I Don’t Like One of My Clients
Beverly Flaxington is a practice management consultant. She answers questions from advisors facing human resource issues. To submit yours, email us here.
Advisor Perspectives welcomes guest contributions. The views presented here do not necessarily represent those of Advisor Perspectives.
Have you encountered advisors who work with clients they don’t like? I have a new client who was referred by a long-time client, for whom I have great respect. He asked if I would work with a colleague of his who had recently gone through a divorce and had some significant wealth.
I met with this gentleman, “Guy,” and we had a good meeting. He clearly needed help that we could provide. He engaged us about three months ago. Based on the time we’ve worked together, I do not enjoy or like him. He is a big gun-nut and many meetings all he wants to do is talk about his guns. In a recent meeting, I made the error (I learned later it was an error) of asking him about legacy and about philanthropy. I won’t use his exact language (because your editor would strike it), but he isn’t someone who wants to give money away to anyone. He became enraged that I would suggest his money should take care of “namby-pamby’s” who don’t work for what they have. I did not suggest a charity, or talk about the importance of giving money away; I inquired as part of our process if he wanted to explore this.
I made a mistake in taking on Guy. But I don’t know how to undo it without making my client look bad. I fear Guy is the type of person who would go back and take it out on my client.
Is there a way to manage this? Do other advisors deal with this and what strategies are there to minimize the impact? I suck down a handful of Tums every time I get off Zoom or the phone with Guy. Luckily, he is a couple of states away, so we don’t have many in-person meetings, except when I first met him. But even with the distance he upsets me very much.