What You'll Learn In Today's Episode:

  • One of the most interesting aspects of this episode is the discussion of balancing revenue with client-compatibility. It is interesting for some, but can be extremely frustrating for those stuck in that financial quagmire.
  • Think of this: you have a client whom you can’t stand, belittles your team, disrupts your process, and doesn’t respect your often stated moral code. You have an obligation to part ways for the good of your practice; the kicker is that the client brings in a lot of revenue for you, and you clearly cannot afford to lose that revenue flow. What do you do?
  • Of course this example is a little inflated, but underlying principle is still the same. How can a listener expect to take what Matt and Micah say in the episode and apply it, if they can’t afford to?
  • Matthew and Micah do acknowledge this conundrum that many new RIAs face. And they certainly wouldn’t suggest jeopardizing your practice. But if you are in that position, consider prospecting, branching out, admitting you made an error in judgement, and look to build a more ideal practice for yourself and team. Micah suggests not to have a client who gives you more than 4% of your total revenue. This guarantees that you won’t be stuck in a less-than-ideal position with a client who is far from ideal for your firm.

Knowing full well the stressful task of firing a client, Matt and Micah impart some sound advice on the subject.

The crux of this episode is determining the when, why, and how of firing a client. Some shrewd points are made about each element of letting a client go.

When should you fire a client?

Whenever you realize that your client is sapping value from your practice, and is actually someone you avoid talking to. This doesn’t mean that advisors should get rid of their bottom 20% revenue earners–just those who are ignoring your advice, undermining your confidence, and disrupting the smoothly running machinery of your business. That’s when you should fire a client.

Why should you fire a client?

To bring massive value to your firm and client. You can’t possibly bend over backwards for a client if you can’t stand them. And it is a giant waste of time to try and resuscitate a fractured relationship–sending them to a different advisor would be best for both parties.

How should you fire a client?

Matthew likes to do it by letter, with a refund of the current quarter, and then a follow-up phone call if they desire to inquire. Micah likes to do it face-to-face. Admittedly the most brave (or masochistic), Micah values explaining the decision in real time. Regardless of the methodology, they both preach the importance of being delicate in the matter, not getting overly emotional, but parting ways in the most diplomatic way possible.

In Closing: 3 Action Points

Matt and Micah have three actions points they urge listeners to implement in their practice:

  1. Print out a list and go over it yourself, and then with your team, to assess the quality of your clients.
  2. Organize the conversation, talking points, letter template, and so forth, for what Micah calls the “graduation conversation.”–that is, your client is going to leave your firm and move onto to other options.
  3. The third actions step is to draw up a statement that clearly communicates your moral code, beliefs, and a line that won’t be crossed by any means.

  • Today is your lucky day! Take this quiz and find out what the  #1 success killer is in your practice. Identify the pain points that are slowly killing your RIA and preventing you from achieving success, in only 2 minutes.

    Whether it is time management, processes, value adds, or your marketing, unlock access to some of the premium resources Matthew Jarvis, CFP®, and Micah Shilanski, CFP®, have already implemented (successfully!) and are sharing with our members.


Matthew Jarvis: 00:02 Hello everyone, and welcome to another episode of The Perfect RA Podcast, with your host, Matthew Jarvis and Micah Shilanski. Today we’re going to shift gears a little bit. I think all of our prior episodes have been about growing your practice, transforming your practice, taking control of your schedule and we’re going to cover today a topic that might seem a little counter intuitive for the perfect RIA, but as you’ll learn, this is really kind of a fundamental issue for RA’s; well, whatever type of practice you have. And that is understanding when, how and why to possibly need to fire a client.

No, Micah, this is something you and I were discussing before the episode recording began. And one of the things that you and I were sort of noting is that you really don’t hear much discussion about this topic in the industry. In fact, you and I can only think of just a few examples.

Micah Shilanski: 01:05 Yeah. I think Nick Murray and Ed Sloan are really the only two other industry professionals out there that I hear talking about, that this is important to do. And to find who your ideal client is, but also move away from people who aren’t your ideal client. And it’s okay to fire clients. It is almost like a taboo thing to even bring up, which is kind of funny because it’s a very healthy thing to do and not so much in a negative way. That’s what we’re really going to hit on this podcast, about making sure you’re helping people the best way that you can. Part of that is looking at it and saying not everyone’s a good fit for the firm. So maybe that’s just a good first to start with, about saying why is it really necessary to fire clients?

It’s a great question. Jarvis, I’ll kick it to you the first if I may, why not just keep all the clients you can on your books because at least they’re paying revenue. At least their assets are some aspect of it. What’s the purpose of firing clients? It sounds counter intuitive right? We’re spending all the time trying to bring clients on, what are you doing firing them?

Matthew Jarvis: 02:08 Yeah. And you hit on one of what I think are two big reluctancies to address this topic. One is of course revenue. Right? When you have a younger, struggling practice or even a very successful practice. It can be very difficult to let go of any revenue, no matter how expensive if you will, that revenue is. I think the other reason, and we’ll talk about this more today, is that we feel a real obligation. We’re in a helping profession. By our very nature we’re helpers and we like to help people. And by telling a client they have to go somewhere else, it almost feels like we’re turning our back on them, like we’re betraying the confidence they put in us as a helper.

But as Micah said, it’s really essential for a healthy practice to be willing, be able and have a process for letting go of clients. An important caveat, and Micah this is something that you brought up to me before, this is not, this discussion is not about cutting off the bottom 20% of your book and telling them to hit the road.

Micah Shilanski: 03:07 No.

Matthew Jarvis: 03:08 It’s more about are there people that are in your practice, for however they got there, that are no longer a good fit. And Nick Murray, who I always love his things and I study his stuff religiously, Nick Murray calls these people PITAs, a pain in the assets. As Tom [inaudible 00:03:26] would say, a pain in the assets. But I think that’s a bit harsh. There’re definitely people that become really difficult clients. But there’s also people that just, at the end of the day, they’re just not a good fit. You’re not able to bring massive value to their situation, which is a fundamental goal or the number one goal of the perfect RIA.

And we’ve really got to look and say, “All right, am I still bringing massive value to this individual? And if not, I need to have the integrity to say hey, this really just isn’t a good fit.”

Micah Shilanski: 03:56 That’s right. I think one of the things that’s really challenging, Matthew, and let me know your thoughts. It’s really hard for advisors to fire clients because you know what? The first thing that has to come to a reality when you go to fire a client, and again, we’re going to define this later. But it’s not just cutting off the book. [inaudible 00:04:14]. You have to own up the fact that you made a mistake because you shouldn’t have brought that client on to begin with because they didn’t fit your mold.

