Improving practice efficiency is top of the agenda for many financial advisers, and with good cause. ...
The process you have in place to gather, track, and use client information will directly impact your ability to streamline, and automate what information you will need, and then to implement some simple techniques to gather and update that information on an ongoing basis.
It's important to remember that knowing your clients, and having a structured method to track that information in your content management system is the difference between what is merely interesting, and what is actually helpful in changing the way we do business.
Storing client information in your memory bank just won't cut it. What information do you need?
What information you need upon your clients will depend largely on what and how you want to communicate, and that will be different for different advisers. The goal is not to gather as much information as possible, but to gather the information that you need, given what you want to communicate.
We are, of course, speaking of information other than that gathered in a KYC form. This process is not legally mandated.
Here are a few information suggestions that will help you streamline contact:
Number of meetings to be held (proactive contact goal)
Number of referrals provided
Source of client
Date of birth
Date became a client
Details on spouse and children
Their birth dates
Preferred method of communication
We also recommend that you include information on marketing opportunities for each client.
How do I gather information?
As important as finding a way to gather information that works for your team is finding a way to regularly update that information. The only thing worse than a lack of information on your clients is having the wrong information.
This is a strong argument to keep it simple, focusing only on information that you will use. Here are a few simple techniques:
1.Create a one-page profile on each client, and then send that along before meetings. Ask them to update their profile prior to getting together.
2.2. Conduct a telephone campaign on an annual or semi-annual basis, during which someone on your team "interviews" clients for five minutes, both to update basic information and to probe any changes in their lives that may trigger a plan or portfolio review.
3.Review your client profile at the end of each meeting, and make necessary changes as a standard part of your review process.
4.Have an assistant or associate act as "data gatherer", sitting with clients for the first 10 minutes of each meeting to update information, and assess any changes that will be relevant for the adviser.
This is a great way to manage time effectively, and build the credibility of your team by letting the adviser focus on strategy, rather than acting as a record keeper. /
A successful practice efficiency program starts with a strong foundation. Remember that you can only automate processes if you can track the appropriate information through your system.
Efficiency is little more than the application of technology to information. Without the latter, the process crumbles.
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