Want to make money next year?
Here’s a thought – change your ‘client review meetings’ to ‘client re-discovery meetings’.
Make it an aim for the clients to have a ‘discovery’ during their next annual client re-discovery meeting.
Because it will engage your clients in the services you provide.
Tell them that you want to re-visit the context or principles that underpin the relationship between you both no matter how long they have been clients with your firm.To do this effectively, tell them that you want both partners (e.g. wife and husband) to come into your re-discovery meeting.
If they have ‘burning issues’ tell them that you’ll handle them, but do this later in the meeting after you have lead discussions surrounding the fundamentals that underpin your advice relationship.
Tell them that you don’t want them jumping to conclusions about the role or value your firm can provide. You don’t want to base this coming year’s relationship simply upon everything you’ve done to date and also tell them that even though you may have known them for years, you too don’t want to fall into the trap of making assumptions about what you need to do this year by assuming that last year’s services are sweet for the coming year.
Markets, products, services, and sentiments are changing too much and too frequently for any professional to make assumptions about what’s needed to add value for each client.
Tell them that what you used to do was good and fitting, but what you’re now aiming to do is to ensure you are more aligned to both of them and their desired outcomes.
Tell them what you role will be in 2012 which is to get them closer to the outcomes they desire.
Extract the detail behind the outcomes they hope for in their families, their business, their jobs, their interests, the causes that are important to them and their lifestyle desires. Respectfully push them so that you clearly understand not just that they want to, say, travel, but push them to articulate their travel ambitions using words that you could never have guessed (e.g. “…ever since I played between the cans at the local cricket club, I’d love to at least once tour overseas for part of an Australian Cricket Tour”).
This isn’t life coaching, it’s understanding what success looks like for your role as their adviser.
Conduct your traditional re-fact find of their financial situation – i.e. a traditional review meeting and address any burning issues.
Today’s ‘review’ meetings have become mechanical events discussing the performance (or non-performance) of the your past recommendations based upon past outcomes. They easily become defensive events trying to justify recommendations which in retrospect can easily be seen as out-dated. They have been designed in an era dominated by compliance and a financial services reform process that focussed primarily upon the client’s money not the client’s outcomes.
There’s never been a better time to change your ‘review’ meeting process.
Debating with them that no-one could have predicted GFC #1, #2 and now #3 won’ t help you get paid any more.
Your sole focus in your new discovery meetings is the extract the detail contained at the heart of their desired outcomes. With that information you are then able to understand what value means for them and what you need to do to help them get there.
Advice clients won’t pay you for what you do, they’ll pay you for why you’re do what you do (i.e. help them maximise the probability of them best achieving their objectives.
Re-design your ‘review’ meeting to better understand the outcomes your clients are driving to EVERY year and you’ll have the basis upon which your advice can be considered and more importantly, valued.
You can’t predict what will happen next year, but you can try to maximise the probability of them achieving the detail in their outcome.
What do you think?