So, number one, you’ve got to mentally own up, either consciously or subconsciously that you screwed up in the beginning, shouldn’t have brought them on as a client. Now they’re there so you’ve got to deal with it. And then there’s potential revenue issues, about saying, “Oh my gosh I’m going to fire this client. I’m going to lose revenue.” So now we have another concern on top of that. Then you’ve got to deal with a difficult conversation. There’s not an easy way to fire a client. You’ve got to have a conversation with them. You’ve got to sit down or talk with them over the phone and graduate them or fire them.

These are three very uncomfortable things. One, we have to admit we did something wrong to ourselves. Number two, we’re going to lose money on it. And number three, we’ve got to proceed with the actions of firing them. So, this is, I think, the three main factors as to why advisors don’t want to terminate any clients is it’s not a fun thing to go through. And I never, the rare times I have to do it, and I’ve had to do it recently. We can talk about that. I don’t enjoy it. This isn’t a fun process, but it’s so important because it really comes down to, as Matthew as you said, you’re not handing the most value to these people.

These people that you need to graduate, that’s what we call it in our firm. Instead of firing, we graduate them onto another stage in their life. But really, they’re not drinking your Kool-Aid. They are not believing in everything that you’re doing. And you’re not able to add the most value to their lives relative to the 99% of your other clients. This is the 1% of your clients, maybe even one in your firm, that’s a pain in the rear. They undo some of your planning. They make things difficult for your team and you really can’t add that value because you’re not looking forward to meeting with them. You know it’s going to be a fight when you go through things. All of these things which make them more challenging to help them succeed means you’re not able to add massive value to their situation.

Matthew Jarvis: 06:17 That’s a really good point Micah. I’ll have to confess that earlier in my career when I would graduate clients, I like that terminology. I really focused on it, and it’s almost a confession from my part. I love your angle thereof I’m really not delivering massive value if we’re not a good fit. I started looking at it from the angle of what’s the cost to me as a professional by having this person as a client. Somebody that we had to graduate a few years ago … my team actually made this election and what it was is every time this individual called, everybody cringed. When they saw her name on the caller ID, when they saw her pulling up in the parking lot, I noticed that everybody in the office just cringed. And there were reasons for that, but I looked at and boy, you know, how much … I always got to be careful not getting too kumbaya and let’s hold hands on this, but what is the cost to my office of having this person? The toxicity that they’re bringing to my office.

And for me personally, it was about anybody who undermined my confidence. I think as a professional, our confidence is one of the most valuable things that we have. So, anybody who would come in and that would question my judgements, not in a curious way, but in a more critical way, I just couldn’t afford to have that person as a client. I couldn’t afford to have somebody that undermined my confidence, especially during the financial crisis, but any time. I think one of the reasons we get hung up on advisors is that we just look at the revenue side of it. And because we don’t have a lot of incremental costs, having a client doesn’t have a lot of incremental costs to your practice, but it can have a dramatic cost to your psyche and to your team. And you’ve got to really weigh that out and say hey, if this client is paying me x a year. Somebody offered me, “Hey, I’m going to send this difficult person to your practice. They’re going to belittle your staff. They’re going to undermine your confidence. And in exchange for that, we’ll pay you $5,000 a year.” Would you take that offer?

The answer is probably no. So, you shouldn’t keep that offer.

Micah Shilanski: 08:12 When we’re talking about buying or selling investments, right? One of the things that I always say is if you wouldn’t buy it again today, it’s probably a good reason to sell it. Same concept that I think applies to clients, even staff. Your team. If you wouldn’t rehire them today, if you wouldn’t rework with that client today and jump at that opportunity, that by itself is a really good sign as to you know what? This probably isn’t a good fit. So, you don’t need to over complicate this. That’s another thing advisors do when they go in and they’re getting greedy that they need to get rid of some clients. They start justifying. We start justifying all these reasons that we need to keep this client on board.

And we make it way too complex. So, Matthew, what do you say? Let’s go through some signs that people should be looking at, some issues, some clues that could pop up that are first indicators that maybe this person isn’t a good fit for our practice and we should look at graduating them. What do you think?

Matthew Jarvis: 09:12 Yeah, that would be good. I really loved, Micah, this example you gave that would you hire this client today? If the answer is no, then that’s probably a really good sign. So, let’s take that as your first one. I would recommend … remember this podcast is all about taking action, massive action. So, I would recommend first action step out of this podcast, print a list of all your clients and use Micah’s threshold, that qualified: hey, would I hire this client again? If this person came in brand new, would I hire them?

And by the way, I would suggest you have your team do the same exercise. But Micah, to your question, indicators. I offered one a few minutes ago. If you see their name pop up on the caller ID, or if you see their name on your appointment schedule and you cringe just a little bit, I would say that’s a major indicator.

Micah Shilanski: 09:59 I agree. Actually, when clients are hiring us, we talk about firing clients to begin with. I want them to know what that looks like as well if it doesn’t work out. I like to call it my red-light rule, Matthew. So, if my red light goes off on my phone, meaning I have a message and I say, “Oh, God. I hope it’s not Jarvis calling me again.” Right? Now, all of a sudden, I don’t even see your name on the caller ID, but if that’s my instant concern, this is not a good fit. Right? Because if I start begrudging your phone call, I am not going to jump to the opportunity to return your call. I’m not going to jump to the opportunity to return your email. I’m not going to jump at the opportunity to do these things. Hence, I’m not adding massive value to your situation.

So, if even before seeing the caller ID, that you get this concern, these gut feelings, “Oh I hope X client didn’t call me,” they should probably be on that list then. You need to graduate them.

Matthew Jarvis: 10:52 That’s a great example.

Micah Shilanski: 10:54 Yeah. I’d also add to that one of the things that is kind of big. It’s really helped me zone in on the right clients in prospect meetings. I call this macro versus micro point of views. Whenever I’m sitting in client meetings, I want to start at the big picture, and let’s make sure we all agree on the 30,000 [inaudible 00:11:12] view and then we’ll dive down into the details and an action plan.

But if we can’t agree on the big picture, there’s no point in talking about details. And for me, whenever someone doesn’t want to get into the big picture, and all they want to do is get down to the details, micro is more important than macro, for me this is a huge sign that this isn’t bad about them. They’re not a bad person. This is I am not going to be able to communicate with them. I am not going to be able to relate to them in certain ways and especially in difficult times. In the last how many years the market’s been up, we haven’t had a difficult time. When that time comes, if they’re so focused on details that they can’t look at the big picture, they’re not a good fit for our firm.

So that’s one of our key signs that we have our team look at, because Jarvis you [inaudible 00:11:57] this out before, they are much better at finding these clients and saying these are the ones that really aren’t a good fit than you are. But, if they’re ones that can’t look at the big picture, they’re ones that probably are going to go. They’re not going to fit in our firm.

Matthew Jarvis: 12:10 Micah, could you give us a specific example of that? The big picture, the macro versus the micro? I just want to make sure that everybody is following you. Are you looking at long term [crosstalk 00:12:21]? What’s an example of that?

