A lot of advisers today are really starting to effectively demonstrate their value to new clients in their initial meeting. Using powerful presentations or other marketing material, they are setting out their advice processes and how these processes are really valuable to the clients.
However many advisers still struggle with reminding their clients of the ongoing value that they are adding, year after year. They’re providing great ongoing advice, adding value to the clients throughout the year but the clients just don’t seem to see it – they don’t realise the value added… So how can you keep reminding your clients of the tremendous value that you continue to add?
Here are two ways that I think are really important.
Have brilliant review meetings
This is a very obvious one, but there are some financial brokers who consider it a “win” if the client says they don’t need a review meeting! The review meeting going ahead is certainly not a win. Yes it might give you an extra few free hours, but the opportunity cost of reinforcing your value is significant.
Of course there is the “hard yards” in review meetings of reviewing a client’s portfolio, getting up to date values and potentially even writing a short review report. But this is balanced with the business opportunity of potential top-ups, a review of protection benefits and policies and new financial products needed. However the real opportunity to demonstrate your value on an ongoing basis to clients rests outside of the traditional review meeting agenda. Why not take a little extra time and set out for your clients some financial benefits that you’ve delivered to them such as;
- The growth in actual euros of their investment portfolio
- The tax saved as a result of their pension plan and any other tax efficient policies
- The actual money saved in euros and cents as a result of a protection review you carried out previously.
Now your ongoing fee / trail commission starts to look very small! However there’s still a lot more you can do at these review meetings to demonstrate further value to you clients.
- Help your clients with their household budgeting. Trust me (as a consumer), this can add huge value to your clients!
- Talk to them about their broader financial needs where you don’t provide the solutions. You can add value by tapping them into your network of solicitors (for their will or enduring power of attorney), tax advisers (tax advice) or accountants. Now you’re the person pulling all of the strings!
- Obviously if you carry out future cashflow planning with your clients, this is an exceptionally valuable exercise every year.
There are lots of activities that you carry out on behalf of your clients during the year. The challenge is getting them to notice the work that you’re doing on their behalf and then reminding them about it in an engaging and memorable way. One of the ways that you can do this is by providing your client with their own calendar of your services every year. Obviously you would create a nicely presented version of this, but the main content for your key clients might look something like this, if presented at the end of each year;
- January: Client newsletter,
- February: Investment rebalancing
- March: Annual Review Meeting, client newsletter
- April: Investment seminar, update on major market movements
- May: Investment rebalancing, client newsletter
- June: Golf outing
- July: Client newsletter
- August: Investment rebalancing, meeting with your accountant
- September: Half Year check-in, client newsletter
- October: Budget update, tax deadline review
- November: Investment rebalancing, client newsletter
- December: Christmas lunch
Now the client sees you working for them throughout the year, not just at a single point in time at the review meeting
If you’re delivering both of these supports in a structured and engaging way, how likely is your client to start arguing over your trail commission?