A Better Approach To Client Meetings

Client meetings are the lifeblood of a financial advisor practice. Yet many advisors don’t have the systems and processes in place to ensure a successful client meeting and quality experience for the client. There are many benefits to developing a strong client meeting process for both the client and the advisor.

Benefits of a Better Client Meeting Process

When it comes to the advisor, a well-developed and repeated process for client meetings saves the advisor time. There are many demands placed on the advisor and other staff members time and it can be hard to effectively prioritize and execute on them all. A consistent process takes much of the work out of preparing for a client meeting and frees up the advisor’s time for other important tasks. It also allows team members to focus on client activities and other important support tasks that enable the advisor and grow the practice. Leveraging an outsourced service provider can save the advisor and his or team even more time and allow them to focus on other critical areas of the business. Also, by pointing your team members to higher level work, you enable their professional development and ensure that you are getting the best value from their time and efforts.

For the client, a better client meeting process ensures that every opportunity is identified for the client and discussed. A client meeting process built around themes also ensures that the client is receiving a high level of service and value from each meeting and the overall planning process. This leads to a better client experience, higher satisfaction, and in turn, greater loyalty to the advisor.

Qualities of a Strong Client Meeting Process

When it comes to developing a better client meeting process, here are the key elements to include:

Pre-Meeting Review

It’s crucial that the team review the items for the client meeting in advance of the meeting itself. This ensures that all necessary items have been included and allows the advisor to get a sense of what is involved and what opportunities have been uncovered so they can effectively lead the meeting with the client.

Themed Meetings

In our experience, clients like to have meetings semi-annually. Which is why we recommend different themed meetings at different times of the year. Typically, we suggest the following schedule and themes:

  • Annually – Investment Review and Rebalancing (IRR): This is a thorough review of the investment strategy to achieve client goals and updates to goal information.
  • Semi Annually – Investment Review and Rebalancing and Goal Tracking: In addition to the IRR client goals are thoroughly reviewed and goal achievement strategies are discussed.
  • Trimester - IRR, Goal Tracking, and Midpoint Review: Review of client goals, strategies, and investments
  • Quarterly - IRR, Goal Tracking, Mid-Point Review, and Tax Planning: Review of client goals, strategies and investments. Affluent clients would meet with Third Party CPA.

By creating themes for each meeting, you are able to have targeted and timely discussions about the client’s complete financial picture. This provides them with a high-level of service and a more comprehensive experience.

Quality Reports and Data

A solid client meeting process includes methods for pulling and reviewing all necessary client reports and data, as well as methods for updating that information following each meeting. This ensures that no items are missed and that every opportunity is uncovered.

Clear Agenda

Each client meeting should include a clear agenda which outlines each item for discussion. Each agenda should reflect the theme for the meeting and prompt the advisor to gather any necessary information. It should also include any key action items and lead to conversations about referrals, as the face to face meeting is a great opportunity to leverage your client’s network for new business.

Again, by having a well-defined system and repeatable process for preparing and delivering client meetings, you will save yourself time and deliver a better experience for the client. A well-defined process ensures that every opportunity is uncovered and that you are truly meeting the financial needs of your client.

If you are looking for guidance on how to develop a client meeting process or for a team of qualified experts to handle your client meeting prep for you, contact us today to schedule a free exploratory call.

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