I have had several people share their experiences with me about getting a very angry response from someone who they deemed "not a good fit" for their practice.
Obviously, we want to avoid this situation at all costs. It isn't good for us to have a small legion of disaffected people out there thinking we are jerks!
There is no way to 100% guarantee that you won't end up with unhappy people when you don't invite them to be part of your client community, but there are ways we can reduce the likelihood.
1. SET EXPECTATIONS - Potential clients think they are deciding whether or not to hire us. We need to let them know that we are also exploring whether they are a good fit for us based on the work we do, our price point and our ideal client profile.
2. DELIVER VALUE - If you spend an hour or three trying to convince someone to hire you and then decide it's not going to work out, they have a right to be mad. You wasted their time, big time! However, if you can sincerely say that your initial meeting will deliver value regardless of outcome, then they haven't lost anything if they don't become clients.
3. SHOW LEADERSHIP - Too many advisors are acting like order-takers when they should be leading and guiding their clients to make good decisions about their money and life. If it isn't a good fit, tell them, in person, and give them legitimate reasons why you think that’s true. "I don't think I can provide what you are looking for" or "It doesn't make financial sense for you to hire me at this time" or "I am not sure if you really want to be held accountable to your goals."
4. HAND OFF GENTLY - If you can't serve them, who can? What resources can you give them to improve their financial life on their own? Who can you introduce them to help them take their next steps?
Screening potential clients can be fraught with challenges. If you don’t have a process through which you can determine "fit" for your practice, you will end up with a business full of ill-fitting clients…and they will make your life miserable for years to come!
However, that process can't be one sided. It has to be something that serves the potential client as well as you. It needs to be of high-value, regardless of outcome!
In the end it comes down to transparency, compassion and leadership!
P.S. - If you are looking for a turn-key process that will allow you to deliver a high-value, emotionally significant initial experience to every potential client, I have some good news for you!
I created The Discovery EXPERIENCE for my practice and I have built an online course to give you everything you need to teach you to build deeper connections and get hired in the first meeting (if they are the right fit for your practice)!