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Advisor Success Story – His “Why” Turns into a $1.5 Million Client

by Bill Cates
Advisor's Why Turned Into a $1.5 Billion Client

I’d like to tell you a very short story about an advisor who used his Client-Focused WHY to land a $1.5M client.

While I’ve changed the name of the advisor to protect him from his compliance department 😉, all aspects of this story are true.

What Is a Client-Focused Why?

Your Client-Focused Why is, essentially, why you believe in your value; it’s your emotional connection to your value.  Therefore, there’s usually a story behind your why.

You may have entered this business because you liked working with financial matters, you can make good money, and you can have flexibility with your schedule. Those are all valid reasons for entering this profession, but that’s not the “why” I’m talking about.  Your Client-Focused Why is that AHA moment you had at some point where you realized your work is important and valuable to others; when you realized that you can have a meaningful impact on your clients, their families, and sometimes their businesses.

Your Client-Focused Why might stem from why you came into this business; something that happened to your parents, your grandparents, yourself, or a good friend. Or it might come from observing the significant impact of your work on your clients. Your Client-Focused Why could involve why you moved from one firm to another or why after 20+ years in business, you believe in the importance of your work more now than ever before.

The best Client-Focused Why usually involves a short story or anecdote. People listen to stories differently, more intently, than the more logical things we discuss. Therefore, this short story can impact how a prospect or client feels about you – hopefully in a positive way.

Here’s the Story

Ted was meeting with two sisters who were interviewing several advisors to help them with their investments and overall financial planning.

As I had coached Ted, he introduced his Client-Focused Why to the sisters in the very first appointment.  It went something like this this…

In the beginning of my career, I worked for both regional and Wall Street brokerage firms where they would push the product of the day and impose stressful monthly sales quotas on the brokers.

This emphasis pushed the needs of the client into the backseat, often leaving the client exposed to a multitude of risks and their ability to retire successfully up to chance. 

This attitude and culture did not sit well with me. I believed at that time, and still do today, that both my clients and I deserved to sleep well at night and to enjoy the peace of mind that came from a more holistic, client-centered approach. So, in 2005, I decided to break away from these greedy, self-serving companies to create true independence. 

This move has allowed me to focus 100% on the specific needs and goals of my clients.  I have designed and developed a process of conducting a thorough needs analysis to help clients determine and correct inefficiencies, unnecessary risks, and missing components from their current planning.  This process allows me to make sure my clients have the greatest chance of achieving their best possible retirement. 

After he finished, the first sister said,” That’s perfect!”

And the second sister said, “That’s exactly what I wanted to hear.

They hired Ted as their advisor, had him develop their financial plan, and transferred $1.5M to him – with more to come.

Your Client-Focused Why is a Powerful and Genuine Tool

If someone is going to give you the responsibility of exercising influence over their current and future financial life, they want to get a sense of who you are – not just what you do. Your Client-Focused Why will do this for you.

It’s not uncommon for advisors to develop more than one Client-Focused Why, choosing the one that’s most relevant to the prospect’s situation. I recommend you introduce this in your very first meeting with a prospect. This will help you win the business and make you more referable more quickly in a new relationship.

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