Filed Under:Your Practice, Sales Marketing

The No. 1 sales idea of 2014

With patience, perseverance and intuition, advisor Jim Tewalt leads every client to an "aha!" moment.

When Jim Tewalt submitted his top sales idea to the first-annual Retirement Advisor survey, he provided a strikingly simple response: “Here’s a novel idea: think. Don’t just follow the herd, trying to find ways to make another sale. Think about how to point out and help solve problems for your clients.”

While the top financial advisors are typically judged by the amount of assets they have under management, Tewalt, CFP®, co-owner of Estate Planning Services, Inc. in Glendale, Ariz., holds himself to a different standard: He judges success by the quality of his work and doing what’s truly best for the client, even if it requires doing extra work or is not necessarily the best for his own financial gain. “Stradivarius didn’t produce a lot of violins,” Tewalt points out, “but the ones he did produce are in high demand today, because of the quality.”

Case study No. 2: Investing in a life-long client

Tewalt has a 100-year-old client, who has been invested for 37 years while her husband was alive, and 22 years since her husband passed away. “Before her husband passed away,” Tewalt says, “he told her that he wanted me to handle her affairs when he was gone.”

Case study No. 3: Working within the comfort zone

A few years ago, Tewalt worked with a married couple who were both public service employees and had pensions and maybe $250,000 of investable assets at the time. “They asked about a Roth conversation a couple of years ago when they were all the rage,” Tewalt says. They looked hard at the numbers to determine how long it would take them to recover from the tax implications. “They wound up not being comfortable making the switch,” Tewalt says, “but continued to grumble politely about having to take RMDs and put them in the bank at less than 1 percent interest.”

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Nichole Morford

Nichole Morford
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