Micah Shilanski: 12:24 Well most of our clients are focused on retirement. So, what’s your big retirement goal? What’s your big retirement picture? Then what we do is we come out with their own customized benchmark. Let’s just take this on the investment side because that’s what we all deal with, make it real easy for an example. So, we come up with a client that says, “Okay, Mr. And Mrs. Client, your benchmark is, you need to be doing six and a half and seven and a half percent rate of return. If you get that every year, then you’re going to be on track for retirement. Let’s make this easy.”

Well, if we say that and they say yes, they agree to that, but then all of a sudden, they need to get into all the details and they don’t understand why a diversified portfolio, not everything goes up at the same time. And they start really diving into the details. And you step back and say, “No. Hold on a second. Overall, you hit seven percent. That’s right mid-range. Let’s go ahead and remember the big picture. This is where we want to go. It’s okay that things are different.” They’re like, “No, no, no. I don’t want to talk about that. I only want to talk about this one piece. Why isn’t this working?”

They’re missing the big picture. They can’t get on board with that big picture. They’re not going to be a good fit for our client because our clients are delegators. I don’t need someone to come in and have a great discussion about sharp ratios and trainers and [inaudible 00:13:33] in office. That’s not what my client discussions are like. So, if that’s what they’re looking for, we’re not a good fit. They want to get involved in detail versus on that big picture design.

So, we know they’re not going to be a big fit for our firm. Does that make sense?

Matthew Jarvis: 13:47 Yeah, that’s a great example. So, if they’re not actually a delegator, if they came in thinking they were a delegator and it turns out they’re not, that’s a great example. Thank you for giving us a specific … one of my criteria that’s related to that is that anybody who won’t follow my advice is automatically gone.

Micah Shilanski: 14:07 Yes.

Matthew Jarvis: 14:07 Now, there are definitely situations where there are a range of options. For example, I was meeting with some clients just yesterday and they’ve been retired for many years and they’re not taking any income from their portfolio and I say, “Boy, Dave and Sue, you really should take some income from your portfolio, so we don’t just leave this all to your kids.” Right. Our discussion about you can’t take it with you. And they said, “No, we’re just going to keep letting that roll over.” All right, that’s fine.

I don’t take that as questioning my judgment or not following my advice because that’s more of a lifestyle decision. But Micah to your point, if I said, “Boy, we’re going to invest in this,” and they said, “Well, you know Matthew, I don’t know if I really want 12% International. I think I want 11%.” Then we’ve got a real problem there. Or if I say, “Hey, you’ve got to get new estate documents.” And they say, “you know, I’m not going to worry about that,” so I have recommendations that if they’re not followed, we just cannot work together for a lot of reasons. One, and Micah you bring this up again and again, if they’re not following my advice, why did they hire me? Right? I’m not bringing massive value.

The other is, it’s creating a huge risk for my firm. There’s this huge risk that if they don’t follow my advice and something happens, which inevitably does, whoever is left picking up the pieces is going to come and point the gun at me. And what is my defense? So, I just don’t want to ever be in that position.

Micah Shilanski: 15:21 And very rarely will a client ever remember what you told them to do and they didn’t do.

Matthew Jarvis: 15:27 Sometimes they will right.

Micah Shilanski: 15:28 But very rarely will they not. So, Jarvis, I’m going to add to that, not only if they don’t follow your advice, I agree they’re out. But also, if they start to undo the plan. Maybe they did it, but now they’re back pedaling and undoing things. And if you undo something … unless there was a life-changing circumstances, right? Come on guys I know-

Matthew Jarvis: 15:46 Of course-

Micah Shilanski: 15:47 [inaudible 00:15:47] out there. But, short of a life changing circumstance, if you start undoing the plan, that’s it. We’re going to have one conversation about this to find out why, because I just don’t want to jump the gun and terminate when it doesn’t make sense. We’ll have one conversation. If we keep doing it, nope, I’m sorry. You’re wasting my time, I’m wasting your money. I don’t want to waste your money, let’s get a better fit for you.

Matthew Jarvis: 16:14 Yeah. And I can confess, I look at almost first from this massive liability that it’s creating. Other examples of that would be clients that want to panic sell or greed buy, that’s non-negotiable. I won’t even place those trades. So, they say, “Hey, I want to do this.” It would be, “Oh, we can’t. That’s not your plan.” Right back Micah, to your point, the macro level. We agreed on this. “Yeah, I know we agreed on it Matthew, but I want to do this instead.” “I can’t do that. I’ll resign from your accounts today and you can call the custodian later today and they’ll place those trades for you, but I just can’t be part of that.”

Micah Shilanski: 16:47 Yeah. Can’t be part of that.

Matthew Jarvis: 16:50 Any other examples, Micah, of?

Micah Shilanski: 16:53 The only other one that we’re thinking about, we have this for prospects. We don’t have a hard rule for clients, but it’s a tell-tell sign. We’re thinking about making it a hard rule, but again, it’s like once every two or three years it comes up is canceling and no-showing appointments.

Matthew Jarvis: 17:07 Oh, sure.

Micah Shilanski: 17:09 [crosstalk 00:17:09] actually cancel or no-show appointments. No-showing really gets me unless there’s a serious issue, that really bothers me. But this issue of canceling and no-showing appointments without a real reason, they’re not a good fit. They’re wasting your time. But more importantly than wasting your time, what the client is telling you without really telling you that this is not important. They’re planning with you is not important. And that’s okay. But then quit wasting their money. If it’s not important to them, quit wasting their money and they need to go somewhere else so it’s not a waste.

Because those are the same type of people that when something happens that they missed two meetings and you would have handled this, but now all of a sudden it’s a crisis and they’ve got to get you on the phone today because they haven’t seen you in six months or whatever and now XYZ has happened and they’ve got to talk to you about it. So now it’s become an emergency because they’re canceling and no-showing.

PART 1 OF 3 ENDS [00:18:04]

Micah Shilanski: 18:00 So now it’s become an emergency because they’re canceling or no-showing. So, we have our prospects, we have a 24/48, don’t quote me that, it’s one of the two, I forget if it’s 24- or 48-hour policy that, I think it’s 48, that if they cancel within 48 hours without a real reason, there is no reschedule option. They’re off the calendar, they’re done. So if it’s a real reason that’s come up, they’re welcome to tell us about it and then we can eventually get them back on the calendar, but if it’s they didn’t get their homework done, or they just need to change it for no reason whatsoever, they’re off the calendar and they don’t have the opportunity to come back on. We’re very clear about this. Our relationship managers are very, very clear when they’re setting these appointments, that the prospects know these rules going into it, communication.

