…so you need to tangibly demonstrate your worth to them, both visually and in monetary terms. The opportunity to do this will usually arise at your annual review meetings, where there are just two simple things you need to get right:
1. ‘Show’ the client that everything is going to be alright (and if it is not going to be alright, tell them what to do about it).
2. Politely remind the client what you have done for them lately (i.e. show them your value)
This is pretty simple stuff, but ask yourself the question; “Does my existing approach to client reviews achieve these two goals?”
In this video I share my personal experience and tips for ensuring a great annual review process, which you’ll also find summarised below.
What can you do to demonstrate value?
Out of the two simple points above – showing everything will be alright and reminding the client of the value you deliver – point number 1 is more important by a factor of 10. If all you did at every review was show the client that everything was going to be alright you would have a great business and strong client relationships for life. Let’s call this the cake.
Point 2 is the icing on the cake and let’s face it, you wouldn’t open a shop that just sold icing. Icing without the cake would be weird. But the icing is the best bit, so it’s important.
Alternatively, selling cakes without icing would be alright, but not half as much fun for your customers.
To ‘show’ the client that everything is going to be alright requires something visual. Simply ‘telling’ clients that everything is going to be alright is not enough. It’s easy for you, you deal with this stuff day in and day out, but for your clients this is not the case. I don’t care how smart or sophisticated you think they are in their own profession, when it comes to money most people are just not in the same league as you.
Almost certainly that means using some sort of cashflow modeling software. Then you can ‘show’ the client that they will never run out of money. Job done.
To deal with the second point you need to understand one of the simplest ways to demonstrate your value is in cash.
What do I mean by value in cash?
Let’s say you were paying an adviser £2,000 per year for services. Put yourself in the client’s shoes for a moment. How much value would that adviser need to deliver to you, in cash, for you to feel like they were fantastic?
How would you feel if they could demonstrate clearly that their advice had put £2,000 back in your pocket? So the fee they charged you was £2,000 but they had saved you £2,000 of tax (as an example) in another area.
In my experience whenever I could show that I had provided tangible value in cash of at least the client’s annual fee they were over the moon. Not just pretty happy, but ecstatic. Why?
It all goes back to the cake and icing analogy. Remember, the core stuff you do as an adviser (holding a review meeting, showing that everything is going to be alright, or advising them what to do if changes need to be made) provides them with support, comfort and peace of mind – the high value deliverables (the cake).
Whenever I could demonstrate that I had also paid them back in cash with some smart strategy work their words to me were, “I feel like I get you for free”. The subtext that they didn’t actually say was, “And I’m already as happy as Larry with the core stuff you do for me each year.”
What if your adviser added £10,000 of demonstrable value in cash? Or £50,000, or £300,000? Obviously you would be even more satisfied that you were in the right place.
But what if your adviser only added £500 of demonstrable value in cash? How would you feel then?
Based on the feedback I received clients were still very very happy because remember, the value added is only part of the story.
Dig out a file or two for some of your good clients and see if you can identify some tangible value added in cash from some of your financial planning strategies. Look for tax wins, pension savings, or any other area that you think has created a cash win for the client. Package it up and communicate to those clients at your next review meeting and see what happens.
Have you created a successful ongoing review service? If so I’d love to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment in the comments section below or drop me an email to[email protected]. Alternatively, visit www.fpadvance.com and subscribe to receive updates like this on a regular basis.
If you want more direct assistance with this or any other aspect of your business drop me a line at [email protected] or give me a call on 0207 431 3663.