Advisor talks to white-haired couple

Moving to a New Firm? 5 Tips for Talking to Your Clients

You’ve done the research, and you know that moving to a new firm is the best decision for your business and your clients. For your clients, however, your plans to switch firms could raise questions — and even some concerns. How can you make sure your clients feel secure during this transition? These five tips can help you talk to your clients about your move to a new firm.

1.  Explain the Process

To prepare a client for the move, it’s essential to demystify what’s involved in the transition. Much of a client’s anxiety comes from the unknown. They may be wondering whether the process will be complicated, what aspects they might be responsible for and if there’s a lot of paperwork. Walk the client through the process step by step so they know what to expect and when.

Often all that’s required from a client to transition their portfolio is a signature; Farm Bureau can handle the rest, including requesting funds from the current firm and transferring investments. Your client may not be aware of just how seamless the transition can be.

2.  Discuss Timing

Most assets — stocks, options, bonds, mutual funds and exchange-traded funds — can be transferred in-kind between firms. That’s good news for the client, as they don’t have to worry about selling investments and transferring cash proceeds. However, there are certain assets that can’t be transferred directly, so let the client know that these may take more time to move.

Also, if the client’s current firm charges an annual fee and the client seeks to make a mid-year transition, it’s helpful to discuss what that means. For example, will fees be waived? Or is it smarter for a client to wait a few months before bringing over their portfolio?

3.  Be Candid About Fees

In-kind transfers make it much easier to transition portfolios and avoid the tax consequences of selling investments. But because certain investments, such as those that are proprietary or exclusive to a client’s current firm, don’t transfer in-kind, it’s best to be upfront about the costs the client could incur by moving their portfolio. Discuss sales charges, if any, for setting up new investments, close-out fees from the current firm and which fees Farm Bureau can reimburse after the transition. 

4.  Show the Value

Why should a client transfer their assets? Why should they trust you with their financial future? These are important questions that you’ll want to have compelling and authentic answers for. As with any big decision — whether it’s buying a new home or switching jobs — there are always little seeds of doubt that can creep in. To keep these from growing into full-blown panic, calm a client’s nerves by clearly demonstrating why moving their portfolio over is the right decision for them.

5.  Listen

Even though it’s important to help clients understand what you can offer them, it’s equally important to respond to the client’s unique needs. Consider these questions: Why should this client leave their current firm? What needs aren’t being met there? What are the client’s long-term objectives? When you take the time to discover what a client really wants from a relationship with you, you’ll be better equipped to serve them.  

Make the Move

When you become a Wealth Management Advisor at Farm Bureau, you’ll get around-the-clock support and the resources you need to build a thriving business. Learn more about the benefits of making the move to Farm Bureau.