The Fastest Way to Grow is by Saying No

Amar Pandit , CFA , CFP

Amar Pandit

A respected entrepreneur with 25+ years of Experience, Amar Pandit is the Founder of several companies that are making a Happy difference in the lives of people. He is currently the Founder of Happyness Factory, a world-class online investment & goal-based financial planning platform through which he aims to help every Indian family save and invest wisely. He is very passionate about spreading financial literacy and is the author of 4 bestselling books (+ 2 more to release in 2020), 8 Sketch Books, Board Game and 700 + columns.

In my previous post about “Managing HNI Expectations”, I had written a line at the end, “The fastest way to grow is by saying No”. The line is so powerful that I decided to write a small post explaining it in more detail.

“The fastest way to grow is by Saying NO”

Yes repeat this line a few times and remember it even while sleeping (taking it a little far here). If you can, print it on a piece of paper and keep it where you can see it every day. This will go a long way to help build your awesome firm. I will give some more thoughts on this, but you should read the “Managing HNI Expectations” post.

I will connect theSaying NO thought with a recent LinkedIn post that I read…I am reproducing it here for your quick reference.

We have practiced this since 2007 and with brilliant results. Now let me tell you ‘Why we have said “NO” to Prospects’? Our Top 5 Reasons are as follows:

  1. Prospect did not understand the value proposition. He/She was stuck on Returns and Products as a philosophy versus the HappyRich Philosophy we were talking about.
  2. Arrogant
  3. Thinking that he knows more than the advisor and thereby driving the strategy (Do this, Do that ) but making you accountable for the results (The danger in this one is – When things go right , the prospect made the right call. When things go wrong, it’s all your fault. Does this ring a bell?). Sometimes you can think of this as having unrealistic expectations.
  4. Pessimistic. There is a difference between being worried about something and being a pessimist. There are some people who will have a problem with everything. Can you find a fault in anything? Absolutely, you can cry about anything and prospects who generally cry about everything are best left alone. For example, if they have had a a problem with their last 5 advisors, then you be ready to be the 6th one.
  5. Not profitable or making economic sense (I will admit we have made a lot of exceptions here because we have simply loved the conversation with the prospect). It is our duty to help each and every prospect and that is why I have mentioned this as the last reason. However as I have said earlier “Time is the Only Finite Capital that we have” so you can only handle a select set of clients. To handle more clients, you have to lever up your time with process, technology and people.

There are more, but these are Top 5. I would love to hear from you on your experiences if you have ever said No and why.

Let me give you an extreme example of “NO” that I have seen. There is this US based wealth management firm which said that we will take on clients that we love working with and who have a minimum $10 million portfolio. (These were the 2 conditions). They met many prospects that they enjoyed working with, but they waited for both the conditions to be met. It was so difficult for them that for 18 months they did not get a single client.

Can you imagine life without getting a single client for 18 months? However, they did not give up and stuck to their Ideal Client Profile. In the 5 years that followed, they had a $4 billion firm. They were able to do this because when they said NO, they focused all their energies on things that mattered and were important in their pursuit of this prospect.

So, I totally agree with the founder Anselmo Ramos when he says,

“Saying No is hard but it leads you to more YESes”

Like I have written earlier, we have practiced this for more than a decade, in the process , we have not taken up a Rs.25 Crore, a Rs.200 Crore and many other sizable portfolios in between.

There are a lot of lovely people and families waiting to meet the right advisor and firm. So, there is no dearth of quality people and families. Believe in Yourself and like the Nike tagline “Just do it”“Just say No”.

I hope you loved this post. Feel free to share it with your fellow IFA colleagues and friends. 

My objective here is to add real value to as many IFAs as possible and help you build the wealth management firm of the future. Let me know your thoughts and if there any topics that you would like me to cover.