By Chad Blanton
Protecting a client’s hard-earned assets is an advisor’s main mission, yet so many advisors miss the opportunity to continue protecting those assets after the client’s death.
I have seen countless cases of advisors failing to secure legacy dollars and the cause is simple. Many advisors overlook the value of nurturing a relationship with their clients’ children.
Rarely do advisors get their clients’ adult children involved to communicate with the parents about financial issues or to review the parents’ financial plan. While this may not be an immediate issue causing pain today, as each day passes your clients are aging. After they die, then what? Their assets then pass to their kids or even to their grandkids. Meanwhile, the odds of you introducing yourself to the children and winning their trust during such a difficult time are pretty unlikely. Now picture your clients’ assets walking right out the door to the advisor down the street – the advisor those children already know and trust. This risk can have an immediate effect on an advisor’s business, but I do have a solution to offer.
I encourage many of my advisors to begin incorporating their clients’ children into the planning process - or at least give them opportunities to get to know you.
Here are three ideas to help you and your staff engage your clients and their children on a deeper level:
- Hold a “Picture with Santa Claus” event at your office. Consider this: Many parents and grandparents take their kids to the local malls to have their pictures taken with Santa around Christmas time. While it is a huge hassle for everyone to pile in the car, wait in insanely long lines and hang around a really noisy place for the afternoon, people still go out in droves to see Santa. So one of my advisors had a brilliant idea to host a “Sit with Santa Day” at his office, where all of his clients could bring their children and grandchildren to his office to meet Santa and have their picture taken with him. In fact, the clients are encouraged to bring friends and neighbors as well. What a perfect way to introduce yourself to the family in a positive atmosphere and start a relationship of earning their trust!
- Give a unique onboarding gift. When you bring on any new client, gather all of their policies, account documents and any other important information, and present it to the client in a fireproof safe. Tell your client that you want to make sure that if anything happened to them or to their property, everything in the safe will be preserved. Not only does the safe keep everything together for the client, it will be an easy way for their beneficiaries to sort through all of their finances, should something unforeseen arise. This is a quality gift that will make a lasting impression.
- Treat your clients to a special event. There are many different events that you can host for your clients but the ones that have the deepest impact are special events held in their honor. Take a look at your book of business and identify ways to treat your clients like royalty. Host a retirement party or a surprise birthday or anniversary dinner to show each client that you truly care about them on a deeper level than just business. These types of events go a long way with your clients, plus they speak volumes to your client’s family about who you are.
There are many ideas like this out there in the industry. So start building trust with younger generations in order to maintain assets and forge new relationships that ultimately will increase the value of your practice.
Chad Blanton is vice president of sales-annuity division with Financial Independence Group, Cornelius, N.C. Chad may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.