Client engagement is a vital part of success for any financial professional, and understanding the six stages of engagement is absolutely essential. Each of these six stages is important, and they all come together to form a comprehensive, and profitable, whole.
Lead Generation and Prospect Engagement
Lead generation and prospect engagement is the vital first step for any financial professional, and without that engagement nothing more can happen. There are many different aspects to lead generation and the engagement of new prospects, but a combination approach typically works best.
One of the surest ways to generate new business and find new leads is through your existing wealth management clients. If your clients are happy and making money, they will be happy to share their success with those they know. Leads gained through word of mouth are particularly valuable, and a great way to grow your wealth management business.
Similarly, existing clients may refer their children and grandchildren to their wealth management firms. Educating the next generation is a key part of any financial planning practice, and clients are likely to refer their kids and grandkids for quality advice.
Community outreach and online advertising are also valid ways to generate new leads and start the client engagement process. No matter how those leads are generated. Engaging new prospects is the vital first step to growing your wealth management practice.
The sales process is another indispensable part of growing your wealth management practice. Once you have found suitable leads and engaged potential clients, it is time to close the sale.
As a financial professional, you understand the value of a great sale, and you understand that the sales practice and the creation of client value are inextricably linked. There are many ways to demonstrate the value of professional wealth management and financial guidance, from industry studies that show those with financial advisors do better than those who go it alone to showing potential clients how professional guidance can free them from the day-to-day minutiae of financial decision making.
The process of client on-boarding is essential, and another vital part of building a wealth management business. First impressions count, and how your clients view you from the start will have an impact on your relationship going forward.
The on-boarding process can be a delicate balance, and you need to weigh the bureaucratic niceties against friendly service and customer engagement. No matter who the client is, there is paperwork to be completed, investment strategies to discuss and all manner of routine issues to address. At the same time, you will need to talk to the client to get closely acquainted with them and their specific goals. This personal engagement will help you guide investment decisions going forward, so you can serve your newly on-boarded wealth management client to the best of your ability.
Ongoing Planning and Advice
Ongoing planning and advice is at the heart of a successful wealth management business. This is where the best advisors are separated from all the rest. Anyone can generate leads and attract new clients, but only the best wealth management firms can add value for those clients and guide them through the most important decisions of their lives.
Providing quality advice and guidance means understanding the needs of each client, assessing their tolerance for risk and determining what they value most from a financial standpoint. Some wealth management clients will be focused on passing their money down to the next generation, while others will want to enhance their lifestyles and make the most of what they have so carefully accumulated. Some clients will want to earmark their investments for future college costs, while others will be focused entirely on retirement. Understanding the unique needs of each client through positive rapport and working hard to address them is what quality client service is all about.
It is not enough to assess the investment needs of each new client. If your wealth management firm is to succeed, you need to regularly review the performance of each client and assess the value your brokers have been providing.
The client review process is an integral part of running a wealth management practice, and one whose importance cannot be overstated. Whether you review client performance on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis, it is important to establish a process that works for your clients - and your wealth management firm.
Ongoing Service and Communications
Providing ongoing service and communicating with your clients is an essential part of running a successful wealth management firm, and it is the final part of the client engagement process. Some client communications are mandated by law and industry regulation, while others are just sound practices. Understanding how each client communication breaks down and how to best address those needs is an essential part of growing your practice.
Thanks to advances in the industry and financial technology, communicating with your new and existing clients has never been easier. The FinTech arena has changed enormously over the last couple of years, resulting in better client service, lower costs and a host of other benefits.
If you are not already taking advantage of these FinTech tools, adding them to your operations can enhance ongoing communications with your clients, increase your overall level of service and improve client retention going forward. Tools like eMoney Advisor allow new and existing clients to access and manage their portfolios, while tools like WealthBox make client communication easier and more efficient. Pairing those state-of-the-art portfolio management and client communication tools with practice optimization strategies like Truelytics can help you better manage your practice and make the most of all six stages of the client engagement process.