The Client Review Experience

I’ve been lucky enough to witness some fantastic review meetings between planner and clients that have been supportive, emotionally engaging, client-led experiences. On the flip side of that, I’ve observed some that were so fast they were barely ever there.

All firms will have there own preferred review style (which will be carefully documented in their T&C standards) and within that each planner will make the meeting their own but there are a number of key factors that seem to be consistent in the better reviews I’ve seen.  Though this isn’t an exhaustive list, they generally had the following in common:

  • The client led the conversation and was an equal party in setting the agenda
  • As such, there was a balance between who was talking
  • The content was tailored to objectives, needs, and desires
  • Emotional engagement and emotional intelligence were markedly present
  • Clear priorities were set for the year ahead
  • Changes in circumstances were handled naturally rather than clunkily
  • Where a modelling tool had been used at outset, it was used again to illustrate progress

Those are some of the factors we may expect from a great client experience but one striking thing looking back was how performance data was used.

The clients definitely wanted to hear about their investments but the framing was crucial – it was discussed in the context of how it enabled the clients to live their preferred life.

I appreciate that sounds obvious but, looking back, it’s jarring to me how often that framing is missed.

In the less engaging experiences I’ve witnessed, performance and market movements were very much front and centre – they seemed almost the reason for the meeting.  It was as if, because the data was factual, it could be leant on like a crutch.   The conversations went….

‘Trump………, China…………, Brexit………, Strength of sterling……. Etc etc’  All potentially reasonable things to mention at the time but the clients invariably sat there glassy-eyed in response.

A reasonable question was raised by one client – ‘Apologies, but what does that mean for me?’  That seems to be a pretty good indication that the review meeting had gone awry.

There are definitely clients that want to hear the detail from us (on top of the 12 market commentaries we probably share with them a year) but even for the most sophisticated of clients that data has context.  The context is based on what their money can do for them and the people they care about – it is then a facilitator of lives and lifestyles.

When performance dominates the client review, we may miss the opportunity to fulfil the role that adds the most value to their lives.

This article was written for Professional Paraplanner 
By Jon Dodson

Redmill Advance

Connect with Redmill

Stay up to date with the latest industry news. Connect with us on the below channels for insights, new jobs, helpful tips and more.

Latest News

ACPD Experience Events

ACPD Experience Events

AdvanceCPD Experience Events – Test drive the latest way to deliver and report on all of your CPD needs  We know that seeing is believing and that you wouldn’t buy the latest market-leading vehicle...

Framework for understanding

Framework for understanding

 Whichever source material you are going to use for your professional qualifications study, two things are pretty clear…   1.            The material is going to be technical  2.            It is...

Let’s get your study on

Let’s get your study on

"You’ll never plow a field by turning it over in your mind", Irish proverb.  We can all find other things to do instead of just getting started and it is a perfectly natural part of the process. We...

Sitting a CII Exam, Home and Away

Sitting a CII Exam, Home and Away

Sitting a CII Exam, Home and Away When I first started my diploma in financial planning through the CII, I sat my exams both remotely and in a test centre, and I thought it would be useful to share...