What Is Wrong With Your Client Review Meetings as a Financial Advisor?

Enhancing the value you deliver

I hate the word review meetings, I like to call them "Progress update meetings. Besides renaming your meetings, also consider selecting to name the type of meeting that you're going to have with a client.  Think of your dentist's office and the type of appointments you have. Some appointments are for checkups, some are to do major dental work such as crown appointments, and some are for cleanings and maintenance. Your meetings can take on different types of names so the client knows what to expect at the meeting.  

Names of meetings

Advisors that I work with actually name the type of meeting they are having with clients. For example, some call them goals update and planning meeting. other meetings focus on estate and legacy. Imagine having a legacy meeting with some of your best clients. What other names can you call these meetings? Some financial advisors have meetings that can focus on other issues such as a go-forward plan for your portfolio for the next 12 months, a comprehensive tax planning meeting with your accountant, a risk management meeting including an insurance audit beneficiary audit, and other value added services .

Emotional engagement

Your meetings are about conversations of value. The conversations about their goals and dreams are emotional. The mistake financial professionals make is to talk about goals and dreams and give a solution by flipping to a slide or a chart or a graph to help them accomplish their goals that are unemotional and unengaging. I don't think anyone has looked at a chart or graph and said wow that looks fantastic that's what I would like to accomplish in my life. Start using Microsoft PowerPoint or similar technology with emotionally engaging pictures that tie that vision together emotionally with pictures and stories to get people excited about their goals and dreams. Imagine you wanted to build a new dream home and your builder pulled out a chart and a graph to show you how you're going to accomplish your dream home. Now imagine if I pulled pictures of dream homes that you've discussed with me and then I show you sample blueprints and ask you, " Is this the vision you would like for your future? Tell me what your ideal dream home would look like? Walk me through it. Then give them the emotional picture of what their future looks like in an emotionally engaging way. The charts and graphs are the technical aspects to help people get there. They are critically important but become less important if the client is not emotionally engaged.

Progress update reports

In almost every country around the world, clients have said the review meeting is not that valuable to them. The relationship is rock solid but the review meeting ( progress update meetings) adds no value. How can you add more value to your progress update meetings?  Consider having a templated PowerPoint or similar technology slide deck templated that can walk people through a visual of their goals their dreams. Updates the conversations in an emotionally compelling way. Once clients have an enhanced experience, your progress update meetings get better, faster, and are more effective for you and for them. Practice management is about three things process process process. Isn't it time you enhanced your process for progress update meetings for your clients?

Deliver more value this year.

What value will you add to your best clients this year through your progress update meetings? How will you deliver it in an emotionally compelling way? How will you deliver it online in less time and deliver more value? This is what elite financial professionals are doing to deliver more value to their existing ideal clients and gain more referrals. They have a process, a clear agenda, an emotionally engaging  PowerPoint or similar technology, a crystal clear proven script, and are not winging it. Your clients trust you already. Would it be fun to wow them this year? Start by naming your types of meetings, delivering more valuable conversations add naming those types of conversations, and adding visual presentations with pictures to visually engage them. Go for it and see the difference in your client's reaction and body language the next time you have a progress update meeting for them.

Preparation and follow up

What is your meeting preparation process? How long does it take you and your team to prepare for a client progress update meeting? Do you have a checklist of items that you go through before a meeting? How can you make the process better and faster? Standard questions I ask every financial advisory team. In every instance, there is a process that can be improved. First, build your checklist of the key items and process that goes into an ideal client meeting. Second, having the right technology makes the process efficient. Have a templated process using technology. Your administration staff goes through the online preparation checklist, completes the work, and sends it over to you at least 2-5 days before the meeting. Then you have your scheduled 15-minute discussion with staff to go over your 50-100 point checklist to cover off all administration and potential paperwork issues. You also go over the PowerPoint or similar technology and lock it down as a pdf file. Then you record the meeting with the client's permission and compliance permission, of course. Next, complete the file notes in the checklist and all administration and follow-up. Then send the recording, notes, and tasks and have your administration manager complete and assign all tasks in your system to you and your team. The key is templates and technology. It is 2021 so a future-ready technology-driven practice has a detailed 100 point or more process from an administrative and planning side, and an emotionally engaging process from your ideal client's perspective. This makes your process all about their complete financial life and comprehensive wealth management and financial planning. Do you need to work on your processes for your ideal top 10-20 clients?

Note: Technology used in the example above can be found in our technology checklist. Always check with your firm first on what they are helping you with in your practice's technology.

How about your process for your practice in 2021? Our Practice management technology checklist  

Replace expensive time-consuming processes with cost-effective technology to build more capacity. What areas does your practice need help with? In this 18-page technology checklist, you will learn how to become a "Future Ready Financial Advisor".

Related: Practice Management Checklist for Financial Advisors Working Remotely