investment experts.
We have recently merged with another firm. I had a leadership role in our former firm and am finding myself sidelined in our new situation.
I don’t see myself retiring. I have two children in their mid 20s. They could take over my firm if need be. I resent my team inferring that I don’t have a succession plan. Is there a polite way to tell them to back off?
I am worried about a coach my boss wants me to use. Do I share my concerns and take my chances? Share very little and hope it isn’t obvious?
We recognize the importance of marketing communication, but our results don’t give me a good feeling about whether clients recognize or appreciate it. Should we dispense with email and figure out another way to communicate?
Do you have any tips for knowing when a prospect is ready to buy versus when someone is going to drag their feet and potentially not commit? We have too many situations where we prepare the paperwork and it remains unsigned but we don’t know why.
Has anyone asked you to comment on the current political scene and best ways to deal with what’s happening when your clients have very strong (and very vocal) opinions?
I work for a family-owned firm – the father runs it with his daughter and two sons. The problem is that the two sons dislike one another.
It’s a great idea to complete a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis to help you define your marketing focus. But, what do you do next to use the data to enhance your efforts?
Our marketing materials don’t say very much. I have worked at five other RIAs and they could all say the exact same things as us. It is possible to create a message to talk about what we do that is actually different?
I read your response last week from the person whose firm has two fighting leaders. It seemed you were saying when people can’t communicate well, just move away from them so as not to get caught in their difficulty. This seems counter to what you often write.
The street smarts necessary for our work is missing from my team - the ability to encounter a problem and, instead of raising it to me, come up with a solution on their own. Can I teach these skills?
Now that the new year has started we are prospecting and no one is responding. I don’t know if we are still dealing with holiday fallout but it seems someone should be ready to go. Is there a technique we could use to generate a response? Should we be more or less aggressive?
To kick off the new year, I’ll share some secrets of my success from 2016. Here are three scenarios where I resolved difficult situations. The lessons I applied yielded tips and tools that could be useful for you and your staff if you encounter similar situations.
As the year comes to a close, I thought it would be helpful to incorporate information from the thousands of people I have worked with. Here are some of the questions and issues that came up related to the interpersonal aspect of the financial advisory business.
We just held our annual client holiday party. Clients were happy and enjoyed themselves, but should we be talking about our work or the news on the political front?
Our lead advisor tells us that he wants to plan for the coming year. But each December we get too busy and the planning never happens.
Some clients just don’t want to help themselves. If we recommend a client make an estate plan or consider additional insurance, we are doing it because we believe it is in the client’s best interest. Some clients are very good about following through, but others nod “yes” when I’m talking but then don’t do anything.
We are under siege. Clients are focusing on fees and our active management approach like never before. We would never take advantage of the clients we serve – we see ourselves as the protector of their assets. How do we confront these misplaced allegations and get back to the business at hand?
I always feel guilty when Thanksgiving rolls around. I’m thankful but feel more and more stressed as the year progresses. I know you are a hypnotherapist among other things. Do I need hypnosis or just a good old-fashioned shrink?
I hired five new people. The new employees ask for things I haven’t thought about, and then don’t seem to care about other things I have put in place. What kind of structure is most important?
As a female owner of an advisory firm, often times I find myself telling my male colleagues to do what I do naturally – listen, be empathic, solve problems, etc. Do you think that women are wired to be more effective financial advisors than men?
At a recent conference I heard you speak about the importance of training younger generation advisors in new and different ways. Could you elaborate on the ways to offer that training?
We hired a new advisor – a very smart guy in his 30s. I was in our lunch area the other day and heard him say to a colleague, “I have no intention of working these 7-6:30 hours for very long. I enjoy my free time too much.” Should I say something to him?
We just acquired another advisory firm. Unfortunately, we find ourselves in a mess. People are tripping over one another, no one seems to remember what their jobs should be and the tension is palpable.
How can I convince my managers that it is in our firm’s best interests to embrace a sales-driven culture?