The 10 Toughest Client Objections to Overcome

I make it clear to prospects that they shouldn’t hire me if they want an endorsement of their current strategy. In fact, I often tell them it will likely be the opposite as I am the most argumentative person on the planet. Going in, they know they are working with “argumentative Al,” and I don’t disappoint.

But my rationale is to get clients to take actions to build a more secure future.

Often, my clients push back on the direction I recommend. I point out that this isn’t a negotiation – this is their money that they worked hard to earn and I’m just the advisor.

Here is how I nudge clients (sometimes not so gently) to where they should be on their portfolio:

1. I’m comfortable with my (heavy) stock allocation. It’s as predictable as the rising sun. When stocks have plunged, the client wants very little risk. But during our current raging bull, they think they are very risk tolerant.

I note that dying the richest person in the planet is a lousy goal and explain why recency bias may be driving how they feel about risk. I use a practical version of Danial Kahneman’s prospect theory. Rather than ask how they would feel if they lost half of their net worth, I translate into consequences and ask questions like, “How would you feel if…”:

    • you couldn’t send your child to that prestigious college they worked so hard to be accepted at?
    • you couldn’t buy that dream house on the lake you always wanted in retirement?
    • you had to sell your house and downsize?