Matthew Jarvis: 18:47 I got to confess, I always really admire that your outlook on this, as it relates to what’s in the best interests of the client. And I know that should be across the board, but as you walked through that scenario of “Hey if they don’t show up, then they may not do what they need to do.” For me I look at it like, well if you don’t have that level of respect for me to show up for your appointments, then we’re not going to work together. So, I have to admit, I look at this a little more selfishly, but whatever your angle is, whatever your motivation is, Micah’s point is really valid. If they’re not doing what you’ve outlined as important to do, in this example, showing up for appointments, then you’ve got to part ways.

Because inevitably you’re going to part ways and odds are it will not be under good circumstances, so be proactive and take that hard medicine now.

Micah Shilanski: 19:32 So we’ve gone through several examples right, if your staff doesn’t like them, if you wouldn’t rehire them today, if they’re concerned about micro versus macro, they’re not showing up for appointments, they don’t do what you say, I’m sorry, they don’t follow your advice or they’re undoing your advice, these are all signs that these aren’t the right fit for your firm.

So, if that’s the case then Jarvis, how do you have that conversation? Do you just remove your name from their account, block them from caller ID and get their emails rejected and go to spam, or –

Matthew Jarvis: 20:02 – Don’t they call that ghosting? Is that what that’s called now. Ghosting somebody.

Micah Shilanski: 20:07 That’s right.

Matthew Jarvis: 20:08 That’s a great question and this by the way, is an area to proceed with very much caution. We want to be very delicate here. The last thing you want to do is to upset someone in this process and then have then decide, I really did think that was a bomb, it’s time for me to file a complaint about it, so we do need to proceed with caution and most-

Micah Shilanski: 20:27 Also, pardon me, [inaudible 00:20:29] a bad aspect of the industry, right? We do a great job and it’s okay that you don’t work with everyone. It’s okay that someone’s not a good fit for you and that’s really, really, sorry I’m getting on my soapbox again, but I want them to get help somewhere else and it’s okay it’s not with you.

Matthew Jarvis: 20:50 I’m glad you said that, because not only do I not want a complaint, but I don’t want them out there bad mouthing me. I don’t want comment and I want to take care of them. I want them to say all right, well I worked with Matthew and it really wasn’t a good fit, but he was a good guy and he took care of me, and he set me in the right direction.

So specific to how we do it, we have a letter that we send out that’s very similar to the letter that Nick Murray has in the back of his book, Behavioral Investment Counseling, that’s the blue one, and it basically says, Mr. and Mrs. Clients, we’ve worked together for a while and I’m really committed to always doing what’s best for my clients and after taking a close look at our relationship, I’ve realized that we’re just really not a good fit. I’m really just not able to deliver what you need and as such, I need to resign from this account. But a couple of things, I want to make sure that you’re taken care of. I’ve found another adviser that I think is a better fit and here’s his or her name, and as a gesture of good faith, we’ll be refunding the entire last quarter’s fee back to your account. At the end of this period of time, we’ll be retiring as your adviser.

At the end of the quarter usually. And if you find somebody new, we’ll be glad to help transfer your accounts. Anything we can do to facilitate that, if you don’t, Fidelity is our custodian. Fidelity has a team that will help take care of you and we wish you all the best and we hope that you understand what’s going on.

So that’s kind of the letter that we send them and that’s my last contact, because I don’t want to … what will happen is sometimes they’ll say, oh Matthew you misunderstood me, this won’t be a problem again. No, I’m sorry, once that letter has gone out, that is the end. There’re no take backs.

Micah Shilanski: 22:29 You refund their last quarter fee and then you’re going to send them … let’s just be exact with this for a minute. So, let’s say it’s October, you just billed them for for fourth quarter, because you’re doing the billing in advance, and then you send them this letter. Are you just refunding fourth quarter, or are you going to refund, because it’s April right, I mean you just billed it, you have to refund that one, are you going to refund third quarter as well?

Matthew Jarvis: 22:50 I just refund for the current quarter and part of that is, some of that is good will, some of that is just to make my life easier. The last thing I want to do is have to show to an auditor how we calculate the pro-rata reimbursements.

Micah Shilanski: 23:02 Okay, so you’re going to refund it, you’re going to send them a letter, pointing them in someone else’s direction. You’re not really telling them why you’re not a good fit, you’re just saying hey it’s not a good fit, I refunded your quarter fees, call Bob or Sue and best of luck to you. I wish you nothing but the best.

Matthew Jarvis: 23:23 Yes, and the handful of times I’ve done that, most of them just kind of go quietly into the night, every once in a while, somebody calls and they’re pretty miffed that they were let go and I don’t ever make my team take that call, I take care of that. Because again, I don’t put anything on my team that I wouldn’t take care of myself. Again, I explain to them, I’m really hard, you know, I’m really sorry about this. I’ve got to make some changes in my practice and my life. I don’t think I’m doing the best I can for you and I’m really committed to only working with people that I can do the very best work for.

Micah Shilanski: 23:56 So you’re not saying it’s because you missed the last three appointments and called me because you had an IRS letter and had to get it done that day and said this. You’re not nailing them for things, you’re just … I feel this is important, so I want to reiterate it. You’re just saying hey this is not a good fit for us and you’re being very broad and moving them somewhere else.

Matthew Jarvis: 24:15 Yeah, because if I give a specific point, and this goes the same with your increasing fees or anything else, if I give specific points, those now become points of debate and points of argument. And it’s never just one thing, it’s usually several things. But it doesn’t really matter. It’s my practice, anybody that I don’t feel like I can work with, I have no obligation to work with them and I don’t need to justify that either.

Not to put a hard line on that, but that’s my approach to it. Micah, how about yours? How does your … so if you need to graduate a client, I love that terminology, how does that work?

Micah Shilanski: 24:46 Sometimes Matthew I hear what you say, and I wish I could have your courage just to send out a blanket letter and call it a day.

Matthew Jarvis: 24:53 I don’t know if it’s courage or not, but –

Micah Shilanski: 24:56 I feel I need to absorb more of that and have pain. I bring them in for a client meeting. Warily or I will call them if they’re no-showing and say look you need to come in. I need you on the phone, I got to set something up, and put urgency in there. Then I’ll have a meeting with them and I always start off a meeting with what are their questions or concerns. I want to make sure I’m adding value in every meeting I have, so even if I know I’m going graduate them, I’m still going to help them with planning items, if it comes up in that conversation.

And then really what I go to do, is I try to make it their idea in there, unless it needs to be a hard fire, because I just need them off my books, like today, which really doesn’t happen. But if it’s not a good fit, I make it their idea and I kind of bring up several things about our planning and say well look, you kind of did this, why, you did this why. And I ask them why and see the big picture. Then I bring up and say look you’re paying me a lot of money, I don’t want to waste, do you really think it’s worth paying me this? And is it really worth it for you to do this right now? And I give them the opportunity to back out of this.

