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Are you a professional who wants to:
  • Consistently attract and retain great clients?
  • Run a more efficient and profitable practice?
  • Elevate the client experience?
  • Drive enterprise value?
  • Deploy a scalable growth model?
  • Create a panoramic branding strategy?
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Pareto Systems is a consulting firm dedicated to knowledge-for-profit professionals. Our practice management and relationship management programs are ideally suited for:
  • Financial Professionals
  • Insurance Specialists
  • Estate Planning Attorneys
  • Accounting Professionals
  • Trust Specialists
  • Wholesalers
  • All knowledge-for-profit professionals
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2019-05-22 • 5 sec

Being good at what you do is expected by a client. For clients to feel it would be a disservice to a friend not to make an introduction requires you to be better than good.

Providing an exemplary level of service and communicating your value with clarity allows clients to buy into a relationship with you, not just products from you. It lets you exceed their expectations. Being refer-able actually does lead to referrals.

2019-05-21 • 5 minute video

In this episode Duncan discusses fine line between a Rut and a Groove and how to overcome challenges to remain on track to take your client relationships to the next level.

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2019-05-21 • 3 minute read

Be Organized & Professional: Use an Agenda

An Agenda is instrumental in ensuring you deliver a consistent and professional financial planning review meeting process. It’s really not that difficult to implement. And, once you start to see the benefits it creates in terms of simplifying both meeting preparation and delivery, you’ll be hooked. Not only that, your clients will take immediate notice of your more structured and organized approach to meeting with them. Who knows, maybe some of those ‘hard to get in’ clients won’t be so difficult any more. This could be exactly what they were waiting for. 

When you provide an agenda to each meeting participant, you are signalling the beginning of the business part of the meeting. Therefore, before you do so, be sure you start the meeting off with some rapport building with the client. Establishing rapport is important to set a positive tone before diving into business. Limit this to no more than 5 minutes and then begin the meeting. 

Here’s an overview of how to walk through our standard review meeting agenda.   

  1. Meeting Overview. You need to begin by providing a brief overview of the meeting, which simply means walking the client through the bulleted topics on the agenda. The “Meeting Overview” should be at the top of all of your agendas.
  2. Introducing Us to Others. It is important to remind your clients in a consistent way that you have a defined process for how others are introduced to you. That way, when your client knows someone who could benefit from your services, they will already understand the process you have for bringing them on. Remember, this is not an ask; it’s an educate. There is a profound difference. And, for that reason, be sure you cover this part of your meeting in a very matter of fact, low key manner. Although this topic only takes a couple of minutes to cover, it’s very important and can have a significant impact on the quantity and quality of introductions you receive from your existing clients. We recommend you develop a script to follow and commit it to memory.   It is also important to note this agenda topic is deliberately at the front of the meeting agenda and should stay there. This process is important and you don’t want it to be perceived as an after thought. The “Introducing Us to Others” should be included on all of your agendas.
  3. Our Approach. Next you need to take a few minutes to quickly review with your client your financial planning approach. Again, this serves as a reminder and ensures we don’t take for granted that they know all that we do. This reinforcement ensures that when speaking to others about you, your clients are very clear about the types of financial planning services you provide. We also recommend you develop a script to follow and commit it to memory. This item should also be included on all agendas.
  4. Review Your Clients Goals and Objectives. Here’s where the financial advisor focus ends and the client focus begins. You should begin with a quick recap of the goals and objectives of your client. This will reinforce the long-term focus of your financial planning services; it’s the “why” that supports the “how” in what you do. It will also provide you with an opportunity to capture any relevant changes with respect to their goals and objectives, which may impact the financial strategies you implement on their behalf. This is important for you to continue to do the best job possible for your client.
  5. Strategy Review. This is a main part of the meeting where you would review all of the financial strategies you are implementing on their behalf. This may include the following types of strategies: retirement savings, educational savings, family security, insurance and estate planning – and anything else you are implementing on their behalf. Of course, any concerns or changes you would recommend about these various strategies would be discussed at this time. Similarly, we would expect any clients to discuss with you the concerns or questions they have about any of the strategies you are implementing for them.       
  6. Investment Update. This is where you provide an update specific to their investment strategies.  This can involve more detail and may or may not evoke questions from your clients. Any changes you recommend to their investments would be communicated at this time. 
  7. New Business. This provides everyone with an opportunity to discuss items not included on the standard agenda. This is an important feature to ensure clients know their financial planning concerns and issues will be discussed and/or addressed in the context of their review meeting. It also allows you to record any new items that need future follow up.
  8. Where Do We Go From Here? At the conclusion of the meeting you can wind up by letting them know what happens next. This may be one of the following scenarios:
  • Everything is fine and you look forward to seeing them at their next financial planning review meeting in six months or a year (however frequent their review happens to be scheduled). Make sure you tell them you are always available should they have any questions. And, end by letting them know it was a pleasure to see them again.

