Everyone stands to gain from engaging in some type of reflection. Although Matthew and Micah strive to run the perfect practices, there is always room for learning opportunities to ensure they have the best processes available in place. So, in this episode, they will be discussing the importance of owning up to and learning from your mistakes, as well as a recent issue Matthew faced with a fee increase – and how he resolved it.
Listen in as they explain the benefit of asking clarifying questions to your clients in order to avoid presuming their knowledge (or lack thereof) and how a fee increase may benefit your clients too. You will learn how to ensure your prices reflect the premier service you are providing, as well as how to effectively communicate with your clients.
It isn’t easy to raise your fees. But if you continue to be a better advisor, if the value you offer has increased over time, and if you believe in your heart of hearts that you deliver more value than most other advisors, then it’s time to quit charging a discount fee. In this article, you’ll learn how to push through your head trash and increase your rates.
Asking for a fee increase is one of the best things you can do, both for your business and your clients. Here’s why:
Raising your rates isn’t about imposing an arbitrary fee increase. It’s a recognition and reflection of the massive value you deliver to your clients with every passing quarter, every meeting, and every office email. If you provide more value as an advisor now than you did when you first began, it’s only right that you be paid a higher rate.
It’s always tempting to leave long-term clients out of standard fee increases. After all, they’re the ones who have helped you build your business to where it is today. But while it’s great to respect your shared history with your clients, you can only serve a finite number of clients effectively. Take the emotion out of it, and at its core, it’s really a math problem: How many clients can you serve, and how much do each of those clients contribute to your overall income?
(3) If you’re charging new clients a higher rate, making exceptions for other clients just isn’t logical. By charging premium rates to all of your clients across the board and limiting the number of new accounts you accept, you’re able to devote more time and energy to each account.
Setting good expectations means being consistent across your entire marketing efforts, and that includes your fees. If you claim to be a premier firm but you’re not charging a premier rate, you’re leaving a disconnect in your clients’ minds.
And setting higher rates is more than just a marketing tactic; delivering massive value simply costs more money. You invest time, energy, and effort in delivering the highest possible value, and you invest your bottom line in hiring and growing the very best support team possible, all in the name of serving your clients better. Any way you look at it, it makes sense to be paid for that investment.
No business can avoid raising its rates forever. Here are three key steps to follow when you’re finally ready to set your rates at the level your business deserves.
When you raise your rates from, say, 1% to 1.5%, it’s only natural that a few clients will push back a bit and say, “Wow, that’s a pretty big increase.” If this happens, don’t try to dodge the truth; embrace it. “Yes, it is a big increase. And that’s how much value we believe we bring to the table.”
Remember, part of communicating effectively is not giving too much information where it isn’t necessary. Don’t go into an immediate justification about inflation; don’t talk about tax increases; don’t complain about how hard it is to hire new employees. None of that is relevant to your client. Instead, here’s the simple, honest, and effective way to tell clients about your fee increase: “The fee to continue working with us will be 1.5%. Do you wish to continue working with us?” It really is that simple.
It’s easy to view a client walking away as a loss, but in fact, losing clients is a necessary part of business growth. By serving fewer clients, you’re setting yourself up to deliver the highest possible value.
Say you increase your rates for 30 clients, and 5 of them opt to leave. With 25 people signing on at your higher rate, your business still comes out dramatically ahead because your per-client revenue has increased to help you cover your losses. That isn’t 5 failures—it’s 25 successes.
While it’s unlikely that a client will push back hard against your fee increase, some may ask for an explanation or simply want to talk to someone about the change.
Yes, your rockstar team is there to act as the front lines of your business by answering phones and setting up appointments—but when there’s a question about fees, the buck stops with you. This isn’t a conversation you can delegate; direct your team to respond to any fee inquiries or concerns from current clients by scheduling an appointment to discuss the matter directly with you. You owe it to your clients and your team to be the ultimate authority for your practice.
Although we strive to have the perfect RIA, it is always a work in progress. – @ThePerfectRIA Click To Tweet
You have got to have extreme accountability to move to the next level. – @ThePerfectRIA Click To Tweet
If you’re running a premier firm, you should be getting paid a premier price. – @ThePerfectRIA Click To Tweet
This is The Perfect RIA, in case you didn’t know. Bringing you all the strategies to help your business grow. Are you happy? Are you satisfied? Are you hanging on the edge of your seat? Sit back and listen in while you feel the beat. Another myth bites the dust…
Matthew Jarvis: Hello, everyone. Welcome to another episode of The Perfect RIA podcast. I am your co-host and co-founder, Matthew Jarvis. And with me, the man, the myth, the legend, Micah Shilanski. Micah, how are you today, my friend?
