By Grant Hicks | National Director of Practice Management at Advisor Practice Management
In real estate, it is location, location, location. In practice management for financial professionals, it is process, process, process. What is your review process and how can you enhance your client’s experience at your meetings? What words do you use on your agenda? Creating agenda’s are what top financial professionals use to enhance their client experience to ensure that all areas of your client’s financial aspects are covered and discuss hidden areas that may have been forgotten, such as estate planning, tax planning, wealth management or other investment planning ideas. By adding these three key words will help you implement key practice management processes into your business.
The three key words are:
1. Communication 2. Feedback and 3. Events. These processes will help you build world-class communication strategies, gain valuable feedback and clone your best clients. Here is how these practice management processes work.
First, asking clients how they want to communicate and finding out their expectations ( not creating expectations) when it comes to communication. Communication has dramatically changed over the past three years, does your client want a different experience when it comes to communication. Ask five clients “how” questions: How satisfied are you with our communication to you? How can we improve our communication for you (and your family )? How would you change our communication? One advisor, I worked with found over 100 hours of time in a calendar year by asking these questions. His clients wanted 2-hour reviews twice a year ( 4 hours per year) instead of 1.5 hours of quarterly reviews ( 6 hours per year), creating a win-win experience. The real answer to better communication is always in your questions.
Second, is creating a formal feedback process. According to Business health Pty Ltd. Of Australia, one of the most disappointing statistic of practice management is that only 15% of financial advisor practices in US and Australia have sought feedback from their very best clients. ( www.businesshealth.com.au) How you do feedback is up to you. However, put it on your agenda and make it part of your process. You can ask questions, send a detailed survey or questionnaire, or do a feedback forum with clients. But you must do some form of client feedback, ask key questions and make it a process for your top clients.Advisors who do feedback on a regular basis earn more than advisors who don’t ( up to 33% more) according to research by “Business Health Pty Ltd”. Your best opportunity to create a unique client experience for your top clients is to ask for feedback and manage the discussion with the client.
The third key word to put on agendas is events. Wealthy clients want to meet their potential financial advisor before deciding on meeting with them to invest their wealth. What events are you or your wealthy clients involved in? What is near and dear to their heart such as a charity or children’s event that you could be involved in? Top advisors target their ideal client by strategic networking or introductions from their clients. Getting personally involved and personally introduced to those high net worth clients through strategic events will help you meet your next ideal client. Making it a process for your top clients by asking them” is there any events this year that you are involved with such as a charity golf event that I can help you out with this year? Is there any fundraising events that you are involved with? At the events, your client will introduce you to people they know. Small events (less than 20 people or 10 couples) can be a great way to get to meet people.
The client meeting agenda will uncover planning opportunities and keep both you and the client on track during the meeting. The three key words (communicate, feedback, events) will help you potentially communicate better, find more time or build a better client experience. It will also help you meet your next ideal client. In practice management, make it a process. Keep the agenda simple. Have a bullet point list of items to discuss. Ask the client before you begin if there is anything else to add to the agenda. Then you can direct the meeting by starting at the top of the list, or you can ask the client where they would like to begin. The big truth is that time is far more valuable than money. The agenda will make the time together in your meeting more valuable. Now you get to implement three key practice management processes, communication, feedback and meeting new ideal clients.
“If you aren’t fired with enthusiasm, you’ll be fired with enthusiasm.” Vince Lombardi
Canadian financial advisor marketing expert Grant Hicks, CIM, FCSI presents two courses aimed at helping financial advisors navigate through commonly-made retirement planning mistakes and how to add marketing to their skill set.