Client meetings are one of the most effective opportunities you have as a financial advisor to strengthen client relationships and illustrate your value. Annual and bi-annual meetings are not only for reviewing portfolio performance, but more importantly, solidifying your clients’ trust and re-energizing your connection. A memorable meeting requires preparation, attention to detail, and going above and beyond the investing process. Set a schedule for the clients you plan to meet with over the year and follow these five steps to ensure worthwhile meetings.
Set clear, written goals for what you plan to discuss and accomplish. One week prior to their visit, send the agenda to your clients to review ahead of time. This allows them time to prepare and formulate questions.
Encourage your clients to respond with goals and items they wish to cover as well, so that they view the agenda as their own. Defining the meeting objectives in writing will help you and your clients stay focused on what needs to be accomplished.
Asking open-ended questions can help clients process information more effectively. The more your client feels listened to, the more valuable the meeting. Before the meeting starts, set aside time to review the agenda, your client’s profile and notes from previous meetings.
Familiarize yourself with their industry or company. This will help you speak their language and better understand their concerns. Remind yourself of any special occasions that you know have occurred since the last meeting – vacations, milestones, birthdays, etc. These personal conversations will show that you go the extra mile to get to know your clients.
Ask your clients if there have been any significant lifestyle changes in the last year or if they predict any will occur in the foreseeable future. By learning about career or family changes, you can highlight opportunities based on their current needs. Recommend updates that should be made to their investment portfolio, estate planning, business succession planning or insurance needs.
Throughout the year, your clients share and compare their investment portfolios with their family and friends. Annual or bi-annual client meetings are the perfect opportunity to remind clients that their personal investment portfolio is designed based on their specific risk tolerance score and financial goals.
Reassure them by highlighting the planning process, focusing on their personal situation and reviewing progress made toward their long-term goals.
At the end of the meeting, assign actionable tasks and due dates to yourself and your client. The due dates allow you and your client to communicate effectively and clearly identify progress. Send a follow-up email or letter in two to three days reviewing the main points of the meeting, progress to date and the actionable tasks necessary to attain your client’s goals.