The most successful financial advisors know that the more they invest in their clients, the more the client is likely to invest with them. It is true whether you are working to acquire assets from new clients or consolidate assets for existing clients.
The Edward Jones whitepaper gives tips on key strategies to grow assets. In addition, it suggests dialogues to help in the asset gathering process.
Your value as a financial advisor is your ability to assess risk and focus on a client’s long-term goals. This involves understanding their entire financial situation so that your meetings should be more than a brief conversation about the assets they currently have under your care.
Here are two dialogues that can help you create long term investors: “When was the last time you assessed your risk and goals? I really think it would be in your best interest, given the current market volatility, to discuss both. It is important to have a second set of eyes. And I use an established process to help you build personalized strategies to achieve your goals – and to make sure you aren’t taking too much risk in the process.”
“Everything we do is centered on you as the client and your goals, that’s why it’s important to discuss what’s important to you. I realize that anyone can go somewhere and talk with someone about investments, but what makes us different is understanding your complete financial situation and working together to focus on your long-term goals.”
The big picture
Clients are more willing to give information when they have an understanding of why it is important for you to know. Explain that you cannot serve them appropriately without having a complete personal/financial picture. When they give you information, continue to ask probing questions to reveal more of their “big picture.”
Here are the two examples:
“Doctors need all the available information to make an accurate diagnosis. I am sure you would agree that disclosing some information to one doctor and different information to another doctor could create an inaccurate diagnosis of your health. We don’t want to run the risk of a misdiagnosis of your financial situation.”
“If you have a statement for us to look at, then I can give you a better view as to how the additional assets fit into the whole picture. Let’s look at how those investments match up to your portfolio objective and risk tolerance that we have documented for you.”
Say it with a picture:
Most advisors offer an analysis tool that offers clients graphs or charts that give them a visual depiction of how their assets are performing and if they are on track to meet their goals. These tools can be leveraged to show how assets are aligned/ misaligned with risk, goals and diversification.
Here is a way to talk to clients using tools that graphically show a projected shortfall.
“As you can see, the retirement tool shows that you’ll have a shortfall on the results screen. Is this everything that you have? What else can we include in this analysis to ensure it’s as accurate as possible?”
Asking for referrals
One of the best ways to build your assets is through client referrals. But it can be hard to ask a client to give one. By emphasizing your personal concern for people in need of guidance, you can reinforce your commitment—and value.
Below you will see some language on how to frame this discussion.
“You have probably noticed that I don’t often ask you for introductions. I never want to make you uncomfortable, affect our relationship or sound pushy. Given the recent market turmoil, I see things that concern me. I see people with no retirement plan, people taking unwarranted risk, or have no protection. For these reasons, if anybody you care about fits into any of these categories, I’d be happy to meet with them.”
“Something that really bothers me is when individuals aren’t educated, and don’t know what to do or who to talk to…if you know anybody who is in that situation and needs someone to talk to about their financial future, please send them my way.”