InvestmentNews: When Saying No Means Everything
In the drive to build an advisory firm, the temptation to say “yes” to nearly every prospective client is a powerful motivator. And when a career is just beginning, and a viable niche market has yet to materialize? Saying “no” to any client can seem counterintuitive.
But building a firm by identifying a core niche and then sticking to it can, both figuratively and literally, pay the biggest dividends over time. In his latest practice management column for InvestmentNews, “When Saying No Means Everything,” Allworth Co-CEO Scott Hanson writes about his beginnings as an advisor, and the moment when the light went off and he was finally able to stop being a generalist and start dedicating his energies to a single key group of clients.
From the article…
Because it’s so easy to fall into the trap of creating a complicated financial advisory practice, one of the keys to sustained success is the ability to say no.
Most successful financial advisors really care about their clients and go above and beyond in their service to them. But while commendable, if you’re not careful – disciplined – you’ll add a layer of complexity that makes it almost impossible to grow and scale.
When I first started advising 30 years ago, when someone would ask me, “What do you sell?”, my response would automatically be, “What do you need?”
Like most inexperienced advisors, I was young and hungry and did just about whatever it took to add clients. In addition to financial planning and investment management, I sold several types of insurance while also doing education and business transition planning.
Just about anyone who wanted to do business with me was a potential client, regardless of the complexity of their situation.
As my practice grew, I became more selective about which clients I would work with. It’s not that I didn’t like serving all those who needed quality financial advice, it’s that I wanted to offer very specific services along with a defined set of financial planning and investment solutions.Scott Hanson, Co-Founder, Allworth Financial