One of the things that’s really important, I think, is allowing your clients to save face, not making it their fault. I know sometimes it’s a little bit harder to do than it is to say but giving them the opportunity to back out of the arrangement with you and allowing them to go somewhere else.

So, we talk about it, because again I want to add that massive value. Then I kind of bring up that maybe it’s just not a good fit. Most of the time clients will take the lead on that and then we’ll talk about disengaging our services and splitting ways and going away as friends. Some of the times I’ve had to take … it wasn’t very clear, and I had to be very clear and then fire client. More in your style of saying, sorry you need to go away, this is when our service is terminated. But I try to do it in a meeting by making it their idea.

Matthew Jarvis: 26:50 I’m curious Micah, have you ever had that meeting and you couldn’t get ’em to let go. That’s my fear, they’ll have that meeting and I’ll lose my nerve, or they’ll talk me out of it and then they’ll leave. And I’ll think gosh, dang it, now I still got to fire them.

Micah Shilanski: 27:08 Well foresee mechanisms right. We have a staff meeting, a team meeting and I let the team know generally in advance that we’re going to be letting a client go. Or maybe the team has come to me and said we need to let a client go, then all right I need to take that. And now I’m committed because I’ve made that commitment. I’ve already said why to my team, why would I go back on what I said to them. What changed in that client meeting that made it. This isn’t because someone missed an appointment. This isn’t something intentional like that. This is a big reason we’re not adding the value in which we can justify the fee which we’re charging. Therefore, they need to go somewhere else.

I think that’s an example of, oh I’m gonna hit your pet peeve right here Jarvis, I’m gonna use the “F” word. That’s an example of fiduciary. Because really, you’re putting yourself out there saying, no I’m not doing this, I’m not adding this value, you’re becoming fiduciary. And there has been one time where the client didn’t get it and I had to tell him, that at the end of this week we’re terminating services and their account will be householded at Schwab, that’s our custodian, and they could do it, but we’re not doing anything else with it. I was a little bit more abrupt, she wasn’t getting it.

Matthew Jarvis: 28:16 Wow, good for you. I mean we joked about which approach is more crazy. I should be really honest, it’s just me being vulnerable to our listeners, that if I’m being honest, I really don’t have the courage to do that. I don’t want to have that discussion, I don’t want to see the disappointment in their eyes, I don’t want them to talk me out of it. I’m just being real honest with everybody.

I admire Micah for having the fortitude or, the masochism for wanting to just do that, whichever it is. By the way I think this is one of the beauties of the pod cast, and I don’t want to pat ourselves on the back, but Micah and I, our practices at their foundation are nearly identical, eerily similar, and yet our implementation is suited perfectly to our own personality types.

As your listener and you’re looking for action, you say all right, Micah’s approach really resonates with me. That approach strikes me as having the most integrity, doing the best for my client. Great.

Or you might say, boy I’m like Matthew, I also don’t have enough courage to do that and I’d love to do it Micah’s way, but you have two examples of implementation of the same core strategy.  Micah and I both have the same beliefs on who needs to stay and who needs to go, and we just have different ways of implementing that.

Micah Shilanski: 29:27 One of the things I think is really important and I want to bring up right here Jarvis, is a little client story if I may.

Matthew Jarvis: 29:32 Please.

Micah Shilanski: 29:32 That actually turned direction and it turned out to be a great relationship and that’s one of the reasons I had these. This was a little different as a prospect, and as you said earlier on, you don’t dump things on your team right. Your team’s job is to support you in so many different ways and they do a great job of that and you don’t want to dump them with someone that’s not happy, that’s unloading on them. So, anything comes up with that, number one, all my clients know you don’t dump on my team. If there is a problem, you come to me and I will fix it. You don’t get mad at them.

I came out of an appointment and I went up to and I could tell one of my relationship managers was having a really difficult conversation, I came back through and she was still having a very difficult conversation, so I leaned over and listened at the receiver to find out who she was talking to. I didn’t recognize the voice and this guy was going off on her and I said, who is this? She puts it on mute and says, this guy called in he wants to meet with you and he’s freaking out about this prospect.

Matthew Jarvis: 30:32 Oh I love this story. It’s one of my favorite stories.

Micah Shilanski: 30:37 Right, right. So, I was like, all right, put him on hold, because he was just unloading on my team and I don’t have it.

Matthew Jarvis: 30:41 Just to be really clear for everybody that’s listening. This is not a client, right?

Micah Shilanski: 30:46 This is not a client.

Matthew Jarvis: 30:47 This is not even somebody you’ve ever talked to before.

Micah Shilanski: 30:49 No, no, they called us. They were not in our CRM, they were in no prospecting list. They called us and wanted to meet with me.

I get on the phone and say this is Micah, and let’s call him Bob. Bob was very aggressive, I didn’t know I was going to get you. And I was like, well how can I help you? I want to meet with you. I said, you know what, I don’t think it’s going to work. He said what. I said, look I overheard a little bit of your conversation and no-one talks to my team that way. That is completely unprofessional, it was flat out rude. Now I’ll eat crow in a second Bob, if you tell me I’m wrong, but we did not call you. He said no, but I don’t want to pay this $500 fee to come meet with you. I said, great Bob, you don’t have to. He said I don’t, I said, no. You don’t have to come see me.

We didn’t call you, we didn’t send you anything you called us. I said you don’t have permission to unload on my staff because you don’t like our fee structure. Don’t call us. And generally, I’m not this gruff, but he really upset with going off on my team. Because again, we very much want to protect them, that’s something they don’t have to deal with, that always goes to me. So, he sat back, there’s this long moment of silence and he said, Micah I’m sorry. I apologize, you are correct, I should not have done that. It really caught me off guard. I got upset because something else happened in my life and I shouldn’t have been mad, and I will get on the phone and I will apologize with your team, because you’re right.

And that set me back a little bit, because there was no way I was going to engage with this dude, I don’t do that. But he was able to own up that he screwed up, he was able to apologize because he made a mistake. Okay, these are good characteristics. So, then we talked through. He ended up coming in for a meeting, then he wanted to hire us, and I said, look I don’t know. He paid for the appointment which was great, but I then I was like, I don’t know if it’s going to work. And I explained everything what happened, and his wife didn’t know about all of this and she blew up at him in the meeting. Don’t you dare do that. Micah, if he’s ever a problem call me, and I will take care of him.

But ever since then, setting this tone of communication and setting expectations with him has really shaped, and we’ve been clients now for like six years. Great client, wonderful guy. He just got a little gruff one day for whatever reason.

That’s kind of the reasons I have some of these conversations, I think is the one in a million chance that it comes out this other way, is that sometimes when you reset the tone with people they will better understand what the rules are for communication, what the rules are for working and they can become really good clients. But you got to set those expectations so everyone’s happy.

Matthew Jarvis: 33:28 That’s a great story, it’s one of my favorites. It’s a good point that you bring up that we really need to own, and this is back to the extreme ownership, we need to own making sure that clients understand the rules of the game, if you will.

