It is common knowledge that each and every advisor’s business is a truly marketable and valuable entity. Whether you have built a book that consists of 500 clients and $50 million in assets or 50 clients and $500 million in assets - one truth remains - you and your clients are a valuable asset.

This brings me to discuss what I call, “The Art of the Deal”. Understanding the value of your particular business and what it may mean for the future of your career is immensely important. Not only for your clients, but for you and yours as well. So without further delay let us begin.

(Part One) - The Introduction.

When embarking on an evaluation of your business’ value there is a certain amount of due diligence that is necessary. Evaluating the “type” of organization you would like to be going forward is important as well as the “who, why, where and the how”. For the purposes of this article let’s focus on the WHO. Introducing yourself to a prospective partner (employer) is an important step in the process, and more importantly, the first step in securing the best deal for your business. (Can we simply all agree right here and right now that everyone wants the best deal? The most money, the lowest hurdles, the best perks etc? Of course we can.)

The first meeting, whether facilitated via a respected recruiter or through your own contacts, is immensely important. It sets the table for the rest of the process. It is your opportunity to begin to control what is said, how it is interpreted etc. What are the most important steps that will put you in control, and eventually get you your best deal?

1 . Bring an initial set of documentation that clearly represents your business. (T12/AUM)
2 . Bring at least one other member of your team.
3 . Make it clear that you are meeting with multiple firms.
4 . Make it clear that you are serious about a transition.
5 . Make it clear that you DO NOT want the process to proceed at an elongated pace.

By making the above very clear to the firm(s) you are considering, it becomes crystal clear to them that you are a hot commodity and they better bring their “A” game. These steps are also not necessarily protocol for first meetings. Documentation and team members usually are presented in subsequent meetings a few weeks or months down the road. By being the “aggressor” and taking control of the process with those two particular items - you have put yourself and your team in the drivers seat.

Notice that you have not made any commitments whatsoever; in fact, all you have done is put your respective suitor on high alert. This is the first step in getting the best deal!)

In ( Part Two) we will explore the next step in the “ Art of the Deal” - Networking

To read Part Two, click here.

Andrew Parish is the CEO and founder of AdvisorHUB and managing director of Axiom Consulting.