Advisors, prospects and recruits eventually reach a fork in the road when a final decision must be made. This week’s blog will discuss decisions from the perspective of the advisor, client and the hiring firm. We will share there is a right way and a wrong way to make final decisions. Decisions that don’t go our way are difficult to hear. I recently experienced a painful decision that I did not want or expect to hear. I hope my experience of being rejected will help you.
Time is our most scarce and valuable asset. Seth Godin defines that we make up every day with 15 - 20 hours of attention. Respecting how we allocate our attention and how we respect our clients’ attention is one of the most important decisions we make. When we meet with clients their top consideration is how long will this meeting take? The advisor and client both know that the goal of the meeting is to make a sale. One of the most successful advisory firms I have worked with has a structure that they follow for all new prospective clients that starts with a two-hour meeting! Ira Glass, the pioneer of podcasting and the host of This American Life tries to limit his podcasts to an hour to insure that there is enogh time to develop the guest’s story. When the new up and coming podcast host Dax Shepherd interviewed Ira he explained why his podcasts are ninety minutes. Dax and my successful advisory friends both believe that the extra time creates a bond that encourages deeper conversations.
We need to reference the elephant in the room about how long the meeting will take in advance. The defined time commitment will allow all parties to relax and share important personal information. Sharing will differentiate your meetings and hopefully build a unique rapport. Meetings that exclusively focus on features and benefits are de reguere. People on Dax’s podcast often say I’ve never shared this with anyone. While that might sound scary it is a memorable feel good moment.
Unfortunately every podcast and meeting won’t reach a mutually beneficial conclusion. Our advice is to reconvene the group and ask them what went right and what went wrong and can be improved. We have found these post mortem discussions help and should include the client or prospect. Asking all parties what else we could have covered is priceless information. My recent rejection did not follow this path leaving me with a self-deprecating question of what is wrong with me?.
Life has taught me to make lemonade when I’m dealt lemons. We all need to view rejection as lemons and start making lemonade before our lemons spoil.