Fact Finding Gone Wrong

 

So you have a brand new young, recently married client couple. They are super excited to start working with you as you help them navigate through life’s financial pitfalls and opportunities. You tell them that, to get started, you are going to need their financial information. So you send them a questionnaire to fill out.

Here’s where the not so “warm and fuzzies” begin.

Instead of sending them a fact-finder that’s pre-filled with data from the initial online “Contact Us” form that they completed on your website, your questionnaire is blank. So now they have to re-type information they already provided.

Your clients are already beginning to see that working with you isn’t going to be as easy as your website promised.

To make sure your clients continue to be deprived of warm and fuzzies, you make sure to send them your generic questionnaire. As your clients look over your questionnaire, they realize there are multiple sections that don’t even apply to them. That’s because you use the same fact-finder with young couples as you do with retired couples. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that the needs of both are vastly different. Each couple will want to focus on certain subject areas and spend little to no time on certain others.

Your new clients are frustrated with all the work that you gave them with little regard to their unique situation.

In spite of all of the shortcomings of your on-boarding process, your young client couple decides to “stick it out” with you for the first year. Now, it’s annual review time. So you send them out your generic questionnaire again, in order to get a refresh of their financial profile. But instead of pulling in data from your CRM and financial planning software and combining that data with information the couple provided last year, you send them a blank fact-finder.

Not surprisingly, your clients sit on your questionnaire for weeks. Weeks turn into months. Months turn into…

Actually, as (bad) luck would have it, there was a downturn in the market and your clients are reviewing their statements from your custodian. They see their portfolio is down significantly. Since they don’t have a relationship with you where they feel they are being heard and understood (only billed quarterly, but otherwise virtually ignored and commoditized), they reach out to another advisor that a trusted friend recommended.

The rest is history.

Your Clients Deserve (and demand) a Better Experience

Client on-boarding and periodic engagement have a huge impact on an advisor’s success. When done right, clients feel heard and understood. They feel like you care and they see that you go to great lengths to make the process easy and at the same time engaging.

At PreciseFP, we have been focused on client on-boarding and client engagement since 2007. And it all starts with data-gathering that is designed around the way advisors work with their clients. But it’s ultimate success also depends on our solution’s ability to allow the advisor’s unique value proposition to shine, while allowing the client’s unique financial situation to be brought to the forefront.

Thousands of advisors use our platform to not only better serve clients, but to run more efficient practices. To learn more about how you can transform your practice — and it’s client engagement processes — into a firm ready to serve the “next wave of clients”, I encourage you to sign up for our Fact Finder Solution webinar. You can find it and many other informative webinars here.

Don Whalen, CFP​®, CEO

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