Using Digital Planning Tools to Deepen Client Relationships
Are you on the short list for your clients to call when they face a major life change, such as a sudden death in the family? Do they contact you for help when they have good financial news – like a recent windfall or inheritance?
Most financial advisors aspire to become the trusted advisor to their clients – someone they turn to when they need advice to adjust to changing circumstances so they can still meet their goals. But deepening client relationships can take time. Advisors need to find ways to develop stronger connections to clients in a scalable way.
While there are several tools available to build loyal client relationships, financial planning software is in many ways the most effective resource in an advisor’s toolbox for deepening ties with clients. Let’s look at some ways you can use this digital tool to grow your practice more efficiently.
Getting to Know Your Client
Financial planning software is designed to ask clients questions which is fundamental to developing a deeper relationship with them. These questions take you and the client through a process which helps uncover what drives and motivates them. As you get to know the client, you can begin to document their goals – whether for retirement or near-term objectives.
As you are having these conversations, you will learn things like the names and interests of your clients’ children and grandchildren, where they like to vacation or travel, and other interests and hobbies. Gathering this type of information allows you to weave this information into conversations with clients.
For example, you might ask a client about one of their children by name and the plans for their upcoming wedding. Or you might pass on information about a travel website or ways to earn perks for an upcoming trip they are planning.
Learning these details and showing your clients that you care about their interests and the people in their lives puts them at ease when you are meeting with them. Spending extra time on the questions in the planning software on the front end will pay off in ensuring you earn your clients’ trust.
Planning for the “What-Ifs” in Life Life happens
Your clients – like all people – will face ups and downs in their lives where they need financial advice. As you go through an in-depth planning questionnaire with them, you will be able to better identify what some of their “what-ifs” could be. Using financial planning software also ensures you remember to ask all the questions needed to build a strong client profile.
As you are talking to your clients about their goals and financial plan, you can weave in some of these potential scenarios and tell your clients that they can call you if they find themselves in a certain situation and you will be able to offer them solutions to help them stay on track.
Some financial planning platforms also allow clients to explore different planning scenarios in a “play zone” to better understand how different situations and strategies will impact their ability to reach their goals. Offering clients this type of tool can be very powerful because it shows them that they can control their ability to reach their goals if they plan for life’s challenges and get the right advice.
Letting your clients know you will be there to support them when life happens will give them peace of mind. And it positions you to be one of your clients’ first calls when they need you most.
Planning Across Generations
As you age, the average age of most of your clients is aging with you. If you have clients with adult children, you have a huge opportunity to engage your clients’ families in the planning process. This is another way to deepen the client relationship and prepare for the time when your client passes on his assets to the next generation.
You can invite your clients’ beneficiaries to a family meeting to learn more about them and what motivates them, while also helping them understand the client’s intent for their assets when they are gone. Building relationships with the next generation over time can also benefit you as it increases the likelihood your clients’ children will turn to you for advice when your client passes and they inherit his or her assets.
Another consideration as you age is being able to show your client that you also have a solid succession plan in place. You may want to consider bringing on a junior advisor or assistant who will eventually be positioned to take over your business and servicing your client base when you retire. This is another way to build trust and peace of mind for your clients.
Making good use of your financial planning software is one of the most powerful ways you can deepen client relationships. It’s a great way to grow your business while also ensuring your clients are best positioned to reach their goals.
The paper/commentary was prepared by Momentum Independent Network (MIN). It is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal or investment advice. The statements within constitute the views of MIN as of the date of the document and may differ from the views of other divisions/departments of affiliate Hilltop Securities Inc. In addition, the views are subject to change without notice.
Momentum Independent Network Inc. is a registered broker-dealer and registered investment adviser that does not provide tax or legal advice. MIN and HilltopSecurities are wholly owned subsidiaries of Hilltop Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: HTH) located at 717 N. Harwood St., Suite 3400, Dallas, TX 75201 (214) 859-1800, 833-4HILLTOP. Member FINRA/SIPC
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