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How putting the family first snagged a high-profile client

Liz DeCarlo

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Putting family before finances can win over clients.

The prospect had the potential to be one of the biggest clients Craig Palfrey, CFP, had been in front of. A local solicitor Palfrey shared a close relationship with had told him, “Craig, I’ve got a chance for you to meet someone quite high profile, in quite a high-profile Welsh business. Will you go see him?”

As Palfrey parked his car in front of the prospect’s large home, he was excited about the potential ahead of him. It only took a few seconds for that bubble to burst when the client said, “So Craig, you’re the fourth financial advisor the solicitor has sent us.”

Ugh, Palfrey thought, as he listened to the prospect ask him to put a report together, which would then be compared with the reports the other three advisors were preparing. “We’re going to decide who to work with based on the quality of the report,” the prospect explained.

“So I summoned up all my MDRT courage and said, ‘I’m sorry Martin, that’s not the way I’m prepared to work,’” said Palfrey, a 12-year MDRT member from Cardiff, Wales. Palfrey had sent Martin a questionnaire to complete before their meeting, which he now addressed.

“Because of the questionnaire, I know a bit about you. Why don’t we just talk about that, and I’ll give you some ideas,” Palfrey suggested. If Martin then decided to work with him, Palfrey said he would create a financial plan.

“And if you decide to work with me, great. But I’m not prepared to put a couple of hours into a plan without you paying for it,” Palfrey said. “So let me just give you some top tidbits.”

Palfrey began discussing some options Martin could put in place, for instance having a trust for the death benefits on his pension. He drew out stick figures to indicate Martin’s various family members and how solutions could be put in place to care for the family. They spent about 45 minutes together talking about Martin’s family.

“No one has mentioned any of this before,” Martin noted before Palfrey left.

“I’m surprised at that,” Palfrey responded, “because I think that’s quite a common thing that someone like you should think about.”

As Palfrey was driving home, his mobile phone rang. It was Martin. He wanted to work with him.

When Palfrey went back to meet with him, one of his first questions was why Martin had selected him to work with.

“Because you were the only one who talked about my family and protecting my loved ones,” Martin said. “Everyone else wanted to talk about my investments and my pensions, but you talked about my family.”

CONTACT: Craig Palfrey


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