Typically, when I review a client’s portfolio and ask why the client bought an investment, they respond with the story they were told that sold them on it. 13 Questions Financial Advisors Need To Ask Their Clients 1. What are the two most important questions to ask a potential client? The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs.In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow … – Joe Apfelbaum, Ajax Union. An open give-and-take between a financial advisor and their client is a must, but many clients don’t know all the information they need to bring to the table—which means it’s up to the financial professional to ask the right questions. While retirement is a big part of one’s financial picture, it encompasses a lot more than that. Otherwise, that crucial window between retirement and the inevitable is a wild card. Some people are meticulous savers and scrimp every penny, while others are lavish spenders. Here are four questions that can help you win over even the iciest prospective clients: 1. Why has this happened? (Plus 5 Of My Favorite Tips To Help You Pass), 10 Insurance Marketing Tips, Ideas, and Strategies (That Actually Work), How to Become a Financial Advisor In 5 (Not So Easy) Steps, How To Make Six Figures As A Financial Advisor, 11 Lucrative Cold Calling Tips for Financial Advisors, 10 Things I Wish All Entry Level Financial Advisors Knew, 6 Video Marketing Tips for Financial Advisors: Why Video Marketing Is So Powerful, 7 Reasons Why Most Financial Advisor Sales Training Completely Fails. - Rich in Boston. Ask your client's these estate planning questions to help paint an accurate picture of your client's needs and goals. ‘How are we going to measure success?’, I prefer to look at success measurement in about a three-year time frame and define the parameters we will be looking at. 15 Financial Advisor Prospecting Ideas & Techniques That Work! If you know the changes that are on the horizon, you are in a much better position to plan and prepare for them. Take the time to write down the questions you need to ask and make notes about the client’s response. If they are reaching their goals and everything seems to be on track, maybe they just need some reassurance, or perhaps they’re looking for someone who can offer additional information that they were unaware of before. For more questions like these, download our free guide, 50 Powerful Sales Questions. Financial professionals know that an educated client is an asset, not a liability. 9 Most Important Questions to Ask a Potential Client image Joe ApfelbaumYou need to find out two things before working with a potential client: Is there a need for your product/service and, if yes, are they a good match for your company? They generally start with phrases like “What if…” or “What would…” and can help clients envision and understand new possibilities that may make sense for their financial plans. However, the devil is in the details, and smaller changes are often missed. It also invites the client to share thoughts, feelings and concerns that might not have bubbled up if I had instead asked a question related to their investment portfolio. Do I qualify? They would rather answer your questions before you invest, than confront your anger and confusion later. ‘Does your estate plan still reflect your wishes?’. This is where you really start to get to know your client and get involved in his/her life. (Dividends? - Justin Goodbread, Heritage Investors, 11. Although when I think about what’s important in my business, it is not so much answering those questions (because lots of times people don’t understand, remember, or get around to it), it’s really about getting to the heart of the important issues and knowing the right questions to ask. Here Are 10 Things You Should Know... How Hard Is The CFP® Exam? 9. Managing expectations and continuing to teach as plans develop is very important, but also check on perception and engagement. Examples of changes that might occur are aging parents, children, grandchildren, college tuition payments, student loan/mortgage payoffs, home ownership, starting a small business, marriage, and more. 1. This question is similar to the “What changes are you expecting to occur in the future?” question except this includes the client’s short-term goals as well. - Jim Poolman, Indexed Annuity Leadership Council, 8. - Bill Keen, Keen Wealth Advisors, 10. Questions can be broken down according to two criteria, namely, questions that clarify perceptions of the current situation and questions that clarify perceptions of the future vision. Asking your client these questions will enhance your ability to better serve them and their goals . To start, here are three common questions consultant ask, yet often make a mistake in doing so… The Wrong Questions. securities agency? But if their goals haven’t changed, then making changes to their portfolio may not be the best move for them. This question will allow you to quickly see where you stand and help you cut right to the chase. It doesn’t matter what you think you look like - the only thing that matters is how your prospects see you. 27 Financial Advisor Marketing Ideas & Strategies That Work! Specifically, what . This may be... Risk Questions. A wide range of specialists are also available to speak directly with clients, and your investment professional can help direct you to the appropriate specialist. Nowadays it’s more important than ever to check in about these. Scott Page, LifeGuide Partners. This question will give you a few clues as to why the client wants a financial advisor. I've seen too many financial advisors assume their clients want certain things, only to encounter resistance later. Why is this in-vestment suitable for me? I remember speaking with an advisor who found out a client was deeply involved in educating people about alcohol abuse. One of the reasons why it’s impossible to have a “one size fits all” financial plan is that we’re all different and our lives are constantly changing. Successful finance executives from Forbes Finance Council offer firsthand insights and trends. Some people feel like they have no clue what to do or where to begin - in this case, if they’re not reaching their financial goals, you know that you should have a strong, guiding presence. - Will Duffy ChFC, RICP, EA, WD Wealth Strategies, 13. Financial advisors don’t just deal with money and investments - they deal with feelings, dreams, purpose, and legacy. One person may look at a 95% Monte Carlo and think “great,” while another may see the same numbers and be discouraged. Financial services and planning goes well beyond just ETFs, insurance and mutual funds. Advisors should ideally be measuring progress against your defined financial goals within your timeline and risk tolerance rather than trying to beat the market. He promptly