How Do You Pick Yourself Up When You’ve Been Fired by a Client?
Getting fired by a client can be a challenging and depressing experience especially if clients leave without telling you the reason. But getting fired happens to even the best of advisors at some point. And it’s not all bad news.
In fact losing a client can give you a chance to re-evaluate yourself and determine what you have to offer clients. It can be a perfect time to re-focus, take a good hard look at yourself and change things to do what you need to do to get back in the game.
Write a new chapter
Like everything in life, you will have successes and you will have failures. You’ll lose clients and you’ll win new ones. It’s not what happens to you, it’s how you react to life’s ups and downs that matters.
When you lose a client you need to act like an elite athlete or entrepreneur. When they get knocked down they use their acute sense of self-awareness to help them get back up. If they experience failure they subject themselves to a brutal self-assessment and embrace ‘double-loop’ rather than ‘single-loop’ learning.
That means, rather than just using the ‘same old, same old’ approach – they take what they have learnt in prior attempts and use this to find new ways to achieve their goals. Similarly, you need to question all aspects of your approach and challenge even your most ingrained of self-induced beliefs.
Old habits aren’t easy to change, but the payoffs can be great. In particular, question your assumption that you can get by on talent alone. Question your tactics. If something is broken, you need to think long and hard about new ways of doing things.
Be honest with yourself, what have you not been doing that you should have? What habits could have been the cause to get fired?
So what’s gotten you fired?
According to a recent report by Spectrem, nearly 49% of respondents said they would fire an advisor who didn’t return their call that same day. Forty percent would fire their advisor if they didn’t respond to an email in a timely fashion. Only 24% said poor performance over a 2 year period would cause them to fire their advisor. What this tells us is that most clients fire their advisors not because of a lack of investment performance but because of poor communication.
Time to pick the bones of your relationship
At the outset of your relationship things are rosy. Your clients chose you because they felt you were both on the same page regarding their expectations and dreams. If later down the line they decide that ‘it’s over’ it’s usually due to a lack of trust and a feeling that you have left their expectations unmanaged and unfulfilled. If your relationship has broken down, it’s often because you’ve failed to consistently communicate what you’re offering your client, and failed to align your value proposition with actual ongoing delivery.
Think back on your relationship. Does it represent years of inconsistent service? Have you failed to connect honestly and openly with your client? Relationships take work and if you haven’t been putting the hard work in, this could be why you got fired.
‘No news’ is not ‘good news’ for clients
If you only communicate with clients via quarterly statements don’t assume – just because you don’t hear back – that all’s well. Quite the opposite.
You may not remember the last time you talked to a client, but they will most certainly remember the last time they spoke to you. Whether markets have been volatile or calm, clients expect you to keep in touch. You can’t control the markets but you can control how your clients feel about how you’re managing things on their behalf.
In order to keep clients invested in you, you need to keep in touch and make them aware of the hard work you are doing behind the scenes, so they better understand and appreciate your value.
Carry on getting fired – then carry on getting back up
Getting shot down means you haven’t stopped trying to achieve your goals. Falling down a lot means you are still here, dusting yourself off and getting back up. Don’t dwell on your flaws, re-evaluate the situation and take a different approach. Don’t ever obsess over failures. Choose to be positive and you will experience far more successes and fewer clients will want to walk away.
And bear in mind that it might not even be your fault that you got fired. It could simply be because your clients’ needs have changed. The relationship may have run its course. Sometimes it’s just time to say goodbye.
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