“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” - African Proverb
Having independence as a financial services professional is a beautiful thing. You can use whatever products, partners, and tools you want to help your clients and build a business. It can be a little tougher to build the client base, but at the end of the day, your clients are YOUR clients. And when you work really hard to onboard prospects and build relationships, why would you not want them all to yourself?
I hear it all the time.
“My client has been talking to their CPA and I don’t want them to get the business.”
“My client has an appointment with their investment advisor next week, so I have to meet with them THIS week and make sure I get the business.”
“I want to offer P&C, life, annuities, investments, stocks, Medicare, taxes, and cheeseburgers so I’m a one stop shop and I keep those clients forever.”
Would our clients be flattered if they knew how much we cherished them and wanted them to ourselves? For sure.
But are they better for it? Probably not.
Retirement planning is a complex task that calls for specific expertise in several subject areas. Clients that have a holistic retirement planning team that works together to meet their retirement goals and income needs are much better off, which will be a direct benefactor to working smarter and growing your business.
Why work with a planning team?
1. When a client feels confident in their plan and that they have received good service, they will be HAPPY! Happy clients are more likely to give out referrals - which gives you the chance to grow your business.
2. You will be more efficient and productive when you focus on what you're good at - a principle known as "comparative advantage". When you find a lane (and stay in it), you will work smarter, plan better, communicate more effectively, and shine brighter. The client will also get more value when you are providing them with something that goes deeper than surface level.
3. You are building your network and ideally cultivating some professional relationships that result in more clients through referral partners when you work with other specialized financial services professionals.
4. Family members can be an important contributor to the retirement planning team. Not only can they contribute to the plan, but they also are potential clients.
So you want to collaborate with a retirement planning team. We’ve already answered the “Why”, but you may have more questions:
Who makes up a complete retirement income planning team?
- Financial planner
- Health care specialist
- Retirement income specialist
- Stock broker
- Investment professional
- Money manager
- Insurance agent
- Family members
What does this team do?
- WORK TOGETHER to ensure that client’s retirement goals and income needs are met
- Create a plan
- Implement a plan
- Monitor the plan
- Communicate with the client and each other
- Serve the client
When does the teamwork begin?
- The teamwork begins with the client. The client may work with an crowd of professionals but frequently, they are not on the same page, and it remains that way because more advisors do not take the initiative to coordinate their work, despite not always have all the information they need to develop a unified, holistic plan.
- The sooner they can get on the same page, the less work is duplicated, the less time is wasted, and the better!
- Its a good idea to have all the advisors at the same meeting early in the planning process. While this can be hard to crganize, it will be very valuable.
Where do the advisors in the team come from?
- Both the client and yourself as the agent/advisor/money manager, etc. have a responsibility in finding the right players for the team.
- Advisors should come from credentialed establishments and a place of expertise. They should come from professional service groups and with referrals.
So next time you have a client...
- Concerned about Medicare
- Re-evaluating their equity positions
- Questioning the impact of taxes
- Wondering what effect their decisions have on their legacy
... You might want to consider:
- Telling your client to consider building a team
- Offer to work collaboratively with other financial services professionals they're working with
- Calling that CPA you see at your Chamber meetings (and getting client permission before sharing any personal information)
The end game of working with a team is a client that is better prepared to meet their financial objectives and creating new relationships that will directly benefit your business.
Stay tuned for next week's blog with another business building idea, and if there's anything you're working involving marketing, annuities, or life insurance, let's set up a time to talk.
Today's content comes from "HS353 Retirement Income Process, Strategies, and Solutions" by David Littell through the American College of Financial Services (2017)