New talent needed as advisers are reaching their limit

Darren Cooke

Darren Cooke

I heard recently that they are going to bring back the children’s TV favourite Grange Hill.

I am, sadly, old enough to remember it starting, so my generation was Tucker Jenkins and Trisha Yates. By the time it got a lot grittier and Zammo came along I had grown out of it and stopped watching.

I am sure, though, that we are all aware of his drug abuse storyline and even more so the hit anti-drug song, "Just Say No", it spawned.

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I confess that just saying no is something I need to be better at, not to drugs of course, but prospective clients.

Like many who have been around a long time, we were brought up to ‘hunt’ new clients, and it was not easy to find them. Saying no to a client that actually approached you would be unthinkable and that attitude became baked in.

We sold, got paid and moved on by and large.

Now of course we are in a different world. We no longer ‘sell and forget’ with a client. Instead we look to build a long-term relationship with them, look to advise and help them plan over the very long term and we get remunerated to do that.

That leads to its own difficulties though; there are only so many clients we can work with and sooner or later you reach capacity. That number will be different depending on the level of support you have, use of IT and complexity of the client base, but everyone has their limits.

I have to admit I am reaching my limit.  

I still get new clients referred to me by existing ones and some find me via Google or social media. Despite not trying I still got more than 30 new enquiries last year.

And now I have to learn to say no, and I confess I am finding it very, very hard – partly because it was drilled into me 30 years ago and partly because I just want to help people.

I enjoy talking to new clients, I get a thrill out of finding out what they want to achieve in life and then creating a plan, sorting out their existing financial arrangements and showing them how they can achieve what we hope will be a happier life.

I get a real buzz out of telling somebody they can retire, they can help their family, they can do the things they have long wanted to do. I hope I never grow bored of the smiles and joy it brings.

That is my drug and I am finding it hard to just say no.