They may or may not be clear in our mind, but there’s no way for the client to know unless we explain it to them and explain it to them again and again. Just like we have to explain their financial plan again and again. If a client breaks the rules if you will, of course, one you need to be really clear on what the rules are for yourself. But to let them know. Say hey you know, you mention this idea of selling before the market turns down, we don’t do that. I just want you to be really clear that if you call me and say you want to do that, we just don’t do that. Or whatever the rule is, whatever your rules are, I think it’s a good point Micah. Making sure people know it and giving them a chance to get back in line with the rules if you will.

Micah Shilanski: 34:21 If they still, or overall, go back to that first test, right. Of saying would you bring them on as another client today. And if that answer is yes, but they’re breaking the rules. This is the example to use. Go back to ’em, reset what those rules are, see if you can get back on that right footing. If you can awesome. If not, you got to graduate them.

Jarvis, a couple of things I wanted to bring up if you don’t mind.

Matthew Jarvis: 34:43 Please.

Micah Shilanski: 34:44 When I talk to other advisers some of the concerns they don’t say, but I can hear in their underlying tone is they’re really scared of giving up the money. They’re giving up the assets, they’re giving up the revenue and most of them don’t actually know how much revenue it is. They know the assets, but they don’t know what the revenue is, that’s a different podcast.

Really one of the things to think about, inside here, not only their liability, not to your reputation, to your U4, right. Because now you’re having inconsistent levels of service and maybe not delivering that massive value that’s going to be there. They’re creating a liability for you, but if you’re still so hung up on the revenue, and I got this from my coach Joe Lucas, do a one for one.

Bring on a new client. Give yourself permission to get rid of one of the clients. So, if you have that list that you need to get rid of three or four graduation conversations with these clients. Then have that deadline and share with your team a forcing mechanism, because once we bring on our clients right, we bring on our next client, I’m going to have that conversation with Bob as a graduation conversation.

That a way you can give yourself permission right now to make that segue way. What do you think?

Matthew Jarvis: 35:54 Yeah, I think that’s a great idea and related to your comment on revenue, I always recommend when advisers are looking at this client client, Nick Murray talks about it

PART 2 OF 3 ENDS [00:36:04]

Matthew Jarvis: 36:00 I always recommend when advisors are looking at this client list … Nick Murray talks about every year on your birthday you should fire your biggest PITA. I always recommend you look at that client list without any revenue or AUM or any financial numbers. Just look at that list strictly from, to your point, Micah, would I hire this person again. Because if you look at the numbers and you say “Ah, I’d really want to get rid of this guy, but its $20,000 a year in revenue. It’s my biggest client. I can’t afford to do it.” Then you’ve lost a little piece of kind of your integrity, if you will, and it just doesn’t work out.

Micah Shilanski: 36:35 On the revenue side, one of the things you need to think about is never have a client that’s worth more than 4% of your revenue because if you have a client that’s worth, now [inaudible 00:36:45] a handful of clients, right? In that one or two clients is worth 25, 35% of their revenue, then they sweat bullets and can’t sleep at night because if they lose that client, they’re going to have a major issue. Yeah, I could see how that’s a concern. So maybe what they need to do is grow their book in a way or change it, but never have a client worth more than 4%. Now, did I say fire your top client? No. Go get more clients.

Matthew Jarvis: 37:10 Go get more.

Micah Shilanski: 37:12 If they’re an ideal client, I’m not saying fire them because they pay you too much or lower your fee. I didn’t say either of that. Go get more clients. Level up that playing field in that capacity. But don’t have a client worth more than 4% of your revenue.

Matthew Jarvis: 37:25 Yeah, that’s real interesting. I mean, Nick Murray talks about one of the reasons that advisors are hesitant to fire clients that aren’t a good fit, that aren’t following their advice, is that they’re just not bringing in enough, right? They’re not prospecting enough, and so they’re afraid that if they lose revenue, they’ll never replace that. That, as to your earlier point, Micah, is a whole other podcast on keeping that pipeline full. But you shouldn’t ever be beholden to a client. I never looked at it as a percentage or a dollar amount, just for my own practice. But to your point, it there’s a client where I think boy, I’ve got to do whatever they want, or I’ll lose them, and I can’t afford to lose them, we’ve got a big problem there.

Micah Shilanski: 38:01 Yeah. I know every time that I have had to graduate a client and had that, I don’t enjoy it, especially since I do it from the masochist way. Is that what you said, right?

Matthew Jarvis: 38:10 Right. That’s right.

Micah Shilanski: 38:10 [crosstalk 00:38:10] from having that. I don’t enjoy that at all, but every time I do it’s amazing of that abundance that happens afterwards. That now, all of a sudden, I get more ideal clients that come in. Now I have another opening to allow that perfect fit because there’s more. There’re more ideal clients that are out there for me. There’re more ideal clients that are out there for you, and if you’re so caught up with these PITA clients, right, these pain in the rear-end clients that are causing you issues in your firm, you are not going to get your ideal clients.

Now, you’ve screwed up multiple ways, right? You’ve screwed up your team because you’re giving them a pain in the butt client to deal with. It screws up your head trash in dealing with these people. You’re not actually helping them add massive value because they’re not following their advice, and your ideal client doesn’t get to work with you, and you can’t help them. So what good is it by having these people? There’s nothing good that comes from that. If you have a good argument, let us know, right? Come back to us and say, “No, this is why to keep that.” I’d love to hear that.

Matthew Jarvis: 39:08 Yeah. No, that would be great. You and I were joking the other day when we were talking about anytime that you have to let go of one client, usually three more appear in the place, which, by the way, don’t count on that formula, right? Don’t think well, I’ve got 100 clients now. I’ll fire 100, and I’ll get 300. That’s not what this is about. Well, Micah, do you think we could cover a couple of specific examples on the tail-end of this podcast? Maybe people in your practice that you’ve had to graduate, maybe give us a little background on why and how that worked in your own practice. I’ve got a few from mine as well.

Micah Shilanski: 39:41 Sure. Well, I have one that I recently had to graduate, so I can take that one. Really what had happened in this, and again, the first thing in my point of view that you have to do when you graduate a client is own up to the fact that you screwed up. You shouldn’t have brought them on as a client. So, I’ve got to back and say why did I do this at the time, but I did it. So, I brought on a client, and it was a case that I really connected with one spouse, not so much with the other one, and I was connecting really good with one spouse. It was the husband in this case, and we were on the same page with so much I was missing the warning signs that the spouse wasn’t on all of the same pages. This can create issues, right?

