How To Answer The Toughest Question Prospects Will Ask

June 23, 2015

By Dan Solin

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Here’s an exercise I use in my coaching sessions with advisors. I ask them to bring in an employee who is not an advisor. The employee plays the role of the prospect. I then give the employee a series of questions to pose to the group of advisors.

The inquiry that advisors have the most difficulty answering is: “Why should I retain your firm?”

Typically, the initial responses I get are formulaic and convoluted. They often include statements like “because we really care” or “because we provide a wide range of services, not just investing advice.” I remind the advisors that every firm will tell prospects that they “care” and most provide broad, wealth-advisory services.

A suggested response

The way I suggest advisors respond to this question may surprise you.

I recommend the following: “I need to know more about you before I can answer that question. I want you to feel free to ask me any question you want about our firm. After you learn more about us, and we learn more about you, then you will be in the best position to decide whether we are the right firm to entrust with your money.”

Think about how presumptuous it is to answer such a difficult question without going through this process. What if you are an evidence-based advisor and the prospect tells you that they are looking for someone who can tell them when to get in and out of the market? Your firm would be a poor choice. Why would you assume otherwise?

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