How to handle a Do-It-Yourself prospect without getting mooched on!

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Question from a subscriber: “I keep getting these rude do-it-yourself prospects who ask me how to solve a problem they are having, with no intention of hiring me. I feel like telling them to take a hike!”

Whoa…not so fast…

When you tell a DIY prospect to take a hike, you are treating them just as badly as they are treating you.

These attitudes are transactional and wasteful.

Remember that all attention is good attention. Don’t let narrowmindedness cause you to devalue what may become a valuable relationship!

  • The DIYer may have friends they could refer you to.
  • They may have a business or work somewhere that you could present.
  • They may have a CPA or attorney that they could introduce you to.
  • They may change at some point if their situation changes, or if your offering changes.
  • They could become fervent followers on social media and engage with your content, leading you to higher performance by the LinkedIn algorithm.

How to handle a DIY prospect: steps to take

The next time somebody asks you for free advice, handle it something like this:

Prospect: Do I take Social Security at 62 or should I wait until 65?

You: From what it sounds like, you need a financial plan with a 15 year retirement income schedule. I wouldn’t be able to answer that properly without going through this exercise and for that you would have to be my client.

If this isn’t the way you want to go, I can refer you to an excellent blog series by a friend of mine which may allow you to figure it out yourself.

What you are doing here is clarifying where the boundary is, which prevents them from walking all over you.

?However, you are still helping them solve their problem which increases the chances of a long term relationship, even if they wind up not hiring you.

You don’t have to abandon your boundaries – keep those boundaries in place – but just make them soft so you don’t push good people away.

Don’t throw people away…it can be so much better than that!

Everyone you meet can be an asset to your business, it’s a matter of how well you motivate them to rise to the occasion.

BOOM there ya go – and that’s today’s marketing tip!

How to avoid getting breadcrumbed

Question from a subscriber: “This mean prospect wants to give me $150k to start. He says if he is happy with the performance he’ll maybe give me the rest.”


You have three options here:

  • Do what he says, and risk the market going south and you never getting another dime of his money. (high risk)
  • Insist that he give you the entire portfolio or else you won’t work with him.(offputting)
  • Shift the conversation to factors that are within his and your control, to disciplines where you can truly invoke your highest value as a financial advisor.

The third option wins, right?


Say a powerful analogy, something like this:

“Marcy, you drive to work everyday, correct?”


“I’m sure you’d agree it would make less sense to try to predict the weather or traffic jams, and instead make sure the car is in the best possible condition and that we map out the best route.” “Agree.”

“Instead of trying to outperform the market, let’s create a solid retirement income plan and risk tolerance assessment. That way we strive not to meet some arbitrary performance number that may not get you where you need to go, but instead focus on making sure your goals are met.”

Gracefully shift their mindset in a way that spells out the impact your work will have, and why it’s critical to do it this way.

Sara’s upshot

Was this blog on how to handle a do-it-yourself prospect useful?

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Or if you want more…

Learn what to say to prospects on social media messenger apps without sounding like a washing machine salesperson. This e-book contains 47 financial advisor LinkedIn messages, sequences, and scripts, and they are all two sentences or less.

This is a book about financial advisor LinkedIn messages which contains scripts you can use to get new prospects.

You could also consider this LinkedIn training program which teaches financial advisors how to get new clients and leads from LinkedIn.

The Sara Grillo membership is a social media program for financial advisors - but only the cool ones.

If you found this blog useful, please feel free to support this blog’s production by making a $20 contribution via this PayPal link or via Zelle to

-Sara G

Any questions? Send 'em in!