So, we’re getting down the planning process, and really know what’s happening is the spouse is causing a lot of issues and back-peddling and not wanting to do things. Now, one of the reasons I will fire a client in a heartbeat, fire not graduate, if you violate my moral compass, right? If you do things that are not morally ethical, then you’re gone. I have zero qualms with that. One of them is not taking care of your family. This is my point of view, right? But it’s my practice. I get to make these decisions. If you are in a position where if something happens to you, your spouse and your dependent children, not adult children, your dependent children need you and you’re planning for them, I have a very big problem with this, and I am not going to work with you. I’m not going to work with someone that puts their family in that difficult place.

So really what’s happening now is we were on that same page, but she had some warning signs, and now she’s coming out wanting to undo estate planning. Now, they’re coming through and not wanting to do insurance because they just don’t want to pay for it when there’s a clear need that if one of them passes away, it’s going to put the survivor in a pretty difficult position. That said, they can be on track for retirement, the long-term, which is cool, but in the short-term they don’t want to take care of these survivor needs. So that’s a big issue for me. So, we had to have a graduation conversation. It didn’t go too well. They weren’t too thrilled.

Matthew Jarvis: 41:41 Really?

Micah Shilanski: 41:41 Yeah, they weren’t too thrilled with it. Refunding planning fees, and I don’t have an issue with that because again, I’m going to take the higher road, right? I’m going to take the higher road to do this but say, “Look, you’re undoing the planning. That means that this isn’t important to you.” “No, no, no, it really is important.” “No, if it was important, you would have left it in place, but there’s no reason to undo it except for the fact that you just don’t want to pay insurance premiums, and you’re taking things out of the trust.” There’re no reasons to do this. So, they’re taking things out of the trust. They’re canceling life insurance. I mean, doing all these things that make zero sense whatsoever. I’m going to back out of that. So that’s one that I’ve recently gone through.

Matthew Jarvis: 42:17 That’s an interesting example, Micah, because maybe another planner might make a case that they didn’t need that much life insurance so that they could weigh out the risk and reward. But I like that you said hey, this is how I run my practice, right? These are my priorities, and I can only work with people who share those priorities. This isn’t about you saying well, how did you vote in the last election or what is your take on this, that or the other, right? It’s not really that kind of-

Micah Shilanski: 42:39 [crosstalk 00:42:39] your religion or anything else [crosstalk 00:42:41] with that, yeah.

Matthew Jarvis: 42:41 Yeah, that’s right. Yeah, I think that’s a good point. That goes back to people following your recommendations. If you believe that X, Y or Z is what a client needs to do, then you have a moral obligation, and we could even daresay a fiduciary obligation, which I think is one of the most overused words in our industry, but we’ll save that for another podcast. You really have an obligation there to do the right thing. If they’re not willing to do that, you need to be willing to give them the tough medicine of saying hey, I just cannot facilitate you making such grievous financial mistakes.

Micah Shilanski: 43:11 I mean, think about it from a doctor, right? If you go against the doctor’s advice, they are supposed to have you sign off on an AMA letter against medical advice. You’re doing something against their advice. That’s there. We have a same responsibility as financial advisors, and I think you have … This is my opinion. You have an obligation to tow that line, and it’s not enough to say it was super important, you’ve got to do this. You don’t want to do it? Okay. Well, then why did I recommend it?

Matthew Jarvis: 43:35 Yeah, that’s right.

Micah Shilanski: 43:36 Why? I have no love for insurance companies. I have no desire for you to patron them if you don’t have to, but why did I expend all that time recommending it and going through it if I wasn’t passionate about you had to have it? It’s less on the life insurance. It’s more on the estate planning side that they’re screwing up, which bothers me. So, these are the concerns that are there, and you’ve got to tow that line.

Matthew Jarvis: 43:57 Yeah, you really do. You really do.

Micah Shilanski: 43:57 What about yourself?

Matthew Jarvis: 44:00 Yeah, I’ll give you a little bit different example. I mentioned earlier in the podcast about a client that my team cringed on. By the way, at the time, that was one of my top 10 clients. I told my team, “Hey, this is one of our top 10 clients from revenue, but if it’s an issue, we’re going to let her go.” We did, and better clients came. But I want to give a little bit different example. Earlier in my career when was I transitioning my practice from more direct business, direct mutual fund business, things like that, to an AUM fee, there were several clients who did not want to make that transition. I said, “Hey, listen, this is kind of how we used to do it, and this is how we do it now. This is the way that we’re going, and if you want to go this way, that’s great. We’d love to have you go with us. If you don’t, then you need to go another direction. You need to find somebody else to work with.”

Micah, you and I had talked about this a little bit offline, how you would never fire a client just because they didn’t meet your new minimums, right? Which I know your minimums are progressively increasing. But this was a matter of I said, “My practice is evolving. We used to do business this way. We want you to join us. We didn’t tell you go away. We want you to join us, but if it doesn’t make sense for you to join us, and that’s your decision, then you’ll have to go a different way because we’re not going to compromise our standards in that area.” But it is a delicate area, right? I don’t want to just fire somebody because they now don’t meet my new minimum. It’s not about that. It’s sometimes your practice evolves, and not everybody can evolve with you.

Micah Shilanski: 45:24 That’s true, and I think those are different philosophical differences and changes, right? Oh boy, I could definitely be called a hypocrite for this one so fine if I am. On your end you need to do things that make sense for your firm, right?

Matthew Jarvis: 45:24 That’s right.

Micah Shilanski: 45:39 Also, this is my opinion, you have an obligation to take care of those that you said you were going to plan for to take care of. So that’s my reason for even though I have higher minimums going forward, I have clients that pay me less than their grandfather that’s going to be there, but that’s different. I engaged with them. I worked with them. They knew what it was. I told them I was going to be here for them, and I’m going to honor my commitment. But that’s different if your practice has to make a fundamental shift, right? Because you’re not telling them that they no longer meet a minimum, to go away. You’re saying I used to get paid this way. Now I’m going to get paid this way, and they’re saying no, I don’t want to pay you that way. That was that conversation.

Matthew Jarvis: 46:13 It really was. I run into this as I work with advisors throughout the industry. We’ll look at their clients, and we’ll realize that they have a lot of clients that they’re losing money on. Not just they’re not being as profitable as they’d like to be; they’re losing money. It’s some client that paid them a fee once upon a time, and they haven’t been charging them, and they’re using up a lot of their time. But there has to be a point where you say, “Hey, I’ve got extreme ownership. I brought this client in under false pretenses. I basically let them believe that they could pay me X one time, and they would have me forever.”

That can’t be the case. You can’t run a charity, and we’ll have to have a whole podcast on this. You can’t run a charity, and you have to have the courage to go back to them and say, “Hey, we were doing business that way, and now we’re doing it this way. We want you to come with us, but we can’t work for free here, right? That one- time planning fee you paid me three years ago, that’s now the end of that, and we’ve got to go on to a fee schedule that’s sustainable.”

