As a financial advisor in a registered investment advisory firm, you should always prepare for your meetings whether the client is new or not. There are key documents you’ll want to bring with you and tasks you need to do before the said meeting.
As a guide, we will discuss the financial advisor meeting checklist with the objective of helping you achieve a well-executed client meeting.
There are a number of key prep tasks that you must do to ensure that the meeting goes smoothly. These include researching, agenda drafting, and preparing a presentation.
Additionally, make sure you have all of the necessary logistics in place, such as reserving a conference room or a table in a restaurant.
Let’s talk about this prep process in detail.
1. Review the client’s current financial situation and goals
As a financial advisor, it is your job to review the client’s current financial condition and goals before any meetings. This allows you to gain a better understanding of their needs and come up with appropriate strategies to achieve your client’s financial goals.
To start, gather as much information as possible about the client’s current financial standing. Determine the net worth, existing liabilities, debt-to-asset ratio, and debt-to-income ratio. This will help you identify any cash flow issues. Try to get a sense of their long-term goals, whether that involves buying a home, paying for their children’s college tuition, or planning for his or her investment.
This can be a challenging task, especially when dealing with new clients or those who are reluctant to share personal details. But there are a few strategies you can employ to make a client at ease in answering questions.
First, simply ask the right questions. In the first meeting, make the conversation relaxed by asking something about themselves. Let them talk about their hobbies, interests, and family to start. Establish a good rapport. Once your client loosens up, he or she will be more willing to share more confidential information.
In addition to asking good questions, another effective approach is to share relevant case studies and examples from your own experience.
3. Research potential investments for the portfolio
Financial advisors, investors, and everyone in the industry need to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and developments in the investment world. What we don’t want is proposing an investment vehicle or a portfolio to a client only to find out a few weeks or months later that it will lose its value.
Here are a few tips on how to research potential investments for your clients:
- Use reliable sources: When gathering specific information on potential investments, be sure to use reliable sources. This includes reputable news outlets, industry publications, and official company websites. Finance news outlets, such as Yahoo Finance and CNBC, have YouTube channels you can follow to get the latest news and updates about the market.
- Consider multiple perspectives: When evaluating an investment, it is important to consider multiple perspectives. For instance, you may want to look at analyst reports and reviews from regular investors and professionals from different industries.
- Compare risks and rewards: Before recommending an investment to a client, be sure to carefully compare the risks and rewards associated with the investment and such have been explained to the client.
4. Prepare a tailored investment plan for the client
Once your research has been completed, it’s time to create a tailored investment plan for your client. Your recommendations can include the following depending on your clients’ needs:
- Building a diversified portfolio of high, low, and moderate risks investments
- Recommending refinancing options
- Discussing insurance coverage
- Suggesting ways to improve overall financial health
Overall, preparing a tailored investment plan for each client is about putting yourself in their shoes and discovering the best strategy for them. The goal is to help your clients feel empowered and confident about their finances and financial decisions.
Tip: use applications to help you manage your client or your business. We have listed the 10 best tools available for financial advisors and financial advisory firms.
5. Present the proposed investment plan to the client and answer any questions they may have
When presenting a proposed investment plan to a client, be prepared and confident. Begin by clearly outlining the investment goals and how you and your client achieve these.
Next, provide an overview of the risks and potential rewards associated with the investment. Be sure to answer any questions the client may have in a clear and concise manner.
Finally, provide a timeline for the investment.
Don’t forget to ask questions to the client as you proceed with the meeting. Moreover, prepare a script for a smooth transaction but be flexible enough to accommodate questions, rejection, or objections (if there are any).
If you have trouble with appointment setting you may want to read these tips to get from one client meeting to another.
So, you’ve done all the preparations, research, and planning and now it’s time to present your proposed plan to the client. But, what do you bring to a meeting? Here’s a proposed checklist:
- Client Profile – This document will help you understand the client’s current situation, goals, and objectives in a financial context.
- Investment Accounts – Details all investment accounts held by the client, including asset allocation information.
- Financial Planning – If the client has a financial plan, be sure to bring a copy to the meeting.
- Insurance Policies – Bring a complete list of all insurance policies held by the client, including coverage amounts and beneficiaries.
- Tax Returns – Carry a copy of the client’s most recent tax return (or tax returns for the past three years, if available).
- Investment Reports – Pertain to any investment reports or statements that have been prepared for the client.
- Credit Reports – Include the client’s most recent credit report (or credit reports for the past three years, if available).
- Banking Information – Request a complete list of all bank accounts held by the client, including savings accounts.
- Retirement Plans – Bring a complete list of all retirement plans held by the client, including account balances and contribution levels.
- Estate Planning Documents – If the client has any estate planning documents (wills, trusts, etc.), be sure to bring copies, too.
- Social Security Statements – a detailed snapshot of earnings over the years, as well as estimates of the benefits a client can expect to receive in retirement.
What you bring to a meeting depends on the product or service you are offering. With this in mind, be sure to prepare additional documents if needed, or bring only what is essential. The most important thing to remember is that you should be prepared for the meeting. Thus, you should review all documents and master strategies and plans. A financial advisor who can answer a client’s most discerning and difficult questions increases his or her credibility and integrity.
What to Do After a Client Meeting
After any meeting with a client, take some time to review what went well and what could be improved. This is true whether it’s your initial meeting or you’ve been working together for years.
First, take a few minutes to write down your thoughts on the meeting. Here are some questions you may need to answer after the meeting:
- What goals did you accomplish?
- What questions did the client ask?
- What new information did you learn?
This will help you to remember all the relevant details of the conversation and identify any areas that need further follow-up. Next, reach out to the client to thank them for their time and discuss any next steps.
This shows that you value their business and want to keep the lines of communication open. Finally, make sure to document any new information in your files so that you can reference it in future conversations. Taking these simple steps after every meeting will help you to build strong relationships with your clients and provide them with the best possible service.
Should a financial advisor require a client to bring documents to a meeting?
Some financial advisors may require their clients to bring specific documents and information to a meeting in order to help assess their situation more accurately. However, other financial professionals may feel that such a strict requirement is too restrictive for clients. Ultimately, it depends on the individual advisor’s style and experience as well as the nature of each client’s financial situation.
For some advisors, delegating key prep tasks in the client prep meeting process is both practical and efficient. To make the most of their time, many advisors delegate key tasks to their support staff. This can include collecting data, developing PowerPoint slides, and printing handouts. While this approach may save time in the short run, there are some potential drawbacks. So, make sure to weigh the pros and cons.
These professionals are well-versed in the strategies, tools, and techniques used by financial advisors in managing and growing their clients’ wealth. They can assist you in creating systems and organizing administrative tasks related to financial management and meeting prep checklists. Yes, hiring one is worth it especially if you feel overwhelmed with organizing your clients’ information in investment management.
Does a financial professional need to work with another professional in preparing for a client meeting?
In preparation for meetings, it is important to consult with other professionals as needed to provide the best possible advice. You might need to consult legal or tax professionals to review your client’s tax situation, or with an insurance agent to evaluate their needs.
Meeting with a financial client is one of the important touchpoints for an advisor. Thus, you can achieve greatness and get more clients by adopting a thorough process, creating checklists for initial meetings and subsequent ones, and staying organized. You know that by doing an extra measure you will ensure a smooth client meeting. We hope that this financial advisor meeting checklist has served its purpose in your financial planning and advising services.