Micah Shilanski: Jarvis, I am doing excellent, but excited to jump in and talk about another amazing podcast, And When Things Go Wrong. And I got to say I really enjoy these because it does provide a higher level of accountability, I think to us, right, to you and I. When we start doing these podcasts, we start throwing out all this information, all these things that we do, and then all of a sudden, sometimes things go wrong. And while we say we have the perfect RIA, right? That’s definitely a journey. That doesn’t mean we don’t have hiccups along the way, but this gives us a great opportunity to publicly reflect back to what’s worked and what hasn’t worked.
Matthew Jarvis: Micah, it’s funny. I once was speaking at a conference and I had afterwards came up to me, the director of advisor training for a very large organization, an organization that everyone here would recognize. And he said to me, he says, “Jarvis, your presentation did a real disservice to these advisors”. And I said, “Well, how can that be? I was talking about how to get referrals from centers of influence”. He said, “You’ve made… what these guys heard is that you called a couple of CPAs. You asked them a few questions, you paid for an hour of their time. And then they magically sent you thousands of referrals”. He says, “You and I know that’s not how it went down”. Now, he was offering me very valuable feedback.
He wasn’t trying to just bust my chops. He says, “Please consider… be sure to highlight that you talked to dozens, hundreds of centers of influence before you broke through. Don’t give people this illusion that it’s somehow like you can skip all the work”. And so I think these episodes, while I would rather skip them, Micah, it’s very important that we go through and say, “Hey, this is what worked, but by the way, here’s where we screwed up. And here’s where it didn’t work”.
Micah Shilanski: You bet. Now we always want to lead with value. And it’s the same thing when we’re talking about on this podcast. So, if we can quantify that value, we’re going to talk about where… Jarvis, we’re going to pick on you for this particular one about where a process didn’t work quite well and it had a little bit of a cost to it. It was a net gain in the end, but the process itself, breaking it, had a cost to it. And so really the value to our listeners is by going through the end of this podcast, if you could do something that just kept one client relationship or kept two, maybe three client relationships, what is that worth to you? And that’s the value in the next 30 minutes.
Matthew Jarvis: It really is. It really is. And we’re going to talk today specifically to fee increases. So back in 2018, I did a fee increase. I talked about that on my Michael Kitces episode, just recently, it’s also in my book, Deliver Massive Value. But right now, we’re in the middle of a fee increase. So all of our clients with household investible assets from one million to two million, we’re going from 1% to 1.5%. So, still just a pittance compared to the value and fee that Micah provides, but it represents about… I was just looking at my spreadsheet, Micah, it’s 32 clients representing $41 million in assets. So going from 1% to one and a half, those of you doing math at home, this is a pretty substantial increase. Now, as you may recall Micah and I have different approaches for doing the fee increases. Micah likes to really be front and center to get the pain, is always how I joke. Right? You do them one on one, right, Micah? In front of a client, not even on the phone. In front of the client, you go through these fee increases.
Micah Shilanski: Yeah, absolutely. So whatever my normal meeting cycle is with the client, if I’m going to do a fee increase, I do a belly to belly, right. I do it with the client and I go through and I ask for that in and to make sure that we’re providing value. So yeah, I go through the same conversation 200 times, if you will, with these clients.
Matthew Jarvis: I love it. So, I’m actually going to switch to that now because I got forced into that, but we have always sent a letter. So in 2018, we sent a letter for our Invictus and our Backstage Pass members. You can find a copy of that inside the backstage pass. For readers of the book, it’s inside the book. But this year when we did it, we decided we would change the letter, because it worked so well last time that we thought we would change the letter.
Micah Shilanski: All right, let’s set the stage for those that don’t quite know about fee increases. This is not just an arbitrary fee increase, you’re saying, “Hey, today’s Tuesday. Now I’m going to raise my fee”, right? This is saying, no, we’re delivering so much massive value to the client. It is okay to be paid for the value that we receive. Now, if you don’t know what massive value is, we have tons of episodes about that talking about in the podcast, on our website, but we really go far above and beyond with our clients. And we need to be consistent in our marketing messages with our clients.
