Creating and sending an agenda to clients ahead of meetings is one of the best ways to set expectations, keep the meeting on track, and make sure both you and your client show up fully prepared. However, many financial advisors who want to make meeting agendas often give up on the idea because it seems to take up too much time. It doesn’t have to be this way. 

With a better organizational system, constructing a meeting agenda out of your meeting notes can take just seconds—and the value it adds to your practice is more than worth taking the time to restructure your organizational system to make this possible. Here are three ways skipping the meeting agenda is hurting your practice, followed by five tips for developing a system for quickly and efficiently creating meeting agendas:

3 Ways Skipping the Meeting Agenda Is Costing Your Practice

While it might feel like there’s just not enough time in the day to prepare a meeting agenda and send it out to clients ahead of time, skipping this step costs your practice a lot in terms of lost value and wasted time. Here are three of the biggest costs of not making and sending a meeting agenda:

1. Missed Opportunity to Improve Client Perception

Financial advisors can sometimes take for granted that a client will walk into a meeting with the same expectations that the advisor has. This isn’t usually the case, though. Many of the clients I have worked with express sincere gratitude after I sent an agenda because they don’t always know what will be brought up. Is it good news or bad? Is there something the client needs to bring? 

Clients also said that getting that agenda helped them digest and prepare as well. It gave them a chance to remember any questions they wanted to ask or bring up any topics that they wanted to get your input on. 

The meeting agenda puts a client’s mind at ease, and everybody has the same set of expectations for the meeting. By clearly stating those expectations in advance, clients come into the meeting with a concrete idea of what this meeting should accomplish so they can plainly recognize when you have accomplished it. 

More importantly, it demonstrates that:

  1. you are an organized, well-prepared financial advisor.
  2. you listen to your clients and include agenda items based on previous meetings and conversations you had with them.
  3. you care about your clients and are committed to making this advisor-client relationship as productive and beneficial as possible. 

While skipping it won’t make you seem like a terrible financial advisor, making that effort is what will often make the difference between a referrable and not referable financial advisor.

2. Time Wasted on Avoidable Follow-Ups

Without an agenda, it’s easy for things to slip through the cracks. You might forget to discuss a topic that you were supposed to discuss. Your client might forget to bring the documents they needed to bring. 

When things slip through the cracks during the meeting, it falls on you and your team to follow-up on them afterward. You’ll have to look into the missed topic and send a follow up email. You’ll have to make a note to send a reminder email to request those missing documents later. You’ll have to take time fielding questions from clients after the meeting because they forgot to bring it up during. 

All of this work (and time) could be avoided by just putting together a meeting agenda ahead of time, so everybody knows what to bring and what topics to prepare for. Now, you’re freeing up more time to deliver this same level of organized, prepared service to more clients. 

3. Missed Opportunity to Better Tailor Your Services

By sending that agenda out ahead of time, you’re also inviting your client to make any changes or provide any updates. Recent changes to their financial situation or goals are helpful to know about ahead of the meeting so you can avoid spending time on a topic that might no longer be relevant. 

Even if there are no major changes, clients will appreciate the opportunity to add their own input. If there’s a topic they want to discuss that you haven’t included, they can tell you in advance so you can adapt accordingly and let the client know what, if any, documentation they should bring with them.

This creates a much more personalized and tailored experience for each client as they are actively engaged in setting the agenda and consistently feel like you’re listening to their concerns.

5 Tips for Creating a Meeting Agenda Quickly

The main reasons financial advisors skip the meeting agenda despite the enormous value they add are the following:

In reality, these are all interconnected. If a financial advisor thinks they can just rely on memory for every meeting, they’re less likely to have a cohesive, detailed note taking system in place. If they don’t have a cohesive, detailed note taking system, then sifting through vague, disorganized meeting notes will certainly take a lot more time than they have to spare in a day packed with meetings. If it takes that much time to make an agenda, you might just have no choice but to skip it. 

