Like the clients we serve who are proactively and aggressively reaching out to their clients during this unprecedented time of disruption, we are doing the very same with our clients and others throughout the industry seeking to help them in any way we can come out of this stronger than ever. Over the last few weeks, we have had hundreds of conversations with executives, front-line leaders and advisors, and through these conversations, we are learning a great deal and gaining some valuable ideas and insights.

Based on those conversations, I was compelled to share three of the biggest takeaways that, on the face of it, seem so simple. But while simple, they take a lot of thought, conviction and discipline, and if executed well will no doubt leave you and your organization in an even stronger position coming out of this current environment.

Here are the three, coupled with key quotes that came from a few of the leaders with whom we spoke.

  1. Knowing your clients and their PRIORITIES truly matters.

“I can tell by the nature and volume of the client calls which teams are talking with their clients about priorities and which are not.”
– Regional Portfolio Management Executive

Too often, we get drawn into focusing with our clients on the investment portfolio alone and their quest to achieve the best performance. With these clients and prospects, we often overlook or move too quickly through the discovery process, focusing primarily on “objectives and risk tolerance.” While knowing objectives and risk tolerance is certainly important, those who dig deeper to understand the client’s priorities, what matters most to them – and the outcomes they are trying to achieve through their investments – come out way ahead and win… especially during a time like this.

To finish this quote, this leader said that the conversations with clients for whom they know their priorities and desired outcomes are SO much easier and engaging than those for whom they don’t.

  1. This is a GREAT time to be prospecting.

“If they don’t know what they have, they don’t know how to fix it.”
– CEO of a thriving RIA.

This RIA has not only been successful in retaining its existing clients, but they are also having success bringing in new clients. When I asked him what he attributes that success to, he gave me the above quote, explaining that so many people out there do not have a full, clear picture of what they have and if they lack that, they (1) may not even be aware of a problem to fix, and/or (2) they are completely unable to put in place the steps required to fix the problem.

While we are hearing many in the business say they are not really focusing on prospecting at this time because it is not the time to be “pitching” our services, this is a critical time to be contacting the prospects you have in your current pipeline, as well as prospects who previously told you “no”, to have a better, more meaningful conversation that helps them fully understand where they are and what they need to do to ensure they achieve their outcomes. And based on what we are seeing, I can assure you that many clients out there are NOT being engaged by their advisors in this kind of conversation.

NOTE: We are offering a free webinar to those teams or organizations who are interested in equipping their advisors to LEAD clients and prospects through a simple and clear discussion that adds immediate value and directly aligns with the approach this RIA has incorporated to engage new prospects. The responses from those we have done this with thus far is extremely positive in terms of the impact it is having on their client and prospect engagements. Click here to download an overview of this webinar.

  1. There is a BETTER WAY to engage clients with “planning.”

“I had no idea I could do this so easily and quickly with my clients and prospects.”
– HNW Advisor

This third point is about how to most efficiently and effectively execute the two points above.

Goals-Based Planning has become a priority for most firms and advisors, and as noted above, is important to most clients’ long-term financial wellness and the retention and expansion of client relationships. Yet advisors and clients alike hesitate to engage in traditional financial planning due to the expected lengthy, onerous process it entails. In fact, a 2019 survey[1] revealed that 32% of consumers surveyed would rather go to the DMV and 20% would rather spend an hour in jail than work on a detailed financial plan! At the same time, advisors struggle with figuring out how to incorporate planning into their practice in a way that does not take all of their time and truly results in productivity.

The answer is what we refer to as “rapid planning”, which equips advisors with the ability to deliver immediate value and collaborate with clients to give them greater clarity as to where they are and what they need to do in 30 minutes or less… and thereby scale the planning approach throughout their book. While in some cases this may turn into a full, comprehensive financial planning process, in many cases it simply sets the table to initiate a robust conversation, a full understanding of the client’s priorities (#1 above), and greater clarity as to where they are today and what they need to do to ensure achievement of their priorities (#2 above).

NOTE: Here, as well, we have developed a webinar for those teams or organizations who are interested in developing proficiency in the delivery of a rapid planning process, aligned to the specific planning platform they are using (i.e., eMoney or MoneyGuidePro). Click here to download an overview of the Rapid Planning Webinar Series. 

At Greene Consulting, our mission is to empower the clients we serve to make a meaningful impact on the clients they serve. For more information on how to accomplish any of the above three opportunities – or for more information on the webinars offered – contact Rick Swygman at (404) 324-4600 or rickswygman@greeneconsults.com.

 

 

[1] OnePoll Survey, January 2019