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By David RichmanManaging Director, Advisor Institute

Every first meeting with a prospective client has a pivotal "Why us?" moment after you've asked thoughtful discovery questions. It's the moment you inspire them to overcome their status quo bias and choose you as their advisor. The June issue of The BEAT can help you navigate today's increasingly confusing crosscurrents and help you inspire prospective clients to change their current trajectory.

Consider using an ism—a timeless, pithy sound bite that connects the dots to your advice. The following hypothetical exchange between an advisor and prospective client—Kate—illustrates how an ism can help demonstrate "Why us, now?" in a first meeting.

Advisor: "As I quickly look at your portfolio, it occurs to me there may be ways you can become both more defensive and more opportunistic."

Kate: "What do you mean? We're well diversified and continue to rebalance to our 60/40 allocation."

Advisor: "Sounds familiar. Think about it, if everyone's portfolio is diverse in the same way, doesn't that mean no one is actually diversified when corrections occur? Too many investors look for corrections in all the same places."

Kate: "What does that mean?"

Advisor: "You can become more defensive and more opportunistic by looking at the broad markets and, importantly, beyond the broad markets."

Kate: "I'm comfortable with my allocation."

Advisor: "Many investors have a bias toward the familiar, which may result in sticking with outdated allocations. Right now, we see opportunities emerging in private equity as well as in private real estate. We also think this may be a good time to sell into strength, because we believe the broad US equity market has been overbought."

"Too many investors look for corrections in all the same places" is an example of an ism that can help you differentiate your approach to dynamic asset allocation.

Bottom Line:Inspire prospective clients to choose you as their advisor by using isms to help demonstrate "Why us, now?" in first meetings.