Meeting with your clients is what makes up the bulk of your career as a financial advisor. According to a survey conducted by the CFA Institute, nearly 76% of clients believe that meeting with their financial advisors on a regular basis is essential for maintaining trust and confidence in their financial plans.
But, how are we determining what a regular basis looks like for your client and your practice?
Financial advisors at Consolidated Planning are given adequate tools and resources to spend the bulk of their day on revenue-generating activities…their clients.
Determining when and how often you choose to meet with your clients is a foundational step in effectively building your practice. Here, we’ll provide insight on the importance of understanding your clients goals and expectations, scheduling ongoing meetings and communications, and why a client service model helps you provide the most value as a financial advisor.
Understanding Your Clients Expectations
While there isn’t a one size fits all for your clients, there is a lot to be said about the kind of client your target market caters to.
Understanding your client’s expectations is dependent upon their needs and complexities of their financial situation.
Once you have established that you like each other, trust each other, and are overall compatible, it’s important to take the time in understanding their expectations of the client-advisor relationship.
This is where your below surface level conversations help you collect the qualitative data necessary to meet and exceed what your client defines as success.
Determining The Best Meeting Frequency For Your Clients
Establishing a new client-advisor relationship may mean meeting more frequently in the beginning. At a consultative financial firm like Consolidated Planning, you typically have a few meetings. These might include:
- Getting to know each other
- Having an open conversations about your relationship with money, your history and your goals for the future
- Implementation and set-up
And depending on your compensation model, this frequency will shift as well.
Once your client-advisor relationship is established and up and a well-oiled machine, if you will, you will begin to focus on what ongoing meetings are necessary.
For your straightforward client, whether that’s based on their personality or their financial plan, an annual meeting is typically sufficient.
- Comprehensive review
- Less frequent decision making
- Long-term goal planning
However, after time, if you notice your annual meeting is making the relationship or client’s trajectory lose steam, it may be time to reevaluate your meeting frequency.
Meeting quarterly with clients strikes a good balance between ensuring the client stays engaged but with less of a demand for the client’s time. While this will pose a greater time commitment as the advisor, this can result in:
- An enhanced client experience
- Better market monitoring
- And more opportunities to address concerns or financial progress
A subscription-based model, it’s a great example of a natural opportunity for quarterly meetings. Because your subscription-based client pays for your time throughout the year, it’s encouraged to prove that value by meeting quarterly, even if that means 20 minute meetings compared to missing these meetings.
While some clients may find quarterly meetings too frequent, others might appreciate both the regular updates and simply feeling like they aren’t just a number with their financial advisor.
Meeting during your client’s average month, doesn’t leave much room for any kind of adjustment to be made for you or your client. While there can be a high client engagement associated with monthly meetings, this isn’t typically sustainable for your practice as a whole.
So, when are monthly meetings appropriate?
This cadence is ideal for your client who needs to accountability. For example, working with a client who is going through debt elimination. A goal like this requires more attention therefore more regular consultations to monitor progress. Relapses can be normal here and these monthly meetings help eliminate that.
Whatever you and your client determine as the right meeting frequency for the situation, it’s important that at least one meeting is in person. Meeting with clients in person allows for added benefits like observing what their saying through their body language.
Schedule Ongoing Communication With Your Clients
Regardless of how often you meet with your clients, it’s essential that you include some kind of ongoing communication. These efforts might include:
- Email newsletters
- Educational content
- Market and industry news
- Invitations to webinars
- Occasional hand written notes
- Birthday emails or texts
Checking in both professionally and personally maintains rapport with your client, even if you’re only meeting once a year. And maintaining rapport means keeping top of mind with your client.
And keeping top of mind means more lifelong clients.
As you’re wondering what kind of ongoing communication makes sense for your practice, ask yourself: Where can I add the most value?
Set Clear Meeting Expectations With Your Clients
“The biggest mistake advisors make is they don’t define what the client expectations are,” says Howard Lashner, author of 10 Common Mistakes Financial Advisors Make & Simple Ideas to Avoid Them.
Take the time to clearly communication your client service model and what your client’s expectations are.
While meeting quarterly is ideal to build a scalable practice, you have to be willing to meet your client where they are. And if you’re not, maybe they aren’t your ideal client.
To better understand what is ideal for your client-advisor relationships to thrive, start the conversation with our team about how a firm’s planning philosophy comes into play here.
2023-160087 Exp. 8/2025
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