Strategies to Ensure You’re Making the Most of Your Time with Clients
I probably don’t have to tell you that one of the most important aspects of building and maintaining client relationships is regular and productive client review meetings. However, it’s a mistake to treat these meetings as simply opportunities to review your clients’ portfolios and overall finances. When done with care and intention, they can also be a great opportunity to get to know your clients better, learn about any life changes they may be going through that could influence their long-term goals, and get a review of their overall circumstances. Client review meetings can also play an important role in your financial advisory business’s success.
Below you’ll find five strategies you can use to help make your client review meetings more effective.
#1. Go into each meeting with an agenda.
As with any business meeting, having an agenda in place can help ensure that you’re making the most of your time during the meeting. It allows for the maximum amount of communication between yourself and your client, as well as provides a comfortable platform for your client to ask any questions that they may have. Though an agenda offers structure to your meeting, you don’t want it to stifle discussion, so be sure you allow time for client questions throughout the meeting. It may help to have an agenda template that helps provide a framework for each meeting but that you can tweak as needed depending on the client you’re seeing and their current needs.
#2. Let your clients know what to expect ahead of time.
Reaching out to your client ahead of time with your agenda, goals for the meeting, and any materials you want them to review will help ensure that your client doesn’t feel overwhelmed or surprised by anything you discuss during the meeting. It also gives them time to reflect and come up with any questions or discussion points that they would like to address with you.
While you can’t force your client to take the time to review the materials, encouraging them to do so and to come up with any questions or concerns they have can help make the meeting more productive for all parties involved.
#3. Keep the focus on the individual client.
It’s completely acceptable for there to be a degree of standardization with your meetings to ensure efficiency. However, each client is unique and, therefore, your meetings should be tailored to fit each client, too. They’ll have different levels of financial literacy, different concerns, different levels of risk tolerance, and different goals, so you’ll want to plan accordingly. For some clients, you may want to schedule more time for education as you know you’ll need that time to explain certain aspects of their plan in more detail. For clients who tend to be more anxious, perhaps you’ll need to set aside time in the meeting to properly address any concerns they may have. Or, perhaps for newer clients, you’ll want to schedule time up front to simply talk with them and get a better understanding of who they are and the goals they’re working toward.
What’s most important is that each client feels as if they’re being heard and understood during their client review meeting, and that their questions and concerns are being thoroughly addressed – and never dismissed.
#4. Provide comfort and stability in times of turmoil.
Your clients depend on you for your financial knowledge, of course, but they also depend on you for comfort and reassurance during inevitable times of market volatility. Though it may feel tedious or time-consuming, be sure that you are being patient when listening to their concerns and take the time to educate them on why you’re advising them in the way that you are.
It’s always possible that clients will come into a client review meeting with the idea that they want to go “all in” on a particular investment or, conversely, pull out of the markets entirely. When this happens, it’s up to you to explain why doing nothing or very little may be the best course of action. These can be difficult conversations to have, especially if a client’s emotions are running strong. However, saving your clients from themselves in times like this is an important part of the advising job.
#5. Maintain the big picture.
Your client review meetings shouldn’t just be about reflecting on the past quarter and how their investments are performing. It’s also an opportunity to check in with them about their goals and what they see for the future. Give them time to talk about any developments or transitions that may have come about in their lives since the last time you met and how that may or may not play into their larger financial plans. These meetings are also a valuable opportunity to review elements of financial planning that you’ve already completed, go over any upcoming actions they may need to be prepared for, and set up future expectations for both of you.
The financial planning process is a fluid and open-ended one that can take sharp turns depending on what’s going on in your client’s life and the economy at large. While not every meeting will be groundbreaking in terms of laying down a comprehensive financial plan, client review meetings are a crucial part of building relationships with your clients and ensuring everyone is on the same page and feeling confident. Because of how much you can accomplish both in terms of reflecting on the past and discussing what’s on the horizon, it’s important that you take client review meetings seriously and plan accordingly.
At TriCapital Wealth Management, we take care of all the practice management and administrative work for you so that you can spend more time focusing on your clients’ needs – like making the most of your client review meetings. If you’d like to join our group of advisors, contact us today to schedule a call and see if we’re the right fit for your professional trajectory.