We conduct reviews with current clients about three to four times a year to discuss their financial and investment plans, progress toward goals, and any personal or financial changes that may have taken place since our last meeting.
I send clients an agenda before each meeting that specifies what they can expect in terms of objectives. I also provide a detailed list of areas that I would like to discuss. I ask them to review this list before the meeting and to please bring documentation where appropriate for any change in their financial situation.
I specifically mention that while they are under no obligation, I would like them to also think about any friends, family members, or associates who might benefit from having a second opinion on their financial planning or investments.
I recently came across a marketing concept that I thought was quite constructive on the topic of referrals. It talked about how an advisor could turn the conversation from “referrals” to “preferrals.” I have since built elements of this into my discussions with clients.
The idea of “preferrals” basically redirects the process from “asking clients for help” to asking clients if they would like to help one of their friends or family members. I briefly outline some of the challenges facing individuals or families who have not properly addressed planning for their financial future. I also remind clients of the benefits they have realized by going through a holistic financial-planning process with our firm. It introduces clients to the thought that my practice will have to grow with new clients one way or the other, and would they not “prefer” that its growth come at least partially from people who are important to them?
Over the years, I have heard from some clients that they are reluctant to refer someone they know because they feel it might detract from the time I have available to spend with them. The concept of “preferrals” helps overcome this issue in a way that makes them feel good about potentially assisting a friend or family member. It is very important for me to sincerely express my thanks, and, without breaching confidentiality, let my client know (a) if their contact was receptive to an initial conversation and (b) how, in very general terms, the meeting went.
- Review clients’ financial goals three to four times a year.
- Provide an agenda and clear objectives before review meetings.
- Ask clients for “preferrals” instead of “referrals.”
Disclosure: Jay R. Hardesty is an independent contractor of Money Concepts. All securities through Money Concepts Capital Corp. Member FINRA/SIPC. Ashton Wealth Management is an independent firm and not affiliated with Money Concepts.
Photography by Diane Huntress
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