A Perfect Mix: Ruthlessly Clinical & Wonderfully Relational

AdvisorBlast – Quick Tips to Accelerate Your Practice
In this issue: Focus on finding the right number of people with the right level of assets to build the business you want.


You mentioned being ‘ruthlessly clinical yet wonderfully relational.’ Can you repeat what you mentioned about that please?” After I recently spoke to a bank advisory group, Susan asked me for some clarification.

Advisors are looking for the most effective approach to succeed in their businesses, but the juxtaposition of these seemingly opposite attitudes can often surprise people. They want to make sure they heard the words correctly; while we hear a lot about the need for being relational with clients, most keynote presentations or breakout sessions don’t talk much about being ruthless.

So, let’s look at being “ruthlessly clinical yet wonderfully relational” more closely and see why it’s important to understand and implement this approach.

The value of building solid relationships with our clients has been widely extolled. We’ve been told we must have deep relationships, knowing everything about our clients, and building trust so they see us as the “go-to” person for all things financial.

Being “wonderfully relational” is extremely important. However, having the necessary number of clients is just as vital, especially when you are new to this industry. Having the correct number of clients is critical to ensure the doors remain open, the lights stay on, and management sees further potential for growth. Adopting a clinical mindset about reaching that number will enable you to achieve success in your business sooner.

So, what exactly does this look like?

Let’s assume you’re a newer advisor and began this year with a goal of growing your AUM by $10mm. Let’s say currently your ideal client has $350k in assets.

(These numbers will increase as your business grows, but we’re selecting a realistic starting place for a new advisor. The principle is the same regardless of your numbers, so if these don’t fit your situation, simply plug in numbers that are suitable to your business.)

Initially, the math has you “hunting” for twenty-nine people to reach your goal of $10mm. (29 x $350k = $10,150,000)

Being realistic, you’re not likely to end up with twenty-nine people, all with perfect $350k balances to ACAT in. So, planning further, you become very specific and focused, deciding you want:

4 clients with $500k each     $2.0mm
5 clients with $400k each     $2.0mm
12 clients with $350k each   $4.2mm
 8 clients with $250k each    $2.0mm       
29 total clients                    $10.2mm total assets

You now have the specific number of new clients and related assets you’re looking for: twenty-nine people who prescribe to your approach, will listen to your advice, and follow your suggestions. You are no longer after a nebulous number of clients. You must be relentless – that is, ruthlessly clinical – in your search for these right twenty-nine people.

As you become clinical about finding the right number of people with the necessary level of assets, you will see your business experience solid growth.

If you’re building a fee-based business, you know that talking with someone who wants to chase the “hot dot” of the day is wasting time. Be cordial, but quickly recognize this person is not going to be one of your 29 clients, bring the conversation to an appropriate close, and move on to your next prospect.

If you’re talking with someone who has $270k in assets and they like your approach, set up a meeting. If they prescribe to your way of doing things and seem like a good fit, sign them up; they count as one of your $250k clients.

So, to effectively arrive at your number sooner:

  1. Know the ideal number of clients and assets you’re “hunting.” How many clients do you want to bring on and what asset levels do they need?
  2. Understand where they “hang out.” Know how to find these people and be ready to engage when you meet them.
  3. Bring them into your flock. Follow your process; listen effectively, ask the right questions and evaluate their response. If they are a great fit, bring them into your fold. One down, twenty-eight to go: great start, now away you go again.

Be ruthless in your pursuit,


Speaker and executive coach Paul Kingsman helps financial services professionals overcome distractions to achieve success sooner. Combining his experiences as an Olympic medalist and his background as an advisor, Paul understands how to stay focused over the long haul, as well as the unique business challenges faced by advisors. Through his professional speaking and executive coaching, he helps his clients successfully grow their businesses by taking practical daily steps to achieve outstanding long-term results. He is the author of the upcoming book, The Distraction-Proof Advisor: Get the money you need, the clients you want, and more time to do what you love.

To find out more about how Paul can equip you or your team to achieve outstanding results, visit paulkingsman.com/coaching or email him at Paul@PaulKingsman.com

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