Here are a few tips to break that cycle:

  1. Realize that because of a phenomenon known as the Forgetting Curve, relying on memory alone can lead to a lot of things falling through the cracks.
  2. Develop a consistent, easy-to-repeat notetaking method that will make it easier to take good notes during meetings. Include a way to highlight or mark items that are tabled for a future meeting, that require follow up, or that you otherwise know you’ll need to discuss in the next meeting.
  3. Keep those notes organized on your computer using your own organization system or a meeting note software like Pulse360.
  4. When it’s time to prepare an agenda, search through your notes to find the items you already marked or highlighted for discussion in your next meeting. Put all of these together in a meeting agenda template. You can make your own template, find one online, or use Pulse360’s customizable templates.
  5. Email that agenda to your client a week to two weeks prior to the meeting. 

Once you have a system in place that’s easy to maintain even with your busy schedule, you’ll quickly get into a rhythm that will make this whole process easy. By the time you’re ready to send out an agenda, it won’t take more than a few seconds or minutes to compile everything and get it emailed out. 

The advice you give as a financial advisor is perhaps the most valuable element of the service you provide. But if a client doesn’t understand your advice or forgets it within an hour of leaving the meeting they had with you, the value of that advice diminishes quickly. That’s the problem you have to contend with thanks to Miller’s Law. Let’s take a look at how Miller’s Law can affect the value of your advice and what steps you can take to make sure clients don’t forget.

What Is Miller’s Law?

American psychologist George A. Miller observed that the average person can hold about seven items (plus or minus two) in their working memory at any given moment. That limit on our short-term memory capacity is known as Miller’s Law

In other words, the more details you throw at a person, the harder it will be for them to keep track of them all and remember how they fit together. 

In a client meeting, this can create communication problems. If you’re diving deep into the weeds of a topic—especially a complicated financial topic that your client may not have a strong grasp of to begin with—that client might run into two problems. 

First, during the meeting itself, they might become too overwhelmed with details to really process and understand what you’re saying fully. Second, even if they do manage to follow along in the meeting, they’ll struggle to store every detail in their memory long enough to get home and act on your advice. 

Miller’s Law and the Forgetting Curve Can Become a Recipe for Lost Value

That second problem becomes even worse if you factor in the forgetting curve. The average person forgets more than half of what they learned within an hour of learning it. That’s why we take notes and review material when we’re trying to learn something. 

For financial advisors, these limits on human memory can become a serious problem when it comes to maintaining client satisfaction. After all, a client who doesn’t remember your advice can’t follow it. And a client who doesn’t remember what service you provided can’t easily recognize how much value you provided. 

Eventually, this can make a client feel like they aren’t getting very much value from you when, in reality, they just aren’t able to keep track of that value. 

How an Efficient Follow-Up Method Can Reinforce Your Value

As a financial advisor, it’s up to you to make sure you’re communicating your value and making it easy for clients to understand and keep track of your advice and your service. The key to doing that is making a habit of following up with every client after every meeting — and again at the end of every year. 

The key to a good follow up and summary is simplicity. Think bullet points, not essay. Again, Miller’s law states that a person can only store about seven things in their working memory. So, making your follow up as simple and easy to skim as possible will ensure that your client can easily process everything in that email. You already met with the client so you don’t need to dive into the details here. Just provide a simplified summary of what you covered and a list of any next steps they need to take. 

You can do all of that easily (and in seconds) if you have the right tools to automate as much of the process as possible. 

With Pulse360, for example, prewritten email templates and tagging functions cut the time it takes to send a follow up email down to minutes. Instead of writing the same basic email over and over for each client after each meeting, you write the general follow up template once and save it. 

As your taking notes during your meetings, just make sure to tag individual items in your notes with “follow up” using the software’s tagging feature. Then, when it’s time to send that follow up email, you just need to open up that follow up template you created and automatically pull all the notes tagged with “follow up” from that meeting into it. Quickly review to make sure it looks good and send. That’s it!

You can follow a similar process for creating annual summaries by writing out your general template and then populating it with notes tagged “follow up” from all your meeting notes for the year. That annual summary can serve as a friendly reminder of all the value you created for your client in the past year.

