Option 5: Know the Brand You Want

Whereas the previous options for discerning an advisor’s brand start with learning more about that person, you can also make a determination about a brand by offering clarity about who you are. You can give thought to the brand you’re after ahead of time, before you ever talk to an advisor. Then when you have this discussion, you can lead the conversation. You can say, “This is what I’m looking for. Are you this or not?” You define the brand, and you present it. Then you can see how comprehensively the advisor can offer what you need.

If you think about it, this is the way we often shop. Let’s say you prefer one brand of toothpaste—for example, Colgate Whitening Gel. You can walk into a drugstore and say, “I ...

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