If we say we’re a premier firm, well, that should mean we’re charging a premier price. Because if you say you’re premier firm, but you’re charging a discounted brokerage rate, you have a disconnect in the clients’ minds. You have a marketing issue with there. And on top of that, doing massive value also costs more money. It’s more time, more energy, more effort. And it’s okay to be paid for that. So asking for a fee increase, even though we’re going to talk about things that may not have got perfectly in this fee increase is still a 100% good thing and a great thing to do for you and the client.
Matthew Jarvis: Now, Micah I have to ask, right? So we agree, it’s a great thing. We’re delivering massive value, right? A Ritz Carleton experience, a first class experience, a white glove experience. Is not the head trash still the same, right?
Micah Shilanski: Oh, yes it is.
Matthew Jarvis: When you go to a fee increase, whether it’s belly to belly or via a letter, you’re thinking, “No one’s going to sign it. They’re all going to quit. They’re going to call my other clients who are also going to quit. They’re going to call all my friends who are going to abandon me. My family will leave me and I will shortly be holding the sign, Will Plan for Food, at the local intersection”.
Micah Shilanski: Yep. That’s exactly where your head trash goes. And in fact, Jarvis, we were chatting with another advisor, not to steal away from your glory about this.
Matthew Jarvis: No, please.
Micah Shilanski: But one of our Invictus members, we were talking about this in our coaching session with him. And his comment with me, was, “Micah, is the fee increase really as bad as I think it’s going to be?” And I went through that head trash right there. And I was like, “Absolutely not,” right? Your family’s not going to leave you. You’re not going to become destitute, all your clients aren’t going to hate you. Your mother’s going to quit talking to you. Right?
All those mental things that we have know that’s not actually going to happen. And he went and did a fee increase and he actually sent us a message. It was wonderful. It went through, the client was happy. They signed everything, et cetera, because he followed a system that works. And really that’s the key when we’re doing anything is following a process that works. And where we get in trouble is when we think we know better than the process that works. And we start fixing it when it’s not broke.
Matthew Jarvis: Yeah. And there’s so many reasons to do in fee increase. Right. Micah, you said one of course is that we’re always delivering more value. I’m delivering more value today than I did even three months ago, let alone three years ago or 10 years ago.
Micah Shilanski: Oh, amen.
Matthew Jarvis: The other is, there’s just a finite number of clients we can serve. Right. There’s just only so many. Let’s say it’s a 150 to 250, whatever the number is. I don’t really care. But if you are charging a higher fee to the new people who come along or you’re turning people away, shouldn’t the people that are already there pay that same level fee? And so it’s really going to your clients and saying, “This is my value proposition”, right? “Here’s the value I deliver. And here’s the fee that I think is commensurate to that value. And if it makes sense to you, that’s awesome. And if it doesn’t make sense to you, let’s go in peace. We’ve done great work together”.
Micah Shilanski: Great. Perfect. So, sorry, that was a little bit of a sidetrack Jarvis, but I thought that might be good with a lot of our nation listeners. So let’s jump back into it. So you did a fee increase in 2018. It went really well. This again was a new fee increase that you were doing for a different segment of clients, correct?
Matthew Jarvis: That’s right. That’s right. So before we had done a fee increase for clients with a half million to a million, this time it’s a million to two million. I dust off the letter from 2018, which I thought was pretty clever, worked phenomenally. And then we had this great discussion as a team. We said, “We ought to change this letter”. And I won’t bore you with the details, but we abandoned the system that worked based on what we thought would be a fun idea. And the only line that we changed, the only line that really changed of substance, well, I guess there was two things. One that we changed with substance, the last letter said, hey, households, under a million dollars will be charged this fee.
This year, we put, based on your level of complexity, your new fee will be X. And I thought, well, that’s a clever way, right? That’s let’s not talk about numbers. I have had Micah, 12 clients, a dozen clients out of the 32 push back hard.
Micah Shilanski: Wow.
Matthew Jarvis: Not on the fee increase, on what do you mean by my level of complexity? To the point of being angry. They would say, “Matthew, you’ve done all this work for us to help us simplify it. How can you tell us it’s complex? I don’t even know what you mean by complex. All I do is take my distributions. I follow the guardrails. I just do what you tell me to do. How is that complex?” So what I thought was a harmless change actually insulted a lot of clients.