If you want to take that annual summary opportunity a step further, you can add a goal or bucket list summary that lays the groundwork for what milestones you’ll help them achieve in the coming year. 

Whether you use automation tools like Pulse360 or not, making a habit of consistently sending out these follow up emails and annual summaries is an important part of communicating your value as a financial advisor. Following up helps clients remember what services you provided and remember what steps they need to take to follow through on your advice.

Forgetting information we learned is a natural part of life. However, as financial advisors, this process can make it difficult for clients to keep track of the topics discussed and the recommendations we provided. Without that memory of our financial advice, clients will struggle to realize just how much value we’ve created for them.

In this post, I’ll talk more about what the forgetting curve is, how it affects your relationship with clients, and how you can disrupt the process and better communicate your value to your clients.

What Is the Forgetting Curve?

The forgetting curve is a psychological phenomenon identified by Hermann Ebbinghaus and is sometimes referred to as the Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve. It refers to the rate at which our brain loses learned information. The curve looks like this:

People forget more than 50% of what they learned within an hour of learning it. While this is natural, the process can be disrupted. This is why learning something new requires a combination of diligent note-taking and repeated review of the material.

I’ll talk more about how you can disrupt the forgetting curve process for your clients later on in this post.

Why Does this Matter for Financial Advisors?

The less familiar someone is with the information they were told, the faster this forgetting curve happens. So, when you throw complex financial topics into the mix, your clients are likely to forget most of what you discussed during a meeting within an hour of walking out the door.

As a financial advisor, your job is to educate your clients on their different options and providing expert financial advice. While many of us do an excellent job of this during the meeting itself, we’re fighting a losing battle if we don’t make a habit of following up afterward.

This is even more important with quiet clients. The more someone actively participates in a conversation, the more they’ll remember of that conversation. With naturally quiet clients, that limited participation will worsen the forgetting curve effect.

Vanishing Value

As I’ve discussed in other posts, financial advisors who do not provide structure to their conversations with clients are really losing out on the value conversation. I have witnessed this forgetting curve firsthand with clients so I know how much of an impact it can have on how clients understand the value we create.

The more the client forgets, the harder it will be for them to identify the value you provide. Simply put, if they don’t remember the information you provided or the advice you gave, they won’t remember how valuable that meeting was.

The most common complaints that clients have about their financial advisor include:

These client complaints can take months, if not years, to resolve. That takes time and energy away from your work and hurts your relationships with clients. Many of these common complaints that financial advisors deal with could be avoided altogether with the proper follow-up strategy in place.

How to Disrupt the Forgetting Curve

So, how do you disrupt this process and make sure clients feel more confident in the education and recommendations they get from you? Above all, you should be providing written summaries of the key points brought up during the meeting.

A written summary of each meeting will help minimize the effect of the forgetting curve and achieve the following:

3 Steps for Effective Follow Up

Given how important a written summary is for ensuring that your client remembers the advice and information you gave along with the value you created, it’s worth doing it right. Make sure your follow-up process is built around these three steps:

1. Disrupt Your Own Forgetting Curve

You’re human, too! You may not forget quite as quickly as your client since financial topics are your expertise and you probably have a written agenda of what you planned to discuss during the meeting. However, you’re still at risk of forgetting the specifics, any unplanned items that came up, and other key details of the meeting.

While you can’t always take detailed notes during the meeting, you should do so immediately after while it's still fresh in your mind. Even if you don’t have time right this second to write out a full summary for your client, good note documentation now will make it so much quicker to create that summary later when you do have time.

2. Send the Summary Out Same Day

As you saw in the graph above, over half of learned information is gone just an hour later. So, send that written summary within the hour if possible and by the end of the day at the latest. Prompt follow-up not only helps your client remember your advice but also makes that client feel like a high priority.

3. Automate the Process

With Pulse360, sending out summaries is made systematic and stream-lined. By keeping your notes all in one place and using our tools, you can create full, ready-to-email summaries in minutes.

You can provide the follow-up attention your clients need in order to remember your advice—and, therefore, your value—without taking hours out of each day to write up summaries for every meeting.

