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'Don't take client rejection personally': Five things I've learned

20 August 2019

Director of Southampton-based Regis Bentley, Justin Wade, on collaboration, hiring the right people, and giving back…

Woman using tablet and mobile

1 Know your target market

I inherited Regis Bentley as a turnaround project. At the time I would have been happy to take on a client of any value. An outside consultant pointed out that we would eventually have a capacity problem.

I did not fully believe them but developed our proposition with this in mind. Since then, we have tripled our client bank and see capacity challenges on the horizon, but it’s a nice problem to have.

2 Don’t take it personally

Most of us have experienced the rejection of a client not proceeding. I used to take it personally, but now accept that not all personality types can work together and recognise the importance to stay true to who we are.

We ensure our client relationships are built on sound foundations. Getting this wrong is costly and reduces the pleasure of working on behalf of clients who value your approach.

3 Collaborate with other advisers

I sense that IFAs, on balance, are reluctant to work together to overcome challenges unless they work in the same business. I meet regularly with longstanding industry friends to see how we can help each other with a particular focus on finding solutions to the regulatory changes on the horizon.

4 Look after your people

Getting the right people to work together towards a common goal makes everything so much easier. It only takes one bad apple to upset the balance and the time and cost to resolve such a situation is immeasurable. Do your best to keep staff and clients happy, because they are expensive to replace.

5 Give back

Our business has recently expanded into a new workspace in Southampton – Barclays Eagle Labs. We are using our knowledge and contacts to help new start-ups. IFAs have a huge amount of knowledge to bring to the table and working on projects outside of the business and client bank really makes a difference.

Last year I attended a local school for the day to help provide financial education to a year 11 class. It amazed me how little the younger generation understand about money.

Justin Wade is director of Southampton-based Regis Bentley and has been in the financial services sector since 1996.