Keep it Simple When Explaining Concepts to Clients
The golden rule of an effective communication strategy is to simplify the way you talk to clients and go into each meeting with a set purpose and intention.
On an episode of the Bucket Plan On-Demand Podcast, Dave Alison and Greg Hammer discussed proven metaphors and analogies to help explain financial advisor marketing and tax planning to your clients.
Your job when communicating with clients is to simplify complicated concepts and educate them with bite-sized, easily understood content. Avoid using industry jargon and complex financial terms or acronyms. It’s easy to slip into the lingo, but before you know it your client is confused and frustrated.
The more data you gather, the better your decision-making will be throughout the planning process.
Ask open and direct questions to the client and to yourself.
- Are they a new lead or an existing client?
- How did they find you?
- Were they referred to your office?
- If so, by whom?
- Did they interact with a financial advisor marketing campaign?
- If so, which one?
- How long has it been since you last met with them?
- What did you discuss at that time?
- What has changed since then?
- How is their portfolio performing?
- Do you have any concerns about their plan you need to address?
Use the answers to these questions and more to guide the meeting.
Explaining the Process to Your New Clients
Plan for the client, not the meeting. Do your due diligence to prepare for each client as an individual because everyone is different. For instance, when communicating with clients, you’ll speak differently to someone referred to you by a close friend versus a cold lead who filled out a form on your website.
- Get to know them individually on a deep, personal level.
- Listen more than you talk; allow time to elaborate and space to reflect on their answers.
- Create a friendly environment so they feel comfortable opening up to you and your staff.
- Express genuine interest in their dreams and goals.
- Utilize practical communication tools.
The Bucket Plan is a time-segmented approach to holistic financial planning that categorizes investments into three buckets based on the expected timeline the client will need it: Now, Soon, and Later.
Checking in on Your Current Clients
Life happens 365 days a year, so you should check in with your clients more often. Annual reviews simply aren’t enough. Everyone is different, so consult with the individual and develop a plan for quarterly or monthly calls depending on their needs.
Utilize your digital marketing communication tools to talk to clients who prefer fewer interactions throughout the year.
Additionally, you should be automating marketing campaigns and regular, relevant content. This way, they know you’re actively working for them behind the scenes, even when you’re not in direct contact with them.
Building a Financial Plan that Considers the Impact of Taxes
Unless you are providing financial planning to a current CPA, your clients probably don’t understand the ins and outs of the thousands of pages of complicated federal tax code.
The good news is, you don’t have to break it down for them like that. You can use everyday language to explain the reasoning behind your tax decisions without citing specific SEC rules.
“Let’s say you’re going to buy a couch. You know it’s going to cost $2,000, but you’re not going to buy it today, because you’re not going to be ready to move it into the living room for two weeks. You don’t want to walk around it in the garage. So, the question I have is: if you open the paper tomorrow and that couch was on sale for $1,200, what are you doing? You’re going to walk around in the garage for two weeks. You just need to understand that you’re going to pay the taxes; it’s just prudent to pay less. We’re going to buy on sale. That’s the opportunity today with tax planning. It’s buying on sale to mitigate what’s likely going to be higher taxes in the future.”
–Greg Hammer, President & CEO, Hammer Financial Group
Building a Better Understanding with The Bucket Plan®
One of the most important aspects of financial advisor marketing is putting the client’s experience about everything else. The Bucket Plan can help you do that and so much more when communicating with clients. It simplifies complex concepts like cash-flow based financial planning or the money cycle so that anyone can understand it.
If you are looking for a better planning process to help your clients understand the value you are creating for their portfolios, look no further than The Bucket Plan Best Interest Process. This FINRA-recognized financial designation offers financial advisors training and materials built to increase client retention and satisfaction. If you’d like to achieve The Bucket Plan Certified (BPC) designation, click here to register!
Ensure any systems or processes that you incorporate come with a smooth transition and simple features. If you have a variety of communication tools that don’t communicate with one another, you won’t be able to effectively implement The Bucket Plan or any other holistic financial planning products.
Schedule a FREE call with one of our business development representatives to learn more about how to talk to clients about tax planning.
Financial Professional Use Only
The information provided in this presentation is not intended as investment advice or legal advice. The information provided is for informational and training purposes only. The information in this presentation was accurate as of the time of the material was created. Tax laws and rulings can frequently change. Please discuss the client’s current situation with an accountant or tax advisor.