This recent feedback from an advisor shows how clients value strong follow up notes:

The forgetting curve process poses a challenge to financial advisors whose bread and butter is the valuable financial advice we provide to our clients. So taking steps to disrupt that process and ensure your clients actually remember that advice is one of the best things you can do to make sure the value you create is clear and understood at all times. 

Forgetting information we learned is a natural part of life. However, as financial advisors, this process can make it difficult for clients to keep track of the topics discussed and the recommendations we provided. Without that memory of our financial advice, clients will struggle to realize just how much value we’ve created for them.

In this post, I’ll talk more about what the forgetting curve is, how it affects your relationship with clients, and how you can disrupt the process and better communicate your value to your clients.

How do you keep track of the important nuggets of information that you uncovered during a client meeting? When you promise to address a topic at the next meeting, how do you make sure you remember to put that topic on the agenda? Do you create tasks for yourself so that you’ll be reminded later? Do you keep it in an Excel file? Do you just keep it in your head and hope you don’t forget?

With Pulse360’s new tag feature, you can get rid of the endless calendar reminders and difficult to navigate Excel files. Tags keep your notes organized, your team on the same page, and ensure that you remember every follow-up, every agenda item for the next meeting, and every piece of value you created.

Below, I’ll talk more about why organization is so key to a successful financial advisory practice and how tags can help you and your team achieve that organization. Then, I’ll go over a couple use cases so you can see the new tag feature in action.

The Value of Better Organization

In his book, Getting Things Done, David Allen argues that an important step to getting focused and organized is developing a consistent system for keeping our thoughts and tasks in order. 

When you’re juggling multiple clients, each with their own unique needs and circumstances, how do you develop a system for keeping all those different details unique to each client organized? 

Financial advisors need a system that can handle the fast-paced nature of the advisory world; something that is adaptable to your practice and easy for your whole team to adopt. Above all, financial advisors need a system that is future proof and able to handle changes. 

The Challenge Financial Advisors Face in Staying Organized

The first step to addressing all of these needs is a thorough and detailed notetaking system (as shared on Michael Kitces's blog by Michael Lecours of fpPATHFINDER). However, even with great notes, financial advisors still run into the problem of needing to sift through those notes in search of the particular piece of information they need for that next meeting or that follow-up email. Finding that needle in a haystack.

Like many of you, I have tried all sorts of technology and processes for bubbling up this information.

I’ve set up a dedicated Excel sheet where my team would diligently add notes to review prior to each meeting. This is a method many advisors use but, as many of us are aware, it’s not fail-proof.

I’ve used the task function of my calendar to set reminders for myself. However, these quickly mixed in with my other daily tasks and it just wasn’t a clean solution.

I’ve used planning software like eMoney, Naviplan, or MoneyGuide Pro which allow you to store these bits of information. However, not everyone in the practice uses the same software so that wasn’t an elegant solution either.

My most successful attempt at solving this problem was to attach keywords to my documents and then input them into a CRM like Redtail or Wealthbox. This way, I could pull up all my notes connected to a particular keyword.

However, even this was not a perfect solution. 

Many times, the notes I added to the CRM were short-hand and lacked important context or details. More often, there were so many notes in a given document that it took up valuable time skimming through it all to find the relevant piece of information I actually needed.

This keyword system also wasn’t clear for everyone on my team. Only a select few knew what a particular keyword meant or how to apply them. The information is stored in such an individualized structure that it’s hard to get the whole team on the same page.

What I needed was a system that was easy to use, allowed for filtering of my notes to get straight to the relevant information quickly, and was clear and consistent enough that I could get my entire team to understand and use it.

Pulse360 Tags Keeps Information at Your Fingertips

I knew there had to be a better way to organize notes and capture information in a really granular way. Enter: tags.

With Pulse360, you can now tag specific pieces of information in your notes. When you’re setting your meeting agenda, compiling your annual summary, or just following up on a task, you can just search for that tag and pull up the specific line of information from your notes.

