One of the most neglected aspects of growing a financial services practice is the review meeting. Many review meetings are snoozers. Small talk? Check. Performance? Check. Anything new? Check. Who wants to go through that three or four times a year?
Review meetings done properly offer many relationship building opportunities. They’re enjoyable for the client and create upgrade or introduction opportunities for the advisor. Here are five tips on how to make this work:
1. Offer High Level Service They Will Talk About.
There’s nothing like your client taking a selfie next to their custom-labeled parking space. We’ve worked with a team who uses printed name tags attached to a sign in front of their building — minimal effort for maximum impact. You could also consider walking them to their car, having their favorite beverage ready in nice china, having an article clipping or two linked to one of their passions and so on. The little things get talked about.
2. Source Names and Ask for Introductions.
Affluent client reviews are an excellent opportunity to work the introduction process. You can uncover (source) names during conversation i.e., “I bet that birthday dinner was a blast. Who all went out with you?” When the timing is right, ask to be introduced in a social venue. It works! Just don’t pounce on names as soon as you hear them — pocket them for a couple weeks.
3. Use the Right Structure.
Adding structure to your review process ensures that you’ll do all of the little things more consistently. This structure can come in the form of:
- Agendas — Separate agendas for the client and for you. Your agenda has key reminders like “source names” and to walk them to the car.
- Venue — Host some reviews at your client’s home or over lunch. It changes the dynamic and leads to better rapport building.
- Family Engagement — At a minimum, make it known that you’d like both spouses involved on a regular basis. Occasionally involve the children as well — this meeting can take different forms based on their age (educational meeting for younger children, budgeting and basic investing for college age, more advanced conversations for adult children, etc.)
4. Expand Your Service Offerings.
Insurance, lending, other assets — these are a few of the many opportunities you can uncover if you have the right process. What questions can you ask? What tools does your firm offer? Thinking about these questions and tools in advance makes it more likely that you’ll use them. The more you use them, the more results you’ll get. Offering financial planning, financial organization, an insurance policy review, etc. can all go a long way.
5. Prepare for Relationship Building.
Reviewing client notes, gathering intelligence online and thinking about the client’s friends, family and hobbies prior to the meeting, helps you prepare a thoughtful list of questions and conversation topics. Always begin every review by asking each spouse if there is anything they’d like to discuss.
There’s nothing overly complex about running an effective review meeting, but you’ll limit your effectiveness if you’re “going through the motions.” Use some or all of the tips above, remember to listen effectively and put some structure around your process. The rest typically falls in line.
What ideas can you share? Feel free to add to the comments section.
@StephenBoswell is President of The Oechsli Institute and author of Best Practices of Elite Advisors. @KevinANichols is the Chief Operating Officer for The Oechsli Institute and author of The Indispensable LinkedIn Sales Guide for Financial Advisors.