Micah Shilanski: Boy, that is such a great insight, right? Because this is the way it should really effectively work. It should not look hard to our clients. We should make things look very easy to them, right? That’s the way this process should go through. And Jarvis, you’ve done a phenomenal job on that. So when we bring up arbitrary things, when we’re asking clients to move forward, it makes it very difficult. Now, this could be the same if you’re asking for a transfer, by the way, right? If you’re asking for a rollover to get new money, if you’re asking for a new client to come in, if you’re trying to move them off of a CPA relationship, because some CPA aren’t really good team player, you want them to work somewhere else. And then all of a sudden you bring up some ambiguity in a situation and not clear advice, this makes it very hard for clients to make a decision. Now kudos to those 12 clients who are picking up the phone, versus moving on somewhere else. They were picking up the phone being like, “No, this doesn’t make any sense”.
Matthew Jarvis: Yeah, that’s right. That’s right. So that first line of defense, of course my team, they got that first and foremost, right? Because people called and said, “What does this mean level complexity?” Now my team had already been trained and they actually have a printed checklist, which was if clients gave any pushback on the fee increase, they were immediately routed to talk to me. Now I don’t mean immediately as in their phone would patch through, but they were saying, “That’s a really discussion for Matthew, let’s schedule a time for you to visit with him”. So all of those clients, Micah that pushed back on the complexity thing, once I was able to talk to them and say, “Hey Micah”, right, “it only makes sense to hire us. Now, we’re in the future if the value we provide is worth more than our fee. And if you think it’s worth more, then let’s keep going. And if at any time now we’re in the future, you think it’s not, we’ll part ways as friends”. They all signed up, all those clients.
Micah Shilanski: So when you went belly to belly, it all worked. That’s what I hear. Dear, journal-
Matthew Jarvis: 100%. 100%, right. When I tried to do this fancy letter, right? And I think the same thing with advisors that get carried away, adding all these extra graphics and nuances to their website, your goal is not to wow people with your linguistic skills. You’ve got to get belly to belly for them to see and for you to communicate value.
Micah Shilanski: And Jarvis, forgive me. I’m looking at the letter that you just sent out. So I’m going to pick on you a little bit for the benefit of our listeners and a little bit of joy.
Matthew Jarvis: Make sure I don’t forget this lesson.
Micah Shilanski: Exactly. So one of the things that you had said, which was so beautifully, which was, it only makes sense to hire us if we deliver some multiple of value that you’re paying us. Right. I mean, that’s the only reason. The letter doesn’t say that.
Matthew Jarvis: Yeah. The new letter didn’t. Yeah.
Micah Shilanski: It didn’t.
Matthew Jarvis: Yeah. What’s our key phrase for all clients and prospects, we’ve forgot to put that in there.
Micah Shilanski: Right. Right. And this is by the way, and I’m not just picking on Jarvis for the sake. I mean, I have made dozens of these mistakes in the past in different areas. I mean, I am just as guilty as the next person, so is every advisor listening to this, right? We all do this, but it’s important to learn from it. So. I would definitely say the complexity comment was one of them, not putting in there, of course the aspect of that you’re delivering a multiple of value to what they’re actually paying. But the other thing, if I may, it was kind of interesting when I pulled it up is you had, and for backstage past members, by the way, we’re going to put both these letters. Maybe we’ll put like a, do not use watermark on top of one of them.
Matthew Jarvis: You should. Yeah. Yeah.
Micah Shilanski: But you also put a common questions, and I thought that was interesting. And when I first brought up to it, and again, I’m not trying to pick on you too much, but I was like, “Man, that’s stupid”, because all you’re doing is taking clients that probably didn’t have a question and seating them with questions and saying, “Well, what else aren’t I asking about this?” But I don’t know, maybe that’s just me. What’s been your take on that?
Matthew Jarvis: No one’s brought that up specifically, which then says that it really wasn’t valuable to put on there. Right? It only confuses the issue. Nobody called and said, “You know what? I was not going to do it, but I saw Q and A number four, and that one really swung me”. Right. The only feedback we got is the complexity line. And then a couple of people, two or three have said, “Boy, that’s a big increase. One to one and a half, that’s a 50% increase”. Yep. It is. And that’s how much value we believe we bring to the table and it’s got to make sense for you. So Micah, we’ve been able to get past that. We’ve been doing a fee increase on 32 clients. We have had two clients of the 32 self graduate that said, “You know what? For various reasons, this is now my time to part ways.” We’ve had most of the people… We’re missing five. So what’s that? 27 have signed and they’re signed for the fee increase.