By applying keywords not just to whole documents but to individual pieces of information in those documents, you can quickly filter down specifically to the item you’re looking for.

Rather than being inundated with an overload of information unrelated to what you need, you can sift through only the individual notes that are tagged with the relevant keyword.

How Pulse360 Tags Can Improve Your Practice

This simple yet elegant solution eliminated all those points of failure that I kept running into with the other solutions I tried before. Tags enable financial advisors to:

How Pulse360 Tags Work

To better understand what makes this system easier and more effective than using an Excel sheet or a jumble of calendar reminders, let’s take a look at a couple examples:

Case #1: The Retirement Scenario

Retirement planning is a highly individualized and personal task. There are lots of pieces of information that you need to bring up at just the right time. For example, take the email below:

Meeting Summary created in Pulse360 software for financial advisors

That IRA conversion will likely get addressed at the next meeting and probably be brought up again in the future. And what of the point about spending more time with kids? How do you prevent that detail from getting lost in the haystack?

The reality is that this type of information gets buried quickly. The more clients you have, the more difficult it will be to simply rely on your own memory. To run an efficient practice, you need a reliable system for pulling up that information easily so that both you and your team can refer to it at the right moments.

What if you needed to run a retirement scenario that excluded social security? What if your client mentioned wanting to build a casita in the back of their property when they retire? How do you remember to factor these details in when running that retirement scenario? How do you find every needle in the haystack?

You use tags. In this case, you could apply a tag called “planning cycle” to the specific items highlighted in red boxes in the screenshot above.  

Now, when it’s time to run that retirement scenario, simply do a search for “planning cycle” and you’ll get a list of all the individual notes that have that tag. 

During your next meeting about retirement plans with that client, search for the tag to pull up an easy to reference list of each note related to their unique goals.

Case #2: The Pet Stock

Your client’s investment policy is another highly personalized aspect of their financial goals that goes beyond their general risk and return profiles. However, it’s not always practical to read through their entire IPS each time it’s time to talk about investments or generate cash.

For example, say a client has a particular pet stock, one that they favor and would not consider selling.

When it comes time to generate cash, you need to make sure that neither you nor your staff recommend selling that stock. Doing so would give your client the impression that you aren’t really listening to them or prioritizing their preferences.

By applying the tag “IPS”, you or your staff can pull up all the relevant pieces of information related to that client’s unique IPS and, thus, avoid making unusable trade recommendations.

When you’re heading into a meeting with this client about their investments, you can pull up the “IPS” tag for a quick reference of all your relevant notes from previous meetings. You don’t need to read through the entire IPS.

Which Tags Can You Use?

The advantage of tags is that they can be applied to individual granular notes, rather than just whole documents. You can focus in on the specific detail you need rather than having to weed through 10 other things that you don’t. 

Once you define your set of tags, you can teach them to your team and make sure everyone is applying them to individual notes in each document.

Here are some examples of tags you might use:

Applying tags to individual meeting notes in Pulse360, a software for financial advisors

A “soft point” tag can label personal goals that are indirectly related to their financial plans. It would have been helpful in the first case above, for the note about the client’s desire to spend more time with their kids. 

A “future meeting” tag can be used to quickly identify points that need to be addressed at your next meeting with that client.

The “value” tag can help you quickly identify each piece of advice you gave that created value for that client.

Schedule Your Pulse360 Demo Today!

I’m so excited about this new individual note tagging capability we’ve introduced to our software! While tagging full documents has been possible for a while, I’ve now applied this to the financially advisory world in a way that makes it possible to track single pieces of your notes.

With tags, you can now feel confident that no detail will fall through the cracks. It’s easy to use, scalable to your practice, and doesn’t require constant training of your team.

To learn more about how Pulse360 tags can improve your workflow, schedule your demo today!

As markets reel in response to the recent pandemic, the financial advisory industry faces a host of uncertainties. Clients are seeking advice and reassurance, while advisors have their own worries and investment challenges. As well as finding new ways to deal with clients, advisors have had to navigate administrative issues and furlough or even make staff redundant. 

