Especially now, I need to get something off my chest.
A few days ago, my partner, Jen, and I had a scheduled call with a financial practice consultant via Zoom. He had come recommended to help us grow our business. No harm in that, right? So there he was, big smile, silver hair, (and tongued,) with a stock image of some beautiful mountains as his backdrop. He had done his research, as he made comments about how I enjoy the outdoors, especially the mountains, which is why he picked that background. And then he got right into his value proposition: "I'll teach you how to triple your income, work half as much, and have half the headaches you do today." Let me translate what he really means. "I'll teach you how to close business with more rich people and get rid of all your smaller clients who are really the cause of all your stress anyway." Truth be told, I've been ticked off ever since.
Allow me to let you in on a little secret. I've heard this song and dance more times than I can count. There are even books written about it, and they get passed around to new financial advisors by seasoned professionals. It works like this: Work "up market," get to 100 clients, then focus on replicating your top 10 wealthiest clients while "getting rid" of your bottom 10. This guy would show us the secret to doing all of this, for a price tag of just $30,000.
BMG Advisors' mission is to help people enhance their quality of life through financial planning. Where, sir, in that statement does it say you have to be rich to work with us?
Our top clients are extremely wealthy. But even they are attracted to us because, like us, they value hard work and taking care of those they lead more than the number of zeroes on their balance sheet. They work with us because we treat them fairly, work hard for them, and give them sound advice. But the majority of our clients are normal, hard working people who seek help and guidance as they plan their life's story. Know why they work with us? It's the same reason our very wealthy clients do. We LOVE working with them, guiding them, and the "thank yous" we inevitably receive when we have helped them reach their goals. And even if their goal isn't to have $50 million, does that mean we should ignore them? Abandon them? Not at BMG.
The Cares Act was just passed to inject $2.2 Trillion dollars into the economy. Where did that money go? To individuals and small businesses owners. And why? Because these folks are the lifeblood of America, and they need help right now. The thought that our industry would not want their "headaches" makes my stomach turn.
Before we bring on a new client, we hold a "FIT Meeting" to ascertain whether we will have a good working relationship. Here's what we're looking for:
- Can our firm actually help them?
- Is it a good personality fit?
- Will this be a mutually beneficial relationship over time?
That's it. No minimum account values. No "exclusivity." Sure, that means we're busier than some advisors probably are. And it also means we don't make as much profit as some do. But you know what? We love to help people. We love to hire people. And we love what we do. So you can keep your secret strategy on how to work half as much and make triple the money. We're doing just fine.
Maybe that guy should have done a little more research about us first.