After multiple meetings with prospective clients during which you provided recommendations on their situation, at some point every advisor has walked away feeling that someone took their advice and implemented it on their own.

How do you prevent this from happening? That was the question one advisor asked in a recent email.

The Question

In my first meeting with potential clients, I focus on questions such as ‘What’s important to you?,’ ‘How do you measure the success of your investments?’ and ‘How did you make your money?’

I also ask investment policy statement-type questions related to their financial requirements so I can prepare a proposal for the second meeting. That’s when the problem sometimes occurs. In that second meeting, I review what I like and don’t like about their existing portfolio given their goals and before presenting my proposal, I make sure what they said at the first meeting still holds true.

However, when I review my proposal with prospects, I know they can then go and mimic it at a discount broker or with another advisor, especially since I feel obligated to let them keep the proposal. How can I let prospects know, gently, that I have done the work, but that they will not be privy to the details unless they decide to sign up with me?”

Three guidelines to Increase your chances of success

Every advisor has a different view on how much work to do and how much to “give away” before a prospect signs on to be a client. In talking to successful advisors, most strike a healthy balance – they spend enough time and do enough work so that prospects are impressed and want to work with the advisors, without giving away everything they would do.

See full article on How to Keep Prospects from Stealing Your Ideas by Dan Richards, Adivsor Perspective