In this post we’ll examine how the crisis is impacting financial advisors along with some ways to keep your business on track. 

Image source

Some advisors are reporting a fall in new business

Covid-19 appears to be having a larger impact than previous market crashes. For some advisors lockdown is putting a check on new business acquisition. When questioned 62% of advisors who took part in a recent Facebook survey said they had seen new enquiries fall. 

The reason? According to many advisors it’s because new clients need to have that personal connection before they sign up. Although video calls can work well, many potential clients still like to ‘meet’ their advisor in person. 

Another reason for the decrease in demand could be because many of the catalysts to setting up new financial plans (house moves, marriages, etc.) are on hold.. 

Other advisors are seeing an increase in enquiries

The picture when it comes to new business acquisition is not the same across the board: 

While technology may be putting off some first time investors, others are actively seeking financial advice for the first time. 

Existing clients are concerned about their long-term objectives

During the pandemic advisors have been spending more time speaking with clients. According to recent research six in 10 advisors said they’ve experienced a 25% increase in inbound contact from clients. As you would expect  many clients are seeking reassurance about their investments, as well as information on self-employment and payment deferrals. 

Clients are asking whether their retirement plans are being derailed

The coronavirus is having an impact on many pre-retirees who were hoping to retire early. According to UK newspaper The Telegraph millions of investors have had significant sums wiped off their pension pot. Legal & General estimated that more than 15 million workers over 50 would have to work an extra 3 years in order to  have enough to retire on.

Image source

At this time advisors are playing a big part in how things pan out. Their advice is pivotal in ensuring clients are adequately protected - especially if they’ve historically been taking money from higher risk funds.According to some reports there’s been a big increase in requests for fixed term annuities. This is probably down to the fact that attitudes to risk have changed.

What you can do to increase your chances of success during the pandemic

1 If a client hasn’t been in touch call them

“Communicate, communicate and then communicate some more” 

That’s according to Mark Casady, partner at Vestigo Ventures. “Customers want to know what their advisors think, and why,” “They want to experience their advisor’s confidence in the world returning to a more normal time. And small check-ins, like a simple message, count”

Despite performance blips the #number one reason clients are disappointed with their advisors is poor communication. They expect timely, reassuring and tailored communications. 

If a client hasn’t gotten on the phone to you, call them and ask if you can help. Look out for your most vulnerable clients. The FCA has stated that FAs must identify their most vulnerable clients and ensure they are getting the support they need. 

Key indicators of vulnerability include health, life events, resilience and financial capability. Look out for clients going through a divorce as well as those who’ve become recently unemployed.  Check both they - and you - are confident their current financial plan is still fit for purpose. 

3 Keep clients informed

The next few months are unlikely to be easy so re-visit client communication plans. Produce content to educate and reassure clients and keep them regularly updated about events. 

4 Learn how to host the best client meetings 

There are some things you can do to increase your chances of success, not least by making your virtual meetings with clients as productive as possible. 

4  Make the most of your free time

If you have more time on your hands why not use it wisely to invest in training? You could consider gaining a specialist qualification on, say, pension transfers or long term care - or use this time to get the next level FA qualifications. 

5 Move processes online

Make use of existing technology. As well as a CRM and financial planning tools make use of apps e.g. for admin or documentation processes to enable remote working both now and in the future.

If you step up your level of service, clients will remember you for helping them through uncertain times. When the current crisis is over they’ll look to you for help in rebuilding for the future and they will be more likely to refer you to family and friends as a trusted advisor. 

The future’s arrived early for many advisors. The recent pandemic has thrown advisory practices in at the deep end when it comes to virtual working. It’s also served to  highlight workflow lags. 

Financial advisors now, more than ever, need to ensure that their business processes and systems are agile and productivity-boosting. Failure to innovate could spell failure. In this post we’ll look at some ways to ensure your business succeeds well into the future.

1. Focus on the right niches

Specialists always trump generalists and this is as true today as it’s ever been. When people search for an advisor they go online and use specific terms depending on the kind of advisor they require e.g. retirement planner, pensions advisors etc. If you simply advertise yourself as a ‘financial advisor’ you won’t get picked up - you’ll get lost in the ‘white noise’.

