One size does not fit all.
In looking at what makes a successful long term client advisor relationship, a good long term fit is important. Each firm, because of their own unique philosophies, views, and personalities, has an ideal “right fit” client. To the extent a client is a right fit, the relationship should have all of the ingredients to be a benefit to all parties involved for many years. If deep down the client and advisor are not a right fit, eventually down the line, the relationship will likely have some issues. This article looks at what we look for in our “right fit clients”.
“One of the things Warren Buffet looks for is someone he enjoys spending time with. How do we know as advisors, whether it is going to work out when we meet a new prospective client”?
That’s a very interesting question. Here’s what I know: there must be a good fit for long-term success. While you are evaluating an advisor for a good fit, they should be evaluating you as well.
We reviewed our most enduring relationships and have identified Seven Key Characteristics.
They Live Their Life by Principles
Principles like honesty integrity and hard work—to name just a few—are the foundation of everything that they do. They do not sacrifice principles for results…the ends never justify the means.
They Know the Value of a Dollar
A local small business owner said it best when he said, “Every dollar that I have is valuable to me. It came by the sweat of my brow and I risked everything I owned to start this business and keep it running. I don’t want to pay one more dollar in taxes than I am required.”
They have worked hard to earn, save and accumulate their money. They want investments vehicles that work as hard for them as they did to make it.
They Believe Wealth is More than Money
They know that True Wealth has many dimensions…including personal, social, spiritual, human, and intellectual capital. They believe all wealth is worth preserving.
“Relationships are more important than my money. Of course, I want to have enough to secure my lifestyle, but I want to positively impact my family and my community.”
They Are Open to Learning about New Ideas & Abandoning Old
They approach ideas with an open mind and can make hard choices. They may believe they have a reasonable plan and good advisor…yet, they want to move to the next level.
They Know Science & Sound, Strategy Trumps Marketing Glamour
Their experience has taught them the value of strategy first: aim before you fire. They also know that when a strategy is backed by sound academic research, it is most effective. Even though this requires more time up front& personal investment, it pays off handsomely in the long run.
They avoid imprudent sales tactics and herd mentality.
They Know What They Do Well
By implication, they know what they don’t do well. “I tried the do-it-yourself route with my money. What a disaster! I know enough to be dangerous… besides, I can make more money with my time than it costs to delegate.” shared a business owner who recently converted the wealth in his business to cash.
They Care about Value and Quality
They agree with John Ruskin when he said “There is hardly anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price only are this man’s lawful prey.”
They hire, respect and reward talented specialist…and desire win-win relationships with people they enjoy.
These Seven Key Characteristics have been the foundation for every enduring relationship we have…and we look for them in everyone we work with…whether business owners, retired professionals or women on their own.