So even if all of those five, which I have meetings with them this week, even if all those five leave graduate, self-select we still come out dramatically ahead because our revenue has increased. And now we have fewer clients with whom we need to work. Now what happens though in our mind is we view that a fail. I failed five times, not I succeed at 27 times.
Micah Shilanski: Yeah. You really got to frame that for success, right? So before you do a fee, you really got to step back and say, “Great, what’s the big picture that I’m solving for here?” And that’s what we have to be going forward. If you get caught up too much in the details, yeah, this one client graduated self-selected, right. Two clients. And really they were on the edge anyways, because they didn’t see your value. That’s the reality. Yep. Right. So, okay, great. Now we selected them on our timeline for them to move versus at another timeline, we’re going to take this as a win. Jarvis, I want to pull out something that you did just a second ago on the podcast and make sure our listeners really saw that or heard that.
Matthew Jarvis: Please.
Micah Shilanski: Your comment was when clients were coming back and saying, “Wow, this is a big increase for 1% to one and a half percent”. And you said, “Yes, it is”. And then you shut up. And then you were silent. Right? And one of the beautiful parts about effective communication is not giving too much information where it can get confused. You didn’t go into an immediate justification about inflation. You didn’t talk about tax increases. You didn’t talk about, it’s hard to hire new employees, right? None of that is… now that could be a business thing that you have to deal with in real life. None of that is relevant to the client. This is what it is moving forward. In order to continue to work with us, the fee will be one and a half percent. Do you wish to continue working with us? Yes or no. That’s the only decision we want the client to make.
And it can be really easy to get attracted to put so many other charts or graphics or the crap inside of there to confuse the situation. But that’s just as complex as it is. “Here’s our new fee. Would you like to work with us or not?”
Matthew Jarvis: Yeah. Micah, I’m glad you highlighted that because too often we get as advisors when someone raises what we perceive as an objection, like you said, we launch into charts and graphs and they might just be asking that just so they feel like, hey, I’ve pushed back on this a little bit. Right? So the shortest answer is always going to be the best answer. Let them ask for more explanation, right? If they ask me, “Matthew, how do the guardrails work?” Hey, it works like this. We want to stay between this balance and this balance. And if we go outside, we’ll make an adjustment. I don’t need to launch into four white papers. Now if they say, “Well, I’d really love to see the science behind that”. Perfect. I’d be glad to send you the white papers. If you can’t sleep at night, they’re great to read. But the temptation is to launch into the long explanation first, when really we need the shortest and simplest explanation first.
Micah Shilanski: Yes. And also one of the beautiful parts about a shortest and simplest explanation, it allows us not to over presume what the client’s question is because we have our own head trash in something. And if a client… I mean, how many times this happened in a client meeting? A client has asked a question and you knew exactly what they were talking about. So you jumped into this long answering of the question. They’re like, “Wow, that’s interesting, but that’s not what I had a question about at all”. And it was really something completely different. And that’s another benefit of short direct answers. Or maybe ask a clarifying question as to what they’re going for, right? This is really, really important. Don’t jump into long answers. They are hiring you to make their life easier, not to make more complex decisions.
Matthew Jarvis: I love that. Now, another lesson I want to pull for myself and for all of our listeners on this fee increase. When I talked to those 12 clients and they said, “Matthew, and they were clearly upset, Matthew, what do you mean by my level of complexity?” And this is where you have to fall on your sword. Right? I made a mistake there. I made a mistake. I did not communicate effectively. And so I told those clients, I said, “You know what? I thought that was really clever wording. And I put that in the letter, and that was a mistake. What I should have said, which is more accurate, any clients with less than two million invested in our office pay this fee rate”. And they said, “Oh, okay. Yeah, that makes a lot more sense”. And so I just said, “I made a mistake. That was poor wording on my choice. And I apologize for that. I should have been more clear. I should have just said this”. And every single one said, “Oh, okay, well that makes sense. Now I get it. Thank you”.
Micah Shilanski: Perfect. It just makes so much sense. Right? Is a couple of great lessons to be inside here, Jarvis. I love that you just jumped on the sword, right? You said it was you. You were the one that was on the phone with these people going through this. You didn’t delegate this off to a team member or someone else to deal with and you simplified it to the client, getting that belly to belly conversation.
