Have you ever tried to buy something with a verbal promise?

Or deposit a compliment in your personal or business bank account?

Of course not! You would be laughed at!

Yet, that’s what can happen when discussing fees for service with prospective clients.

Never Accept This Payment: Promises Won’t Pay Your Bills

True story: An advisor in NJ had two great conversations with a prospective client who could not believe the services they would receive working with him compared to another option.

The advisor shared the fee and connected it to the specific, valuable services this prospect was so positive about.

They winced, hemmed and hawed, and then said, “Well, that’s more than I was thinking. What if I bring you more clients, could I get 10 bps off for each new client I bring you? I know at least 3 people who would work with you!”

Wow what a promise! And what a discount requested!

Fortunately, the advisor didn’t accept that proposal, and offered an alternative… (Note the alternative doesn’t work in all situations but did in this one) let’s get all those people on board, with minimum assets to manage, and then look at the discount possibility.

Nope, said the prospect. That wasn’t acceptable. He wanted the discount now, and promised that he could introduce the advisor to these friends.

The advisor did not accept and instead pointed back to the value of the services this prospect would receive and how much stronger they were than his current advisor.

Avoid This Currency for Your Service

Promises aren’t a payment you should accept.

But, how about payment in compliments? They sound like this:

“Well, you are the person we really want to work with…but your fee is more than the other option…Is there something you can do?”

It’s a lesson I learned long ago…NEVER get paid in promises and compliments. They aren’t bankable and you can’t cover your business expenses or bring home the bacon, as they say.

Beware of clever tactics that well-meaning prospective clients may employ to have you lower the value of what you offer.

Because that’s what happens. When you discount your fees, often they also discount you and your service.

Be confident in your worth, request the compensation that you deserve, and don’t be swayed into discounts with promises or compliments.


Financial Advisor sales training doesn’t have to focus on pushy tactics or high-pressure pitches. Genuine Sales teaches the fundamentals for sales success that allow you to be genuine, ethical, and successful!