As more and more advisers shift their focus away from products and more towards a broader and more holistic financial planning proposition, the profile of their income is also shifting from a reliance on initial commissions to a more valuable recurring income stream. To justify this recurring income stream, regular review meetings and how advisers engage with clients are becoming far more important events.
One of the biggest challenges for advisers is in developing an engaging Client Value Proposition. Advisers spend a lot of time and effort around identifying the advice process that is being used, the client services that are provided and how all of this should be paid for by clients. As a result, the focus naturally tends to be on the initial engagement with clients.
Whilst the initial advice is very important, I know from regular client feedback in my financial planning business that clients really value and look forward to our regular review meetings. It gives them real peace of mind to know that they are on the right path to achieving their set goals and objectives. Having great review meetings enhances the long term relationship with your client and grows your recurring income stream at the same time.
So, what to include in a review meeting ? The financial plan is central to the meeting – have the client’s personal goals changed, do they want to explore a different future? Have they the financial resources to live the life they want now and into the future? There are also the essential tasks of reviewing a client’s portfolio, obtaining current values / fund performance data / asset allocations and potentially writing a review report to bring this all together for the client. Also, are the client’s protection needs sufficient? It’s important to have the client’s assets covered as well as making investment plans for the future.
However the real opportunity to demonstrate your value on an ongoing basis rests outside of the traditional review meeting agenda. You can take the opportunity to highlight to your clients some financial benefits that you’ve delivered to them. For example:-
- Their improved financial resources to live the life they want.
- Their overall wealth growth.
- The growth in monetary terms of their investment portfolio.
- The tax saved in monetary terms on their pension plan and any other tax efficient plans.
Reviewing future cashflow plans with your clients each year also adds real value. This changes the client conversation, enabling you to look at “what if” scenarios and approach the client’s financial affairs in a very engaging and collaborative way.
All of the above can be included in a customised review report for the client.
Review meetings are also the opportunity to remind your clients of the work and interactions you’ve had with them throughout the year – the review report you provided, the portfolio analysis that you carried out, the interim meetings you had, seminars you invited them to, the content you sent them etc. A client will rarely, if ever, question your ongoing fees when they realise how much support you actually provide to them right throughout the year.
Author: Rory Brazil CFP®, Director at The Timbank. If you would like to learn more about how to improve your client review process contact Rory on 086 8247542 or firstname.lastname@example.org