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  • Writer's pictureRichard DeSalvo

Lead with Confidence

Adapting to and embracing change

There is saying I like that says:

“There is no such thing as change, only one’s inability to adapt.”

Our ability to adapt is ultimately the choice of whether we will accept the new environment we are faced with.

As you decide to transition to another firm, it’s understood that you are thrusting change into your life. Yet, as you look toward the future, you can become a creature of habit and look to do things the way you used to. There are some top line reasons for this including fear of loss of control, fear of uncertainty, or fear of vulnerability. However, I have also seen resistance to change for a different reason that is even more destructive.

It's the fear that clients will not sign the new applicable custodial paperwork and thus, not join you in your new endeavor. You’ve had these clients say “yes” before, perhaps many years ago, and now you have to ask them to commit to you again. This makes you feel like you’re at risk of losing your biggest clients. Oftentimes, when faced with this situation, advisors downplay the move to a new firm and steer clear of the word “change”, even if it’s for the clients’ benefit. You try to make the mapping process, fees, investment allocation, etc. as close to what it was prior and craft the image that this is not a choice to rejoin you, only a mere paperwork change.

We usually see this type of behavior in the “pre-acceptance” phase of change. Although the advisor is a smart, seasoned professional, emotions take over and cloud one’s ability to operate efficiently and effectively. These usually last until there is true acceptance and ultimately, a new-found confidence. People often manage their business and life in fear of “what-if” which in this case is losing one’s biggest clients during a transition. To mitigate this fear, we try to minimize the change for clients in an environment that is constantly changing. This is a battle more often lost than won. It’s key that you don’t let negative emotions take over and thwart the process of change. Instead, you need to take control and realize that you’ve made a powerful decision to move forward in your career.

Be proud of what you’ve done! Share the great news with your clients including how technology and investment upgrades benefit you both, how this move will allow you to do more as a professional, and how this will empower you to better serve them.

Don’t fear the change or apologize for it, embrace it and make it your strength!

When clients feel your passion, they will not just say “yes”, they will follow with confidence. In fact, this is the time to seek a higher percentage of wallet share and go on the offensive.

Your clients respect and trust you, your skills are portable, and the RIA firm you select is just your middle and back office. The truth is you are the professional that will guide them to and through retirement. This is a people business and the various software vendors, regulatory agencies, and their rules will help guide you, but you guide the client. Don’t let your clients down, they need you.

Rich DeSalvo


F3 Logic, LLC

Where Fiduciary Freedom is First


Advisory services are offered through F3Logic, LLC, a registered investment advisor. Securities offered through Independent Financial Group, LLC, a registered broker dealer. Member FINRA/SIPC. IFG is not affiliated with any of the entities listed. Additional advisory services may be offered by the respective entities listed as permissible by state law.


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