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How Do Your Clients Know What to Expect?

Navigating through new or different situations can be unsettling and even worrisome for many people. Their minds can fill with questions as simple as, “Where are they located?” and “Where will I park?” to “What will I have to take with me?” and “How long will I be there?” to “What questions will they ask?” and “Can they really help me better than my previous adviser?” Here are some ways  you can create consistency and effectively manage your clients’ expectations. Use agendas and checklists. Since many people need visuals to […]

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Through the Eyes of Your Client

Have you ever sat in your client’s seat? Try it the next time you go to your office. Don’t tell anyone what you plan to do. Just walk in the front door and look around with a fresh set of eyes – your clients’ eyes. What do you see? What do you hear? What else do you notice? Keep walking, looking and listening. Check out the reception area, the conference room, the copier area, the break room – whatever else you can observe as you walk toward your office. Then […]

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Your Client’s Perspective

Recently, an advisor asked what we thought was the most important value we provide our advisor-clients. What an interesting question! We could have said that we help advisors and planners develop a strong client experience that is both comprehensive and consistent. Or we could have mentioned how much we love helping them define their messaging – exactly what it is that differentiates them and their practice from the other advisors or planners in their market. Actually, we love helping advisors in both of these areas. But before we can do […]

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Need a Newsletter or Alternative?

Like many advisors and planners, you want to improve on the communications you provide to clients and prospective clients, and you are looking for the best approach. Some choose to go with a ready-to-send newsletter as a quick and fairly easy solution. They can be written, formatted and made available from your firm or broker-dealer or produced by third-parties, such as Broadridge or WPI Communications. The advantages of ready-to-send newsletters are convenience and minimal compliance issues. The disadvantages include cost and the reduced likelihood that your clients will actually read […]

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Practice Makes…Confidence!

Keith is a financial advisor who was an invited to an open house at a local law firm. Although he knew many of the attorneys there, he struck up a conversation with someone he had not met before. In the course of the conversation, she asked how he was different from all the other advisors in their area. His response? Keith said, “I’m so glad you asked me that question because we are different from other advisors in our community in three specific ways. Let me tell you what they […]

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Summer Plans?

It’s Memorial Day weekend. Although observed in various ways for more than 150 years, Memorial Day was established by an act of Congress in 1971 to honor those who have died in all American wars. For some, it also marks the end of the school year and the beginning of summer, with all the fun of barbecues, outdoor activities, and vacations. For most advisors and planners, the pace is likely to slow down a bit as your clients may be more difficult to reach or their attention is drawn elsewhere. […]

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Time to Hire a New Advisor?

Like several of our clients, are you looking to bring in a new advisor to increase your growth opportunities or as a step toward your eventual retirement? To help ensure a successful new hire, here are some important considerations. Make a list. What are you looking for in the way of background and personal attributes? What is an immediate no-go for you? For best results, make your list before you have a candidate sitting in front of you. Too many practices try to retrofit responsibilities to someone they’ve already hired, […]

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What If They’re Not a Good Fit?

You’ve been there, haven’t you? A new prospective client calls your office. Maybe you met him at a networking event, or perhaps an existing client referred her. You schedule an introductory discussion as you always do and ask, “Tell me about yourself, your background and what you are looking for in a financial advisor.” You always begin with an open-ended statement or question to get the prospective client to tell you his or her story. You learn what caused them to look for a new advisor. Perhaps they received a […]

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Why Document Your Client Experience?

In his book, The Checklist Manifesto, Atul Gawande wrote that in an increasingly complicated world, it becomes remarkably easy to skip a key step or forget to ask a key question.  He described a hospital that implememented a checklist for a key medical procedure.  Step one was “Wash your hands.” Isn’t that obvious? Don’t you imagine they would just remember to do it? Evidently not! If highly trained doctors need documentation to make sure every step is clearly defined, wouldn’t it make sense for advisors to do the same? Here […]

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Everyone Gets a Next Action

The disappointment in his voice was palpable.  He blew it. And he knew it. I was facilitating a group coaching call when I heard his story. Jake was a new advisor with a decidedly old-school approach to contact management. Rather than spend hours learning (and fighting with) the latest, new-fangled CRM system, he liked the simplicity and efficiency of a paper planner. The problem came when he suddenly realized – a full three weeks too late – that he missed the promised date for his proposal. Taken in isolation, you […]

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