How you can avoid working with clients who don’t actually want to hear your advice

There’s no job satisfaction in putting everything down that a client ought to be doing and then they don’t do it. Even if they’re willing to come back and pay you a fee again the next year, if they’re not going to follow the advice, it’s not worth the time, and there’s no job satisfaction. We want to make sure that we enjoy and value what we’re doing, and once you start giving in on those things, I think it puts you in a bad spot. 

We have a client who came to the meeting not having completed all of the homework we normally have them do, but because of her net worth and her eagerness, we said, “We think it’s worth working with her.”

We came to find out later that she actually had had a full comprehensive financial plan done a few years earlier, which she then brought to us. We could see all of the advice that she had not followed. That right then should have been the time that we left.

We now have added questions about whether or not someone has ever had a formal financial plan ever completed. If they did, then we want to see it. We want to see what the advice was. Did they follow it? Because if they’re not going to follow it, that’s not a good client. It’s not good for us to collect fees and not implement any of the actions.

Mark D. Olson, MSFS, CFP, is a 21-year MDRT member from Austin, Texas. Hear more in the new episode of the MDRT Podcast:

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