Intentional Influence: How to choose clients in a post-DOL world

Intentional Influence: How to choose clients in a post-DOL world

Each morning, I like to read a daily devotional or the Wall Street Journal – often both. Recently, I read two interesting things in one day: a passage about intentionality from Tony Dungy’s “The One Year Uncommon Life Daily Challenge,” and an article about the meaning of the word fiduciary in the Journal’s Wealth Adviser.

Coach Dungy, a TV sports show analyst and former Super-Bowl-winning coach, is a sought-after public speaker who could probably book any event he wants. However, he said he is intentional when selecting where he speaks and in what circumstances. Rather than accepting every offer, he evaluates where can have the most positive influence. 


What if we applied the same standard to our client relationships?


It was very fitting I read the fiduciary article on the same day because I thought to myself how financial professionals will need to be more focused and intentional in their businesses going forward. One of the collateral damages of the fiduciary rule is how we’ll need to manage those clients who don’t meet the criteria of taking the fiduciary risk while growing our businesses at the same time. I believe it starts with being intentional about the clients we choose and how we serve them going forward.

How many times have we been frustrated when clients don’t provide the necessary financial statements at the discovery interview? Or when they fail to complete a medical exam for an insurance policy that will protect their families? What if we became more intentional about who we bring on as clients?  

Consider setting some standards as you serve existing clients or bring on new ones: 

  • During the engagement process, evaluate your prospects’ commitments to solving their financial needs – in a fiduciary world, we can no longer work with clients who are unwilling to participate in the financial planning process.

  • Think about where and when you can have the most positive influence on your clients’ financial plans, including asset management, retirement income planning and wealth transfer 


Winning Strategy

Think intentionally. Winners have a distinct set of parameters where they know they can succeed. Seek out those situations and take the necessary risks to grow your business.  


About the Author

Mike McGlothlin is the Executive Vice President of Annuities at Ash Brokerage. His strength is helping advisors become more efficient and effective in their businesses. He and his team provide income-planning solutions focused on longevity and tax efficiency, and they also assist advisors with entering defined-benefit termination planning and structured settlement markets.