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Thursday, November 7, 2013

Successful Advisors and Successful Farmers have a lot in common.

I grew up in a small rural town in Massachusetts. There were many small and medium sized farms in the area and my first job was working at a tobacco farm. I was reflecting on my October 30th post calling for November to be "Pay It Forward Financial Planning Month” and I was searching for another way to make the case to help at least one prospect who didn’t meet the “ideal client profile.”

Then it hit me! Letting a field go fallow!

Leaving a field to lie fallow simply means leaving a field to be unseeded and unspoiled for a season or more. Farmers let fields lie fallow because it is one of the best ways to allow the land to replenish its nutrients and regain its fertility without resorting to the application of fertilizers. It also helps prevent erosion as the roots of the plants left to grow on the land help to hold the soil in place against the ravages of wind and rain.

How does this apply to working with prospects who might not have the “minimum” amount of money to justify you working with them? Well, all I have to do is take definition above and swap out some key words.

Paying it forward simply means empowering a prospect to grow their savings independently and support and educate him/her during this maturity. Advisors who help prospects that don’t have large amounts of investable assets is one of the best ways to allow the prospect to establish basic saving, investing and planning skills, replenish its their financial and retirement assets and regain their confidence without resorting to making the prospect have to make significant  – and often premature financial sacrifices. It also helps prevent losing this client to other advisors (once the amount of assets have grown to a level where they are now a target of competing financial advisors) all while helping protect the clients financial position against the uncertainty of the market and economy.

Makes sense, doesn’t it?

I hope you’ll consider making November "Pay It Forward Financial Planning Month.”