Renew your client review
During a recent presentation of Invesco Global Consulting’s program, Priceless, I asked a room full of advisers how many of them had changed the way they do their annual client review meetings in the last 5 years (COVID19 changes aside). One third of the room raised their hand. I then asked how many feel their review meetings with their clients seem to go OK? Most of the room raised their hand.
When Invesco Global Consulting did a study of 1000 advised clients, we were surprised to learn that 79% of those clients were dissatisfied with their annual adviser review meeting. That figure stunned us so much, we had to ask the clients, “what would make these review meetings better?”.
Here are their top three responses:
- Mutual preparation and getting documents in advance of my meeting
- Having a definitive goal and purpose for the meeting
- Receiving a follow-up email every time to summarise the conversation and planned changes
The reason so many clients were dissatisfied, is they felt when going into their annual review meetings, their advisers spent most of the time going over investment performance and numbers and not making the meeting about them as a person.
Thankfully, these issues are quite easy to resolve with the right communication tools.
Let’s break it down to what clients want and what you can do to make sure you and your client are getting the most out of your annual review meetings.
Clients want: Mutual preparation and getting documents in advance of their meeting
Our response: Have a pre-meeting checklist
A pre-meeting checklist gives your client a chance to select from a range of issues that they would like to address in their upcoming meeting. It also gives your clients the time they need to sit down and review everything that has happened in their lives since their last meeting with you.
This checklist doesn’t need to be overly detailed but should include some of the following topics:
- Life changes (work, household expenses/debt/income, dependents)
- Investment satisfaction
- Service satisfaction
- Financial plan and services updates
Clients want: Definitive goal and purpose for the meeting
Our response: Have an agenda and open your meetings with a client centred conversation
Having a structured agenda and purpose for all your client meetings will not only benefit your client and help them to see the value you provide as their adviser, it will also benefit you by giving you the full picture, enabling you to build a better client experience and assist your client in achieving the outcomes they desire.
Here is a ‘review meeting structure’ designed by Invesco Global Consulting as an aid to have better conversation flow in review meetings with your clients:
- Hear from the client
Firstly, let your client do most of the talking. Let them know you want to hear from them. You want to know if there is anything in their life that has changed since your last meeting or is there anything they would like to address? You may need to ask your client some questions to encourage the conversation flow, these could include, “are you more or less confident with your finances since we last talked?”, “is anything happening now that could impact your financial future?”, “how do you feel about the long-term goals we talked about in our previous meetings?”.
- Review holdings
Once you feel your client has covered everything they wanted at the start of the meeting, this is when you proceed to discuss their current portfolio, performance and results and any future opportunities. This is also the perfect time for you to make sure your client feels like they are on track to reaching their goals.
- Review services
Finally, another great way to demonstrate your value to your client is to openly discuss your current and future services and costs. Clients appreciate the candor and want to feel confident that you are working efficiently and effectively for them.
Clients want: To receive a follow-up email post meeting
Our response: Prepare a client summary letter
During our research it amazed us that many clients were not receiving follow-up letters from their adviser, which is something they really wanted.
Sending a follow up communication is a simple way to show your client that you listened to them and that you are both on the same page. Your follow-up letter or email should include a summary of what you discussed during your meeting as well as confirmation of any changes planned. This is another powerful way to enhance the client experience.
By hitting the refresh button on how you carry out your annual review meetings and centring your meeting around the client and their goals, you are showing your clients the real value in your service and that you are more to them than just someone managing their money.
Invesco Global Consulting is a unique resource that exists to help advisers in the three areas all advisers consistently focus on – winning new business, retaining existing clients and growing their wallet and market share. We focus solely on the importance of the client relationship, methodically researching the language of our industry and the emotions associated with it to create actionable and implementable practice management and business strategy programs, assisting advisers across Australia.