The Client Experience is more than a Six Step Process

Broadly speaking, six steps are considered to form the foundation of a Financial Planning process used with clients.

More than a process

The whole client experience is much richer and goes far deeper than these six seemingly straight forward steps suggest.

A Financial Planning relationship with a client is an ongoing and lifelong commitment. Although sometimes based on a series of linear steps, it’s fluid and cyclical.

Financial Planning is an extremely personal and individualistic partnership between adviser and client that starts way before the client meets the adviser and may exist with a firm beyond the adviser and beyond the adviser’s working years.

Taking into account the contributions from each Financial Planning practitioner to this guide, a client experience of Financial Planning looks like this:

1 Purposeful preparation

  • Know yourself
  • Craft your message
  • Communicate it consistently
  • Prepare your prospect

2 Perfecting the first meeting

  • Truly listen to your prospect
  • Establish client-adviser relationship
  • Summarise and confirm priorities
  • Outline fee structure
  • Prepare & issue minutes

3 Draft planning meeting

  • Gather & analyse data
  • Income & expenditure
  • Build cashflow model
  • Develop a draft plan
  • Present current & possible situations
  • Demonstrate using cashflow
  • Keep the focus on life first
  • Money as the tool to get there
  • Prepare & issue minutes

4 Recommendation report & implementation meeting

  • Written report and fee proposal
  • Summarise position so far
  • Include mind maps & minutes
  • Provision of formal advice
  • Detail how it meets objectives
  • Verbalise written report
  • Check understanding
  • Continue discovery & listening
  • Confirm actions & get signature

5 Annual planning meetings

  • Prepare agenda
  • Gather new information
  • Revisit objectives
  • Full fee disclosure, explain value added
  • Implement changes
  • Provide minutes

6 Deepening relationships

  • Retirement planning
  • Celebrate a new beginning
  • Revisit goals & new purpose of money
  • Preparation to enjoy financial freedom
  • Permission to spend

7 The power of niche

  • One size doesn’t fit all
  • Understanding young business owners
  • Creates better financial strategies
  • Shorter planning cycles
  • More hands on

8 The power of emotion

  • What holds people back
  • Causing inaction to implement plans
  • Behavioural tools
  • Enlighten clients

9 Passing on

  • Working with older clients
  • Involving families
  • Hand holding
  • Let’s pretend you are not here

10 The best service you can give

  • Your client is all that matters