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By David RichmanManaging Director, Advisor Institute

Are your clients procrastinating with making a decision because they are afraid of making a mistake? Year-end is a perfect time to share the isms that underscore your advice and perspective to help inspire clients to move forward from a stuck mindset—especially during stressed conditions.

Many years ago, one of my favorite advisors to work with, Sid, asked me to join him to meet with a longtime client. His client George had recently sold his business, and we developed a terrific proposal to invest almost $5 million among various managers that seemed to perfectly reflect the client's goals and risk tolerance.

George liked the proposal, yet something was holding him back from signing the paperwork and moving forward. Just as it seemed we were about to walk out with nothing beyond "let me think about it," Sid broke the ice, and his words have stuck with me all these years:

"You know, George, you don't need to be all right or all wrong." Then, after a magnificent pause: "Why don't we get started with half of the $5 million and take some time to see how the experience feels? A year from now we can revisit whether to fund the balance."

George seemed relieved and signed the paperwork and, a few months later, funded the balance of the account.

Over these many years, Sid's ism stands the test of time: "You don't need to be all right or all wrong." Try using it in your next conversation where you feel you have reached an impasse. It could make all the difference—and create opportunity where there was hesitation.

Bottom line: The current market environment is a propitious moment to take Sid's wisdom—and ism—to heart in year-end client conversations.