As a financial advisor, you’ll encounter clients who view you as an accountability partner. These clients can fall into two categories:
- They know what they need to do, but they’re procrastinating.
- They have a broad goal with no plan in place to achieve it.
It’s possible for you to help both, but you may need to use different methods. The important thing to remember is that you’re not there to parent or make dictates to your clients. You’re their partner in reaching their financial goals.
Accountability Partner for The Procrastinator
The procrastinator doesn’t need you to tell them what to do. They know what actions they need to take. What they do need is for you to check in and follow up with them if they continue to procrastinate. For the procrastinator you can help a lot by asking them what’s stopping them. Once you know what’s blocking them, you can offer suggestions for resolving the issue. Let’s say your client wants to save a percentage of their annual income. If they tell you the issue is that they spend the money they should save, advise them to set up automatic deposits. Get them to write the goal down and give it due date on it. This should make the task easier, and it’s easy for you to follow up. It even has the added benefit of removing the temptation to spend the money.
Accountability Partner for The person Without a Plan
This is the client who tells you that their goal is to save for retirement. That’s it. That’s what they want, and they don’t have the faintest idea of what getting there looks like. This client needs assurance, and they need you to help create the plan. In this case you help them determine:
- Their retirement date
- What kind of retirement savings account is best for their needs
- The amount they want to save
- The monthly contribution needed
- Their saving milestones
Once you have this information, have them write it down and create a date for each step. Most of this happens during your meeting, so they’re focusing more on the milestone amounts and dates. Once you set up everything, you can establish how often you want to have accountability check-ins.
Acting as an accountability partner for your clients adds value to your services. It makes them active participants in managing their finances, and adds to the trust bond you’ve built. It’s a great way to keep clients happy and loyal.
For more tips download our free checklist 10 Things to Grow Your Financial Advisor Practice.