Sales tip: overcoming "I already have an advisor"

By Rich Jarvis


What do you say when potential clients tell you they already have an advisor?

If there is anything all of us may have in common, it is the occasional prospect that responds, "I already have someone I am working with." So what do you say?

When I asked a colleague of mine what he did from his 30-plus year career, he chuckled, and said, "I simply ask the question, 'Do you trust your advisor enough to get a second opinion?'"

I admit laughing at his response and confess that I have enjoyed using it a number of times. Although I have made many appointments using this approach, it certainly hasn't translated into a perfect batting average.

However, after speaking with one of the financial industry's top trainers, Don Blanton, I believe I have found something that would get my average close to that 100 percent. At first glance, when given the challenge of, "I am already working with someone?" many conditioned responses come out something like, "Want a second opinion?" or "Are you currently happy with them?"

While these have been used by many over the years, imagine the difference if you asked them this question: "Has your advisor answered the toughest financial questions every client wants to know?"

Most likely the response will be similar to, "No ... What questions?" This begins opening the door to that first appointment. The questions are as follows:

1. What rate of return risk do they have to take in order to enjoy the same standard of living throughout retirement that you enjoy today and still have your money last to life expectancy?

2. How long will they have to work before they can afford to retire?

3. How much can they afford to spend and not run out of money?

4. How much do they need to be saving on a monthly or annual basis to reach their desired retirement income and have their money last to life expectancy?

"If in working together, you could get the answers to these questions and learn if what I do meets with what you would be looking for, would you be open to talking about it? Out of the hundreds of times I have asked this question, I have never received a no.

Congratulations, you are off and running. You have separated yourself from the competition, set the stage for your first appointment and are now in a position to begin the process of establishing a long and productive relationship with a new client.

Happy selling!