Micah Shilanski: 47:08 That’s an old world, new world conversation, and I do view that differently than clients that don’t meet the minimums in my mindset because in my mindset they’re happy to pay you, right? That’s not the issue. Now, the issue is do they meet the minimums versus this is the issue; they’re not paying you. You can’t have clients that you’re losing money on. You’re going out of business. If you go out of business, you don’t help anybody.

Matthew Jarvis: 47:31 Yep. Let’s put it on the calendar. Let’s definitely do a podcast on the old world, new world and on transitioning clients to a different advisor as your practice evolves and how that can work. But, Micah, to kind of wrap up this podcast, any closing thoughts that you have on how to fire a client, and we can jump into some action items for those listening.

Micah Shilanski: 47:55 My only closing thought that is going to be here is that I want you to remember as you’re building your perfect RIA, you add massive amounts of value in people’s lives. It is okay that you don’t work with everyone because you can’t. You just can’t work with everyone on the globe. You’ve got to draw some lines somewhere. It is okay to get paid handsomely for what you do because you add massive amounts of value to clients, and you need to be able to make the decisions. Who’s going to be that ideal fit? Who’s not? It’s okay to graduate these clients that you’re not providing that massive value for. Give them permission to find their greater good somewhere else, and you get your greater good by getting your ideal clients that want to drink your Kool-Aid, that want to follow your advice, so you can make a meaningful impact in their life.

Matthew Jarvis: 48:51 Yeah. I joked about Micah being a masochist wanting to do those meetings right in person, but as an advisor there is no greater reward for suffering through a client who’s not a good fit, right? You’re not making yourself a better planner, a better fiduciary, a better whatever, by saying well, I’m really going to suffer through that client that abuses me. There’s no reward there. So, I agree with Micah. You deliver massive value, and you should only work with people who are willing to act on that massive value.

Micah Shilanski: 49:19 So I guess let’s move into action steps then, Jarvis.

Matthew Jarvis: 49:21 Yeah, let’s do. Let’s do. Well, I want to highlight again that first one that you suggested, which is look at your list of clients, and if there’s somebody on that list that you would not hire today with a big smile and excitement, then they need to go on your list of people that need to find a new home. Whether you use Micah’s approach of one-for-one, when you bring on a new client you let go of one that needs to go, or just say, “You know what? I’m going to take a leap of faith and clean out my practice.” Whichever approach look at that list.

Micah Shilanski: 49:48 Yeah, I like that. I’m going to add to that one as well. So, on yours, have your team look at the list. You look at the list. Give your team a blank list with just the names, not with your notes on it. Have them mark it up. Then the compare the two. They will give you some amazing insight. My second one that I’m going to say, so after you’ve gone through and say would you rehire those people or would you not, make a commitment to that graduation conversation. How are you going to have it, so you are consistent? Are you going to do a letter? Great. Type up your letter now. Jarvis gave you great example. You can use Nick Murray’s letter. If you’re going to have that in-person conversation, outline the agenda for that in-person conversation and what that’s going to be. That, I would say, would be your second biggest step. So, have that done so you know when it’s time to graduate that client what it’s going to look like.

Matthew Jarvis: 50:39 Yeah, I would say a third action item, and this could be an entire podcast on its own, you need to have really clearly and writing what your non-negotiable client standards are, right? Micah mentioned this idea, not idea, this standard, that if you’re not going to take care of your family, you’re not a good fit for Micah’s practice. You should have in writing in one page or less, say “Hey, this is the line in the sand, and no one will cross this.” That way, when someone tries to cross the line, you don’t find yourself in a situation where you say, “Well, I don’t know. Maybe they didn’t mean it. Maybe I’ll give them another chance.” You need to be really clear just like your investment policy statement, just like anything else, you need to be really clear on what’s a firing offense, if you will.

Micah Shilanski: 51:20 Yeah, I like that. So, this, of course, is a podcast about action, not just about hyperbole and talk. So, go out there and take action. Set forcing mechanisms in place. The best forcing mechanism I think for this is your team. Get your team involved with this process and commit to them of the things that you are going to do and how you’re going to do it.

Matthew Jarvis: 51:42 Love it. Love it. Just a couple of housekeeping items. In general, always thank you so much to our listeners. Our podcast is in the top 50% and climbing. If you know another advisor that would benefit from this, please send it their way. If you have a question for us, head on over to the Perfect RIA website and submit that in; a topic you’d like to see us cover, something we went over too quickly. Don’t bother sending requests in for us to slow down when we talk. That’s just not going to happen. But any other requests, please send them in.

Micah Shilanski: 52:13 Yeah and forward it to your friends. Again, we’re growing. Thank you again. Just saying again what Jarvis said, we’re growing in the podcast, and that’s about you and our listeners. So, go rate us five stars. If it wasn’t worth five stars, don’t waste your time doing anything.

Matthew Jarvis: 52:25 That’s right.

Micah Shilanski: 52:25 Five stars or none. Five-star ratings would be [inaudible 00:52:30].

Matthew Jarvis: 52:32 Yep. Micah, I think you cut off there for just a second, but the one last action item, we are sending regular emails to our subscribers with videos that Micah and I have recorded, training that we’ve recorded. So, if you’d like to get those things, copies of presentations we’ve done, just go to the Perfect RIA website and submit your email, and we’ll add you to that list, and you’ll get a lot of great information that won’t fit in the podcast format. So, on behalf of Micah and myself, thank you so much for tuning in, and continue to deliver massive value to clients with hyper-effectiveness so that you can live the life that you love. Until next time, take care.

Thanks, Eve. I’m not sure what happened to Micah there at the end, but I know you’ll make-

Micah Shilanski: 53:13 I’m still there.

Matthew Jarvis: 53:14 Oh, there you are.

Micah Shilanski: 53:16 Yeah.

Matthew Jarvis: 53:16 Cut off for just a second.

Micah Shilanski: 53:16 I don’t know why I cut out either. Oh, well, it’s Switzerland or Stuttgart or Salzburg or …

Matthew Jarvis: 53:23 Or this mute button I have over here. I’m done listening to Micah.

Micah Shilanski: 53:28 [inaudible 00:53:28], let’s hit this mute button.

Matthew Jarvis: 53:31 Right, right. That’s funny. Well, that was fun, Micah. These are always a great time.

Micah Shilanski: 53:37 Yeah, it is. So, this worked out fairly well on the time zone thing, too, so I think this could potentially work out for the other ones. So, I’m just sitting here drinking wine.

Matthew Jarvis: 53:44 Yeah. What time is it right now?

Micah Shilanski: 53:47 It’s 6:00.

Matthew Jarvis: 53:48 In the p.m., nice.

Micah Shilanski: 53:50 Yeah.

Matthew Jarvis: 53:52 Nice, nice, nice. Cool.

Micah Shilanski: 53:55 So I’ll shoot you-

PART 3 OF 3 ENDS [00:53:56]

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