How to find your ideal professional advisor

It’s not uncommon for clients to come to us feeling frustrated and less than satisfied with their professional advisors.

Although each case has a particular issue to deal with one thing is sure – they’re all irritated at being unable to get the outcome they want.

This is a common problem. It causes a great deal of angst and ongoing frustration that, as a business owner, you just don’t need. So what can you do to rectify this situation?

Take charge

If you’re really interested in making your relationship with your professional advisor work, there is one foundational rule that you need to be clear about. YOU have to take responsibility for what’s not working. This is crucial! Why? Because there’s no point in blaming your professional advisors for what’s not working. It won’t solve anything. It will just leave you powerless to impact the situation.

If you REALLY want to make a difference you’ll need to take charge. It’s your business after all. You have hired someone to do a job for you. It’s up to you to see the job is done as you want it done.

If you’re not happy with the results, then set a course to remedy it.

This could be as simple as ensuring you’ve provided an adequate brief, or making sure you get an answer that you understand. Perhaps you’ve never been specific about the results you want, or maybe you go along to meetings without being adequately prepared. Take a good look at what you can do to improve the situation.

Get the right person for the job

It’s important you get the right person for the job, and we’re not just talking about their qualifications. Equally important are their characteristics.

Do you know what attributes make up your ideal professional advisor?
Is it someone that understands your industry?
Does it matter whether their offices are close at hand or at the other end of the country?
Would it make a difference if he or she had 500 clients or are you looking for a boutique outfit with only a few clients?

It’s a good idea to draw up a list of criteria for your ideal professional advisor. Don’t just consider the physical characteristics (such as location, size of business), you also need to take into account their psychographic characteristics (ethics, integrity, the way they operate etc.) These are not quite so easy to identify. As an example they could include –

  • Committed to providing the best value for the client
  • Reliable
  • Understands the client’s needs
  • Confidentiality
  • Utmost integrity
  • Will do what’s best for the client, even if it’s not the way they usually do things
  • Able to explain things in a way the client understands

If you can find someone who ticks all the boxes you’re well on your way to getting the right professional advisor.

Do your existing advisors fit?

While you’re at it, don’t forget to match your existing advisors against your list.

If they fall short remember it’s not always wise to throw the baby out with the bathwater! Sometimes it’s better to focus on rectifying the things you’d like to improve on. Working towards a successful relationship with the advisors you’ve already got can sometimes be the best solution.

However, there can come a time when nothing seems to work. Maybe your business has grown and they haven’t kept up, maybe they just won’t listen. Maybe you can’t get them to talk in a language you understand. Sometimes, despite all your efforts, they just have to go.

If it does come to this, make sure any decisions you make in this regard are strategic, and not tactical or knee-jerk reactions. We’re not saying that having a list of your criteria for an ideal professional advisor is a fool-proof method of finding the right advisor, but it’s certainly better than blindly attaching yourself to the first one that comes along.

If you’d like information on this topic, you can find it here.

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