OR: 

  • Changes are required and will be managed accordingly. This may trigger follow up actions by you, your staff and/or the client. Let your clients know what to expect in terms of their next point of contact on what was discussed: this includes who and when.

It is important to document all follow up items accurately so nothing falls through the cracks. Use your agenda as the place to record follow up action items accordingly. This makes it easier to delegate and hand off to your assistant who can trigger the follow up actions accordingly for those involved. Again, make sure you tell your clients that you are always available should they have any questions through this period of transition while the changes are taking place. Again, end by telling them it was a pleasure to see them again.

You should always conclude each meeting with a “Where do we go from here” type of wrap up. This ensures both you and the client are clear on the next step in the process.

And with that, the review meeting concludes. Everything was covered. You finished on time. You are pleased with the process and even more so, your clients are. It’s clearly a win-win.

Finally, it’s also important to standardize any meeting tools you use during the course of your client review meetings. This might include financial fact finders, questionnaires, reports or process diagrams. So, once you have your agenda templates completed, you can endeavour to tackle that. The more consistency there is in the client meeting process, the better – for everyone. 

Continued success!

Contributed by: Duncan MacPherson

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2019-05-20 • 20 sec

Make your clients the voice you listen to. Just as importantly, demonstrate that you’re acting on their feedback. Close the feedback loop by continually pointing to any surveys or input you sought from your clients, and show them the actions you’re taking. This takes it from a claim that you’ll be improving the client experience, to your clients actually appreciating the elevation of service.

For more information on how to make your clients the voice you listen to and much more, talk to us about The Pareto Systems: https://www.paretosystems.com/the-pareto-system.html

#practicemanagement #branding #businessdevelopment

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2019-05-17 • 48 minute audio

Join Pareto Systems CEO Duncan MacPherson and Curt Steinhorst, authur of the best selling book "Can I Have Your Attention", as they dive deeply into how to overcome distraction and reclaim your focus in this 48 minute podcast.

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2019-05-16 • 4 min video

In this episode Duncan discusses how progress comes as much from WHO you're exposed to as it does from WHAT you're exposed to. Right-sizing your book of business will allow you to focus on the clients that DESERVE you rather than the clients that NEED you.

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2019-05-15 • 20 second read

Listening doesn’t just make a client confident and happy; it gives you real information that makes you better in turn. It’s possible for your judgment to be clouded by inertia confidence, by neglect or by getting into a feedback vacuum. Your clients are the best board of directors/advisory panel you can have. They will keep you on track.

Excerpt from the Advisor Playbook: www.paretosystems.com/the-advisor-playbook

If you need to open deeper communications with your ideal clients, talk to my team, we can help. Ask for our consulting coordinator: 1.866.593.8020

2019-05-14 • 3 min video

Avoid those that are negative, cynical and perpetually fault-finding to avoid becoming part of that environment.

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2019-05-14 • 3 minute read

I was speaking with an advisory team last week, and they told me a process story.  

This team has bought in completely, and it was a major shift in mindset and process for the team. They had committed to keeping on Pareto’s process as closely as possible. 

They recently had a new referral. They went through the pre-appointment process as outlined and had the first appointment, pretty much exactly as scripted. They made the follow-up phone call 48 hours later, and agreed they were a good fit. The next appointment was set to follow in two weeks. 

The CSA was tasked with getting in touch with the prospective client and letting him know what info was needed for the second appointment. The prospective client said he needed more time, and rescheduled an additional week out. 

When the CSA contacted to confirm the appointment, he moved it again. Then emailed and moved it yet again. The appointment was now set two months out from its initial date.

The Advisor decided that they couldn’t go that far off process, so he called the prospective client and, in effect, told him that their process involved moving forward, and they couldn’t know what their capacity would be in two months. So if prospective client wanted to revisit the fit process in two months, he asked that they get in touch and that the Advisor’s team would look at possible fit again.

The reaction? The prospective client hung up the phone, and said “they fired me!”

A couple of hours later, the prospective client called the advisor and apologized for being negligent, and for disrespecting the advisor’s process. He asked if they would please allow him to get together all the needed financial information and meet in two weeks. 

Following this interaction, the Advisor said his strategy in dealing with client challenges going forward, is to “throw the process under the bus when necessary” – effectively highlighting that it’s not a whim on the Advisor’s part that things are done on schedule. It’s not personal; it’s the process that the Advisor follows in order to best serve his clients.

Contributed by Elaine Christakos 

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2019-05-13 • 20 sec

In addition to strengthening your client relationships and running a more efficient and productive business, the process of developing a “Fee-Worthy” mindset and approach can provide you with another meaningful benefit. You also become more efficient with your time. With money we think of Return on Investment; with time we should be thinking about ROE - Return on Energy.

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