Avoid Frustrations – Set Expectations Clearly

A frustration I hear regularly from advisors, especially at this time of year when they’ve spent time reviewing last year’s performance and are trying to connect with the client for their review, is that they don’t get their calls returned. This can be even more frustrating when you’re dealing with time-sensative information, like portfolio ideas and recommendations.

So, in your first planning meeting with your new client, set expectations clearly. By mentioning to them that you don’t want to waste their time because you don’t want to waste yours either, ask them how best to move forward on important decisions you need them to respond to, by asking them what you should do once you’ve tried to reach them a couple of times.

Most clients will tell you they’ll get back to you after the first message, but we all get busy and great intentions don’t necessarily happen. Clarify with them that after two or three attempts where you’ve left clear messages, you’ll await their response but be doing other things with other clients.

By doing this, you show your new client in a nice way, that when you need to tell them something, it’s in their best interest to listen. At the same time, you’ll also be addressing a major compliance issue. You can document what was said and agreed upon and have a record that right from the beginning of the relationship communication was clear about how this seemingly minor but important detail and how it was going to be dealt with.

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