Matthew Jarvis: Micah, I want to highlight another mistake in here since we’re just… this is beat up on Jarvis day. Another mistake in here that could have been easily prevented. So, I ran this letter past a couple of people, none of them advisors, none of them advisors, some team members, some friends, some proof. And we talk about masterminds. In fact, we have a webinar later this week with Ben Brent on Masterminds.
Had I sent this letter in advance to my mastermind and said, “Hey Micah, tell me what you think about this?” Micah would’ve immediately said, “Jarvis, what are you doing? This is no, no, no, no, no. Why would you change it?” We would go through all this discussion we’re having now in hindsight we would’ve had in advance. Shows again, when you’re making a major practice decision and fee increases is a major practice decision. Run that past someone who’s in a similar situation, not someone who has thoughts about your situation.
Micah Shilanski: Yeah. Really, really important. And also when you’re doing fear setting, right? This is the important part about fear setting, which is a place where the team can voice concerns about doing fee increases, et cetera. And they could say, look, we didn’t like the previous letter because of A, B. And Jarvis, I’m making this-
Matthew Jarvis: Sure.
Micah Shilanski: … up by the way, right? I’m not saying your team did this, but they could say, look, we didn’t like the letter from 2018 because of A, B and C, therefore we should change it. Great. Let’s measure based on results. Right? So, you have opinions and you have facts. If it’s matter of… this is Bezos’s quote that I love. Yeah. If it’s in a matter of an opinion, guess what? Mine wins, but fact beats opinion any day of the week. So, if you have facts that substantiate we were talking about then perfect, let’s bring it up. Did clients not move forward in 2018? Did we get massive pushback? Did all of a sudden I have to talk with every single one of them, right? What are my measurable things that I want to go forward with?
Now, if you haven’t done a fee increase and you’re looking at this and saying, “Great, I want to take Jarvis’s 2018 letter, because that’s the one in the book and that’s the one that works”, right? Don’t take the new one. But if you take the 2018 letter and you bring it up to your team and your team is objecting to this in fear setting, well, then perfect. Again, do what works. Right? We have another advisor that has done this. We’ve had several in the backstage pass, which have taken that same letter and have made it work. So, if your team’s going to object, you got to have a real reason, not an opinion as to why it won’t work. Yeah.
Matthew Jarvis: But another plug for Masterminds, and again, it’s our webinar topic this week with Benjamin Brent is… so my first fee increase in 2018 was directly result of extreme accountability, Micah with you, right?
Micah Shilanski: Yeah.
Matthew Jarvis: Which was that if I didn’t do my fee increase by our date and I did it just before our date, I would have to send a letter to my top 10 clients that Micah is a better advisor and that they should move their accounts and work with Micah. Micah, by the way, has this letter framed on his wall.
Micah Shilanski: I do. It’s beautiful. I look at it with my vision board morning success ritual.
Matthew Jarvis: It’s been enlarged, it’s an entire wall. So that one was a result of extreme accountability coming out of a mastermind. This one was, I was tired of going to masterminds and explaining why I had a discount fee for a premier level of service. And so I did not need extreme accountability for this one, but it was again masterminds that are in this one … going to result in a quarter million dollars a year of new revenue to my firm that’s directly attributed to masterminds.
Micah Shilanski: Okay. So let’s do a little bit of a recap here, Jarvis. We went through… you did go through and do the fee increase, which is outstanding. Right? And by the way, kudos to you for pulling through this. You could have backed off when those clients were objecting and says, “No, I’m sorry”. You shouldn’t have got that letter. And you could have discounted their fee. You could have done all these other things, but no, you stuck to your guns with the fee increase. You fell on your sword, mea culpa of just saying, yep. It was my fault. It was worded poorly. This is what it means. You had those conversations, which is great.
So you did the fee increase. You would do it again. We would do it differently if we had an opportunity, right? But even though you’ve had this two clients that have self-selected outside of there, you would still do the fee increase again, knowing everything you know now. Is that right?
Matthew Jarvis: 100%. 100%. Without hesitation.
Micah Shilanski: Perfect. And by the way, every advisor I’ve ever talked to has done a fee increase has said that exact same thing. We all find hiccups in our own ways. But every single one of them has said, “Yes, I still would’ve done that fee increase”. Jarvis, you’re looking off to the sky. Anyone else?
