Ways to support your client needs - the financial advisor checklist
When we closed on our first house, we walked into our new home to see a gift basket from the seller’s agent. Now, we had not worked with this agent at all during the entire process, but in this basket the agent left a nice bottle of champagne, a list of his favorite nearby restaurants, and contact information for local cleaning services, plumbers, electricians, etc. The agent also left his phone number and said to call him personally if we had any questions about the house, the new neighborhood, or the local real estate market. We did not receive any post-purchase contact or support from our buying agent.
When we eventually decided to sell this house to move to a nearby neighborhood, we remembered the exceptional support and experience we received from the previous seller’s agent and gave our future business (and many referrals) to this professional.
Investing is a big deal! Whether you are investing in a house or investing your money for retirement, the support you receive from your partners in the industry is important and can add significant value to a relationship. In some cases, it is the difference in gaining or losing a client.
Remember this when working with your clients. It is not just about the investments themselves, but the support you provide your client during (and after) the sale. Support is the backbone of a strong advisor-client relationship.
Financial Advisor Checklist #1: Are You Providing the Support Your Clients Need?
Ask yourself these questions:
- Do I touch base with my client at least monthly? (Or, do I ask how frequently they prefer to receive communication)?
- Do I provide insights on what is happening in the markets?
- Do I explain financial concepts in language the average investor can understand?
- Do I help clients decipher the investment “noise” they hear about in the media?
- Do I help clients focus on how their portfolio is on track with their financial goals?
- Do I help clients avoid worrying about short-term performance?
- Can I summarize what their investment managers are keeping an eye on in the market?
- Can I recap what performed well in their portfolios?
- Do I provide (or make referrals to someone who can provide) tax advice?
- Do I share links to article or websites where the client can learn more about the industry?
- Do I provide tips for financial wellness?
A Morningstar study asked investors, “What do you value most when selecting a financial advisor?” Not surprisingly, communication and explanation of financial concepts ranked in the top three attributes of a relationship. That’s why it’s so important to provide consistent support and communication to your clients. Doing so will help build trust so clients know what to expect, even during tough times. A client will not necessarily remember how their portfolio performed during a given period, but they will remember how they felt based on the support and experience you provided.
Financial Advisor Checklist #2: Is Your Investment Partner Providing You With the Support You Need?
If you outsource your investments, the same concepts apply. You should be receiving post-sale support from your investment partner to improve your experience.
Think of your investment partners and ask yourself these questions:
- Did the sales team contact me after my first proposal or investment?
- Was I given the opportunity to provide feedback on my experience?
- Does the sales team contact me with updates?
- Does the sales team answer my phone calls or emails?
- Does the sales team try to learn about my practice or investment philosophy?
- Can I opt-in to receive marketing materials on a regular basis?
- Do I receive materials and insights to help with my client reviews?
- Are there members of the investment team who are willing to answer in-depth investment-related questions?
- BONUS: Does my investment partner provide content that I can share with my client to help me support my clients?
Can you answer “yes” to most of these questions? If not, think about how finding a partner who can provide investments to help meet your clients’ goals AND provide you with ongoing support could improve both you and your clients’ investment experience.
We want to hear your feedback.
What types of support from your investment partner do you find most beneficial? Is there anything you need from Frontier? Let us know. Send us your feedback at email@example.com.
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