CHAPTER 4Taking Over Client Relationships

The lead advisor role is the basic building block of the financial advisory industry and a critical achievement in the development of a G2 professional. Before G2 professionals can become owners, managers, or leaders—before they can develop new business or contemplate the succession of the founders—they have to achieve a simple but quintessential milestone: becoming a trusted advisor to a client. They need to take over a client relationship. Managing and directing clients, uncovering their needs, and designing a process to meet those needs are the skills that form the foundation of the profession. Being the lead in a client relationship is a vital precursor to achieving any of the other professional milestones. If someone has never led a client, it is premature to contemplate how he or she can lead a firm.

Being the lead proves to be very difficult for many professionals. My experience has been that as many as two‐thirds of professionals in the industry fail to cross the chasm that separates the lead advisor role from that of a support or service advisor. As a result, there is a shortage of lead advisors throughout the industry while service and support professionals, in my experience, are in ample supply. I have worked with many firms who have turned away prospective clients because they did not have the capacity to absorb new clients. At the same time, many of those firms had an ample cadre of service advisors who were frustrated in ...

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