A new client who wants to change asset managers or has never worked with asset managers or financial planners before will naturally be reluctant to hand over control of their financial future.
Most importantly, the client wants to believe and be sure that their new planner is going to make the right decision for their money. They want to know that you have the best interests at heart.
As your financial planner or asset manager, your role is to evaluate and assist in planning for the future of their financial, investment and estate planning. After answering their questions, understanding their current financial situation, and listening to their short- and long-term goals, the goal is to prove that you are trustworthy, motivated, and knowledgeable enough to create a comprehensive and unique financial plan. Their financial growth will benefit.
You should anticipate the concerns of a new client, and be prepared to answer many questions. Below are five important questions you should ask a new client and expect possible answers.
Are you a trustee?
First-time clients may never have heard of the term ‘fiduciary’, however, if they have done their research, they should know that this is one of the most important questions to ask before assigning responsibility for their financial well-being.
It is important for a potential client to understand that you have a legal and ethical obligation to make decisions in their best interests and that you are not merely working to achieve an aggressive commission goal.
Being able to let a client know that you are a fiduciary can be an important step in securing their business, however, if you are not a fiduciary, you may want to delegate fiduciary duties to someone you know or who works with a fiduciary Can. Order not to keep clients looking for that extra security.
Commodity analyst Steve Boye goes deeper into the current state of the Labor Department’s Fiduciary Rule, explaining the legal controversy surrounding it and what to expect next year as the court comes to a decision.
Can you tell me about your previous experience and success with other clients?
Your client will basically interview you to see if you are the best person for their personal asset management decisions. To build credibility and trust, you need to be able and ready to talk about your personal investment philosophy, why you think it works, and the positive results you have achieved for previous clients.
According to an article written by Nellie Huang for Kiplinger, there are many key credentials to consider when trying to win a new business. An informed client will look for a clean record, which means you have not transacted with law enforcement or taken disciplinary action against you or your firm.
A new client may also ask for certifications and licenses which, if you have acquired, should be mentioned to you in order to establish your skills. A CEP, CFA, or CPA is all about your various levels or years of experience, passing certain standardized exams and helping to prove in the end that you have taken the time to qualify as an expert in asset management.
In addition to certification, there is a good chance that a new client will want to talk to references from existing or previous clients. Ideally, you should refer to clients who have similar financial goals and portfolios.
A trusted advisor is the kind of advisor clients can trust, so it’s important to be prepared to discuss your philosophy, experience and credentials. Taking the time to secure reliable references will go a long way in building a new client’s confidence in your ability to execute.
What are the services you provide and what are the costs?
The goal of hiring a financial planner or asset manager is to improve or fix your current and future financial situation. You or your firm may offer a number of quality products and services, some of which are more risky than others. It is important to understand the level of risk that your client feels comfortable with before delving into all possible offers and their costs.
Services offered in general may include personalized financial planning, retirement planning, lending solutions, investment services, estate planning and asset transfer, among others. The cost of any one of these services will probably depend on the combined plan of you and your client, but be prepared to explain each service, reason behind the estimated cost, prove the value and most importantly it is in your best interest. Explain how the fees related to each product are determined. The more detailed and fluent the services and their associated costs and fees, the more loyalty you will be able to gain.
The MyPrivateBanking website even combines this article to understand the cost drivers and pricing models in asset management to reduce costs, expand services and get more business.
What technology are you using to manage my money / portfolio?
With the development of the fintech industry, the growing mainstream popularity of cryptocurrency, and personal DIY investment portfolio platforms popping up every day, it is imperative to stay ahead of the game, and be able to introduce and explain the unique technology you or your firm is using. Run the ROI on aggregated data, measure results and how you use it. WealthManagement has put together an excellent primer here for advisors.
As a financial planner or asset manager, you cannot prove that the technology you use to manage accounts, analyze data, and read statistics is reliable and secure, and that you will be able to sell at the price you pay. You will have a personalized, humane relationship with the client.
Jeff Marsden, Chief Product and Strategy Officer, writes “Top Reads: Tech and the Future of Wealth Management”. As a financial planner, you should be able to talk fluently about the ins and outs of the technology platforms used across your industry and what you are using yourself and their capabilities.
Why would I choose to hire you?
After all, when winning a new business, it is important to show that you are listening, taking notes, and that clients have a strong idea of their short- and long-term goals for the future of their assets. You also want them available to answer your questions when you are feeling uncertain about your suit.
Highlight your strengths, your previous accomplishments, put your certification on display, and provide references. Emphasize your availability and willingness to be engaged in check-in and direct communication. Be confident, and most importantly, use your time to prove that their money is safe for you and that it will be a collaborative partnership.