Matthew Jarvis: Yeah, no, I’m just trying to… I was going through my list of advisors and we’ve worked with a lot of advisors to increase and yeah, actually I think all of them have high fived efforts. And really interesting Micah, and correct me if your memory is different. None of them wasn’t because of the revenue. Now, the revenue’s great. But it was like, I’m a premier advisor and I’m charging a premier fee and I did it. I did this fee increase I’ve been fearing my entire career. That I think in every time was more of a victory than the change in revenue. Not that the change in revenue went unnoticed.
Micah Shilanski: Exactly. But it is this thing. It’s not about the money, right? It’s lining all of these other things up, which is so much more important than just the revenue. But the revenue’s a nice cherry on top. I’m not going to lie.
Matthew Jarvis: Yeah, it is. That’s what allowed us to add another advisor to our team. So many important things come of that.
Micah Shilanski: Which is by the way, when we say a fee increase is good for clients and you’d be like, “How is a fee increase good for clients?” Well, guess what Jarvis? You were able to add another advisor in your team. That means you can bring on more clients. You can service them better. All these wonderful things. If you hadn’t done a fee increase, it wouldn’t have been there. So yes, a fee increase is good for clients as well. 100%, 100%.
Matthew Jarvis: Oh, Micah, I love this, where we could talk fee increases all day long.
Micah Shilanski: All right. So you would still do it if it was there? By the way, just a side note. There’s two things that I would say hands down, I’ve never had an advisor complain about after they’ve done it. One is fee increase and two is surge. Surge meetings. Hands down, everyone that’s done them that says, “No, this is phenomenal. Wish we would’ve done them”. There’s always tweaks that we’re going to do different next time. Fair enough. Because of the firm learning lessons, but we’re going to tweak things that broke. We’re not going to tweak things that worked. And that’s the very key thing and very hard for us to do as advisors. It’s very hard for me. I want to redo it entirely next time, and I shouldn’t. We have a system that works.
Matthew Jarvis: Yeah. Yeah. A mentor of mine years ago told me, “Jarvis, you want your business to be as boring as possible. If you want to have excitement, go on a helicopter shooting match with Micah, go do race cars, go ride dirt bikes, have your excitement. Your office should be very boring, very intentional, very slow to change”. All of those things. And it’s valuable advice.
Micah Shilanski: Very much so. All right, Jarvis. This podcast is all about action items. So let’s go ahead and jump into some good action items that are there. I’ll kick it off. Number one, follow your process. Now rules to success number two, do what works. So part of your process should be doing what works. Learn from other advisors that have done this successfully in the past. Not theoretically, not other people that are out there. What advisors have done this, what’s worked and what’s not worked. And you’ve never done this before, do what works, follow what they have done. You got two basic approaches. You can do belly to belly or you can do the letter approach. Both can work beautifully.
Matthew Jarvis: Yeah. And I guess I would also add to that follow your process. Before you change something that worked, really identify like, was this in fact broken? Right? Do we need to change-
Micah Shilanski: On my board.
Matthew Jarvis: Yeah, on my board. Could the letter be articulated more clear? Yeah, maybe, but the last one worked perfect. Let’s put a new date on it and send it out. It doesn’t need to be redone just because it’s redone. Action number two, raise your fees. Raise your fees. Unless your value has gone down in the last couple of years, which… in which case, just call it quits I guess. But if your value continues to grow up, if you continue to be a better advisor, if you in your heart of hearts believe you are delivering more value than most advisors, then quit charging a discount fee. Quit saying you’re the Ritz Carleton and charging motel six rates.
Micah Shilanski: Yeah, exactly. And I would say number three is extreme accountability. Find an extreme accountability partner, whether that is through a Mastermind program, whether it’s another peer or colleague that you have. Again, it needs to be a pure level or higher in order for this extreme accountability to really work. But you got to have extreme accountability to move to that next level.
Matthew Jarvis: Micah, last action on my list. This Wednesday, which would be December 15th, we are having a webinar for the nation with Benjamin Brant, who is going to walk us through masterminds. We want our goal for this is to have every advisor in our audience, which is now 50,000 downloads a month and more, we want every advisor to enter 2022 in a mastermind because it’s that transformative. If you’re not already signed up, email lifestyle@theperfectria and our awesome team will get you signed up for that webinar. That’s lifestyle@theperfectria.
Micah Shilanski: Perfect. Guys, take these lesson items. Move on. I love talking about mistakes, not just picking on Jarvis here because it’s great to learn from people that have already been there and realize what not to do so we can focus on ways to succeed. So take these lessons and implement them. And until next time, happy planning.
Matthew Jarvis: Happy planning.
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