We get all kinds of email from our readers.
And the one we received recently, excerpted here, touched a familiar nerve:
This week has been one of the most *insert expletive* week’s I believe I have ever had. You’ve touched on it before, but I need some help understanding something.
Why do advisors have such a huge, GIGANTIC, UNABASHED, sense of entitlement?
Long story short, we rolled out a [product] this month that our advisors have been [requesting] for a long time. We listened to their feedback, their needs, what should be included, etc. We launched with a better then minimal viable product – have made tons of feature enhancements and updates (almost instantaneously) from their suggestions.
Yet, I’ve been cursed out, yelled at, threatened to end their [relationship], etc.
What’s the deal? Price hasn’t gone up, yet value has skyrocketed through the roof!
The one bright side – last week I had a rep yell and throw a tantrum. Monday he called back, apologized, and said “This is the greatest thing I’ve ever seen. It’s light-years beyond anything else out there. Thank you for making it and helping us reps out”.
If entitlement is the mindset of most reps, that’s fine – you can’t change it. But, what can you do to feed their entitlement need, but not run your business into the ground while you do?
The advisor, wholesaler, vendor hierarchy is similar to so many businesses wherein the next level ‘down’ (wholesalers) get stepped on because the advisor (in our business) wouldn’t dare cop the same attitude with their client.
Said another way, s**t rolls downhill.
Back in the early 1980’s when I was a headhunter the same phenomenon was at work.
A company’s Human Resources representative was the primary contact for our business.
They held the key to our revenue by deciding which search firms they would parse a job order out to and when.
While most HR reps were pleasant and professional, a healthy dose of them were curt, rude and expected to have their butts kissed to excess.
After all, they couldn’t strong arm job candidates and they had to mind their corporate manners when dealing with their boss, but when it came to us, well all bets were off.
When I was carrying the bag I referred to this behavior and entitlement as the ‘seamy underbelly’ of our business.
And it continues today.
Advisors who think nothing of taking your money, eating your food, and attending your events without any intent of ever showing a client your product.
Back in the 1990’s I worked with a wholesaler that used to stand up in front of a group of advisors, lick the back of his credit card, and slap it on his forehead (try it, it will stick) and proclaim that this was not what he wished to be known for.
Conversely, there was a wholesaler in SoCal in the same era that had a reputation for throwing his checkbook on the advisor’s desk and asking ‘how much’ it would take to earn (buy) the advisor’s business.
So, at one level of the conversation we need to ask ourselves if the sins of our forefathers have simply bred the behavior that we see in advisors today.
Or is human nature such that, regardless of industry, there will always be the less than scrupulous prospect/client who only thinks of themselves, has no regard for our business practice, and is incapable of walking in the shoes of the person they are trying to screw?
What’s your thought on entitled advisors?
How do you handle them?