As spring is upon us, many people turn their attention to the warmer weather, spending time outdoors as well as getting around to that ever-so-important activity of spring cleaning. Applying spring cleaning to your business is just as important as sweeping out the cobwebs of winter from your home. After a cold, hard season of market volatility and economic turmoil and the effects that those may have had on the occasional client, it may be time to know when to say when.
For many advisers, knowing when to let a client go is challenging. There are certain clients who can be demanding, critical or otherwise difficult to work with from the very beginning of the client-adviser relationship.
A recent example of this is a financial adviser who told me, “My biggest challenge is knowing when and how to end a client relationship. Some clients just have unreasonable expectations regardless of how often I communicate with them. Do you have a good process for understanding who to and how to fire a client?”
For some advisers, their internal barometer of emotions tell them when there is a real lack of communication or a high level of tension in the business relationship. It is important to first find out and have a solid knowledge of why a client may be frustrated (and maybe just not expressing it well), as they may be simply looking for additional information or explanations. However, if a client never seems happy with your level of service, recommendations and advice you offer them as his or her adviser, then it is best that you communicate that to the client and end the relationship. You might suggest that perhaps they could be better served by another adviser in your office who specializes in the types of products and services they require, or that possibly they might like to transfer their account to another firm.
Remember, sometimes it is better to do some business spring cleaning to make room for clients who value your expertise and to whom you can best provide your financial services. Obviously, not every client can be a good fit. Being honest and open about that is vital to ensuring you continue to build yourself a better business.
For a resource that further outlines knowing when to let a client go, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org for my whitepaper The 7 Signs to Knowing When to Fire a Client.
Daniel C. Finley
Advisor Solutions Inc.
St. Paul, Minn.