Financial planning is beneficial for the consumer. It can also change the agent or advisor from seller to professional. Plans must cost money and be transferable. Why? The reasons are “you get what you pay for” and the recommendations should be able to be implemented by the client elsewhere, if desired. The time you spent getting to know the customer goes a long way in keeping the business in-house.
How does delivering a financial plan lead to business?
1. It strengthens the bond. I love this old analogy: imagine you visited a doctor, told him you were in pain and he reached into his pocket, handed you a bottle of pills, said “Take this” and you sent back! You’d think they didn’t bother to find out about your situation.
Taking the time to develop a plan indicates that you really want to help this person. This helps identify problems. The prospect may (or may not) know about the problem or its severity. The financial plan usually specifies this. They may not act, but once identified, the problem doesn’t go away until they act.
2. You see their entire financial situation. A prospect might say, “Sell me term insurance.” Is this the right product for them? Making a financial plan shows the big picture. It also lets you know what investments they have in different locations. It’s very different from someone saying “What do you have in this product? »
3. It’s a logical reason for an insurance review. Do most people understand what they own? Probably not. Do they have the right products for their current situation? A client may think they have adequate insurance coverage, but it all depends on the insurance policies at work. What if they don’t work there one day?
4. The opportunity to show what you can do. It’s tempting to look for fruit close at hand, saying, “You should consider these other needs as well.” Over time, you will probably be able to meet all their needs if you hire competent specialists. More products also lead to closer relationships.
6. There are also free tips. Some prospects might think it’s about selling something. You can talk about the need to have a will and keep it up to date. Giving a few tips that they can implement at no cost to you should make them more interested in following your other recommendations.
7. Plans need to be reviewed. Financial plans should be living documents. Portfolios need to be rebalanced. What does progress towards goals look like? How to invest the new money? Plan reviews are a good time to suggest actions.
8. You become the quarterback. If you lead the financial planning effort, you show the client how all the pieces fit together. When they have extra money or are faced with a financial decision, you are often their first call.
9. It creates a reason to get to know their accountant. There is another important financial person in their life. Working out a plan with your client is a good reason to involve their accountant in the picture. If they’re impressed, it could lead to dismissals.
10. Financial planning should help clients sleep better. Planning for retirement is an important goal for most people. Knowing that they have a plan and investments aligned to making progress toward that goal should reduce stress.
Financial planning should not be seen as a tool for obtaining an order. It is the basis of a lasting and deep business relationship.
Bryce Sander is president of Perceptive Business Solutions Inc. He provides HNW customer acquisition training for the financial services industry. His book, “Captivating the Wealthy Investor” can be found on Amazon.