Client Meeting Prep in a Virtual World

The pandemic has forced every industry, including financial advisors, to shift to remote work and virtual meetings. Many have adapted well, while many others continue to struggle to deliver the same level of service virtually as they would in the office. Although the means of delivery has changed, it is still possible to provide the same level of client experience during virtual meetings as it is in person.

However, we are seeing that many advisors are not producing the standard in-depth meeting prep required to have a truly productive and meaningful client meeting. The technology and tools are there to make it happen. The advisors just don’t have the processes in place to leverage those technologies and tools and to support clients through a virtual experience.

Even before the pandemic, many broker dealers invested heavily in developing technologies and tools that would facilitate virtual meetings and other client related tasks. For example, Ameriprise has developed a number of client-facing tools including retirement interactive, PMT, and a number of goal-based advice tools. To maximize the benefits of these tools and deliver a truly great experience for clients, advisors need to have processes in place for leveraging these technologies for data gathering and analytics, for scheduling and facilitating the client meeting, and for following up once the meeting is complete.

Data Gathering and Analytics

Prior to the client meeting, a staff member or outsourced meeting prep service[link to meeting prep page] should leverage all tools to pull reports and compare client analytics with their goals and the available products. Leveraging a themed meeting approach [link to themed meeting pdf] also lets you customize your data gathering and options based on what type of meeting it is as well as tailor your meeting agenda so that you achieve the themed outcomes (e.g. goal setting).

Scheduling and Facilitating the Client Meeting

Virtual tools make it easy to schedule client meetings and send reminders. To have a truly great and issue free client meeting, we recommend having a staff member call the client five minutes before to walk them through setting up the virtual interface for audio, video, and screen share. Not only does this let you start the meeting off on the right foot, it also leads to a better overall client experience. For Ameriprise Advisors, we also suggest that you utilize Microsoft TEAMS to facilitate the call and to have a video conference with your clients. If you want to see from the client’s point of view, you can leverage Ameriprise GLANCE to guide clients through the secure site and show them how to navigate the client tools. Always remember to schedule the next meeting before closing out the call.

Post Meeting Follow Up

Once the meeting is finished, be sure to plug in all client notes and action items into your CRM or other tool. Follow up with the client via email within 24 hours to thank them and let them know what to expect between now and their next meeting. Technology has made it easy to process requests and to get documents reviewed and signed virtually so clients don’t have to come into the office to fill out and sign insurance documents or other paperwork. A staff member may have to walk clients through the process of accessing, reviewing, and executing digital documents and serve as the point of contact should clients have any questions or issues moving forward.

Early in the pandemic there was much resistance to virtual meetings from both advisors and clients. Everyone soon realized how convenient and time saving virtual meetings are for both parties. Many believe virtual meetings will continue to grow in popularity and will continue to serve as a primary means of connecting even after the threat of the coronavirus has passed. Advisors need to not only adopt the tools and technologies that make virtual meetings possible, they also need to create new processes or adjust their existing processes so they can make the most of the tools and technologies they have while delivering the level of service their clients have come to expect.

Need help delivering a virtual meeting process for your practice? Contact us today.

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