We’ve all been there: A once happy, loving relationship has begun to crumble, and we’re looking for a way out. It’s a difficult decision to make, but ultimately, we know it’s the right one. When it comes to professional relationships, breaking up can be even more difficult. That’s why, as a financial advisor or agent, it’s especially important that you have the tools to help your clients navigate this transition smoothly.
What’s the big deal about “breaking up” with a financial advisor?
Before you can help your new client initiate the “break up” process, you should understand why it may be difficult for them. For many people, their financial advisor or agent is like a friend. If the relationship is long-standing, your soon-to-be client could see their current advisor as a sort of life partner. They may feel reluctant or guilty about disengaging, even if they know that it’s the right move for them.
This is a crucial time to show empathy to your future client and that you care about more than their money. Talk them through the process and let them know that they can depend on you as they transition.
How to Recognize When It’s Time to Move on from Their Current Financial Advisor
There are many reasons why a client or prospect might consider moving on from their current financial advisor. They may be transitioning to a different stage of life or going through a major event like marriage or retirement. Maybe they just feel as though their current advisor is no longer a good fit for them – whatever the reason, here’s how you can help them make that decision.
1. Identify why they want to switch.
First, it can be helpful to know why exactly they are no longer satisfied with their current agent. That way you know exactly what you can do to help them as their new financial advisor/agent – and avoid where the last one went wrong. This will also give you a better idea as to what qualities they’re looking for in their ideal financial professional.
2. Determine the right time to make the switch.
Some financial advisors and agents may have termination clauses in their client contracts. It is important that your client knows and understands the implications and fees that may be associated with leaving their current professional.. You can help them calculate any management fees that may be owed, as well as review their product contracts to determine if they will owe or lose any money by switching. In some cases, it may be in their best interest to wait until the end of the quarter to switch advisors.
3. Make a plan.
Perhaps the most important thing you can do to help your client is to help them develop a plan. Switching to a new financial advisor or agent isn’t something an individual should do impulsively. Your new client needs to determine when and how they will break the news to their former advisor, and they’ll need all the support they can get throughout this trying time.
4. Ask them what they need.
Checking in with your client and asking what they need from you during this transition should be an ongoing process. They may want some time and space to adjust, or they may want to dive right in. It is important that you discuss their needs and wants with them, so you can know how to best serve them. This is all part of building a solid relationship with your new client.
After the Transition
After all is said and done, once your new client is officially yours, your work doesn’t stop. You need to continue being there for them; show them that they made the right decision. Listen to their concerns, connect with them on a personal level, and be a friend to them. Your client will remember how helpful and understanding you were during this transition, which can pay off in a big way down the line.