To ensure your business’ longevity, find a niche and decide only to work with that group of people. 

There are many ways to identify a niche. You can segment based on education, financial goals, values, career, age, demographics, and interests. 

2. Consider targeting a younger demographic

To ensure the future growth of your company targeting a younger generation could be a good idea. Millennials, for example, will certainly be more and more in need of good financial advice over the coming years.

Bear in mind they will have  different pain points and a different outlook than those of previous generations. For example, they may be burdened with student loan debts or take a more ethical stance towards investing. 

Younger people are also likely to be technically-minded - and they will expect you to be too. They’ll demand seamless communication both digitally and in person. If you’re lost in the past they’ll move on and work with someone more dynamic. 

One way to reach out to Millennials is to ask your current clients about their children and grandchildren. Maybe offer to do a quick evaluation of their financial situation - as well as remind them it’s never too early to start planning for the future.

3. You can’t ignore the rise of the robo-advisors

You can’t afford to be complacent when it comes to robo-advisors. There are an increasing number of them out there.

However on the plus side there are still plenty of people in need of your full service offering, including wealthier individuals.

To attract and retain these types of clients you need to stand out with your superior service and attention to detail. It pays to remember that the #1 reason clients let go of an advisor isn’t performance - it’s poor communication.

Let prospective clients know they’re important to you by returning their calls immediately. When you meet let them get to know you as a person to build empathy and trust. Use open-ended questions to draw out their goals, then instill them with confidence that you can help them achieve them.

Once the meeting’s over send them a customized report along with your recommendations. The sooner you can send them a follow-up email the better. This will keep both your personality and your advice top of mind and will illustrate your professionalism.

And that’s something a robo-advisor can’t do.

4. Have a succession plan

It’s only natural that your clients and prospects will want to know what will happen to their money should something happen to you. So it’s surprising how few advisors address this issue. 

Think about how you want your business to look in the future. Maybe you have a junior partner waiting in the wings, to take over things when you retire? Or a family member? You may wish to work part-time in the future but hand over the reins for some of the time. 

By having a succession plan you’re also ensuring your hard work will not go to waste. If you’ve spent years building a successful practice you’ll want to know it’s in safe hands further down the line. 

If you’re a one-man business it’s harder to develop a plan - but recent studies reveal that advisors with succession plans tend to be more successful. Having a plan shows you care about your clients and their well-being - even when you aren’t around. 

5. Invest in the right financial advisor automation

To survive in this increasingly digital world you need to improve your productivity by using automation. You need to invest in solutions that support personalization, keep you compliant, and enable you to provide a better service to your clients. 

Low advisor productivity has long been a challenge. There are so many manual operations involved in running a practice, and a historic lack of integration of key workflow processes. Too much time is spent on back-office tasks. A study by Capgemini and PWC revealed that 29% of an advisor’s time is spent doing administrative tasks. 

As the report noted

“Client information is being rewritten multiple times with client specific data to be manually consolidated from different systems. Client reports are inconsistent firm-wide with a different look and feel.”

In 2009 when this report was commissioned gaps in workflow processes were noted. Fast forward to today, and advisors are still not operating efficiently. In order to boost productivity integrate data across all your systems - from your CRM, and planning tools and across all other functionalities. Look out for new software solutions to help you minimize the manual workload.

To stay competitive, increase market share and build better client relationships advisors need to future proof their business. This includes having a clear business strategy and finding a niche, as well as identifying and automating inefficient workflows. 

In such a rapidly-changing environment,  it’s a case of ‘now or never’ when it comes to creating your business of the future. So there’s no time to delay. 

Pulse360 software can help eliminate manual documentation processes and future-proof your business. 

In light of events of last week in the country, we skipped posting a Comic. Here we start again.

Trying to make your day a little brighter with comics.

Trying to make your day a little brighter with comics.

Made with ❤️ in Riverside, CA & Farnham, UK
© 2022 Pulse360, Inc. All rights Reserved.