Practice Management TrendsettersFebruary 8, 2016

One critical question for an ideal client experience 

Financial advisors plan to have regular meetings with their ideal clients. I never call them review meetings, because it sounds like work, I call them progress update meetings. In your planning, do you have a strong process that creates a positive client experience? Or do you talk about the market volatility until the client leaves? How can you create a better experience for your ideal clients? Let’s look at an example. This past weekend, my wife and I decided to check out a new community and look at new show homes. We enjoy looking at show homes, but this was possibly an exercise to look at making a big change in our lives. After spending the afternoon looking at show homes, on the drive home my wife turns to me and says” let’s just plan on doing some upgrades to our existing home and see what that looks like”. When we got home we started to map out what we would like to do, when we wanted to do it, who we needed to hire ( people who know me know that I am as handy as a bag of hammers) and how much it will cost. In the end we had clarity around what we would like to do. 

The critical question I have for financial advisors is: Do you have a clearly defined and written process for your ideal client meetings to get clarity around your client’s financial goals?

Goals based planning

Most financial advisors usually have one or two goals for their ideal clients. Yet, when clients do goals planning online, there is usually 8-10 goals. To create a positive client experience in your progress update meeting consider the following discussion. “The purpose of part of the meeting today ( It is on the agenda) is to get a deeper understanding of your goals. When you look at the following list of possible goals, which one would you like to discuss further?” or which one has changed , or which one is most important to you and why? “Use this as an opportunity to find out why that goal is important. As Simon Sinek wrote in his great book “Start With Why” by Portfolio Publishing; Reprint edition (Dec 27 2011), Simon said that a why is a “passion, cause or belief”. If we do not understand what drives their decisions around their goals, that how can we hold them accountable for reaching them?

The goals list


Vehicle-Major purchase-Health care                                         

Home-Celebrations -Gifts- donations                              

Bequests -Care -Business                                                                                           


Other – I am sure you could easily add to this list

You do not see financial planning on the list because this is not a goal. The goals focus on one thing, outcome. What is the outcome that your ideal clients want? Pay less tax is not a goal, but spending the tax I saved on a trip to the Caribbean with my family is. Planning a home renovation instead of buying a new home is part of my lifestyle goals. As Bill Bachrach says, (  “become a master at helping people define clear targets with specific dates and amounts of money wanted. Their goals are the tangible what they want built on the foundation of their values. You can develop the skill to lead an emotionally compelling and inspiring conversation about their goals. It’s a skill, maybe even an art form. And it’s learn-able.”  

Do you have a process to put my goals on the table at the progress update meeting and discuss where I am and changes to my goals? You can say to your clients” This is part of the goals based progress update meetings that we have with our ideal clients, so we clearly understand where you are going and why”.


Advisor Practice Management’s goal is 

Our goal is simple, to help one million people get a quality financial plan and advice through a financial advisor. How many ideal people are you helping this year? Ask your clients and prospects this question " What does a quality financial plan mean to you ? Let me know if I can help you grow your practice. 

Let’s work on your business. Start by emailing us. Why not? 

Enthusiastically yours,

Grant Hicks, CIM, National Director Practice Management
Advisor Practice Management

909-17th Ave SW, 4th Floor
Calgary, Alberta  T2T 0A4
Tel  587 390 3148
Cell 403 970 8895

PS Where do you want to be in 3 years?

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