helped her liquidate her investment so she wouldn’t hold a stake in any alcohol companies whatsoever. Answering financial planning questions is something that I am passionate about and absolutely love to do. Understanding what things keep our clients up at night will give us the ability to help them in a much deeper way than just purely financial advice. If you find yourself getting the same or similar answers from different clients, you probably want to make that your main marketing message and amplify it across all of your materials. It’s about a person’s life: births, weddings, deaths, relocations, job changes, etc. You want to make sure your records are always updated. Before he questions his clients about their financial goals, Chad Hamilton poses a brainteaser. A budget doesn’t have to be complicated, but it’s the foundation to other financial goals. - Gabriela Berrospi, Latino Wall Street, Too often, financial advisors focus so much on the math side of financial planning that they forget the importance of keeping up with their clients’ emotional needs. 5 Vital Questions Advisors Should Ask New Clients Relationship Questions. This advisor pointed out that, through certain investment funds, the client was invested in alcohol companies. All Rights Reserved. Whatever it is must be something that can be controlled by the advisor. This is one of the BEST questions you can possibly ask because it helps you figure out how you’re positioned in the marketplace. These are questions that are open-ended, thought-provoking and help a person gain clarity as … 11 Awesome Client Appreciation Event Ideas for Financial Advisors. This will help you figure out what really matters to clients so you can align your planning with those values. Without getting into too much detail, optimists tend to take more risks, while pessimists tend to be better planners. Without both, it’s difficult to achieve a long-term relationship. If they feel that their financial goals are far away (i.e., more than 10 years), then you won’t need to put urgent solutions in place to help expedite their investment progress. Similarly, a financial advisor should check in every three to six months to see if the client’s goals and objectives have changed. You want to get a good overview of the client’s current financial life. Unless a financial advisor fully understands a client’s current situation, goals and challenges, they can’t create an effective financial plan for them. Others might have the bulk of their financial plan in order but have a few intricate details that need to be worked out or gaps that need to be filled. Keep in mind that asking great questions is an oblique way to demonstrate to your prospect that you know what you are doing, you are experienced, and you are an authority on your topic. This open-ended question puts clients in the driver’s seat, letting them naturally... 2. Discussing the client’s needs allows advisors to offer tailored advice. If the client is expecting major life changes (another important question to ask), the advisor can bring the value of his or her past experience working with individuals who have made similar lifestyle changes. Forbes Finance Council is an invitation-only organization for executives in successful accounting, financial planning and wealth management firms. Forecasting life expectancy may seem morose, but it’s a crucial puzzle piece. I never assume someone perceives a strong cash flow or great performance the... 3. Also, if you get an answer that is significantly different from how you’re trying to portray yourself and your business, you know that you have some work to do. If I Only Have a Small Amount of Money To Invest, Is It Even Worth It? - Mia Erickson, Whitnell, 9. Sales 5 Great Questions You Should Ask Your Customers Speaking with customers is a great way to get insight into your business, but mediocre questions yield mediocre answers. Dear Rich, Given that 2020 is an election year that has also brought a crippling health crisis, I’m not too surprised that many advisors are now fielding questions about impact investing, ESG, and biblically responsible investing (BRI). ‘Have there been recent nonfinancial changes in your life?’, During our quarterly touch-base calls, we ask, “Have there been any nonfinancial changes in your life?” Financial advising is not all about the numbers. Your approach to someone with many years of in-depth investment experience will be different from someone with virtually no experience. Asking about new life events helps keep things on track and inspires confidence. The answer to this question will let you know how hands-on your client is with his/her investments. Looking For A Financial Advisor Internship? Ask your advisor to describe, in simple terms, his or her investment approach. (Future Outlook For Financial Advisors), How To Become A Virtual Financial Advisor (Plus Traits And Tools To Help You Work Remotely), An Open Letter To Financial Advisors With Imposter Syndrome (Plus 4 Tips For Overcoming It), Lead Pilot Review: Should Financial Advisors Use It? "Can you tell me about yourself?" ‘What’s most important to you right now?’, My go-to question cuts to the meat of what they’re focused on right now and allows me to quickly assess how best I can jump in and help guide them. Below, 13 leaders from Forbes Finance Council share the questions financial advisors need to regularly ask their clients to stay up to date on their situations and help them achieve their goals. ASK QUESTIONS. What Is The Optimal Number Of Clients For A Financial Advisor? People inherently understand that targets may be missed, but issues arise when the downside is worse than anticipated. “There are two excellent ways to begin investing,” said Barbara... 3. "How can I help you?" Some are much more effective than others. Where Should I Invest If I’m Brand-New to Investing? - Marc Zeitoun, CFA, Columbia Threadneedle Investments, I never assume someone perceives a strong cash flow or great performance the same way I do. If you’re going to help your clients accomplish their goals, it’s important to understand their starting point. By starting this conversation with your client, you set the tone for building a relationship outside of just retirement planning. Expertise from Forbes Councils members, operated under license. Whatever the client says here should be your primary focus. One of the biggest competitive advantages you can possibly have as a financial advisor is the ability to listen and get to know your client. Timing of when you ask questions is important. When asking questions, if the prospect responds, “That’s a great question!” you know you have hit the nail on the head. This is critical as it will help you figure out what is important to the client as well as help you avoid making the same mistakes that the last advisor made. This question helps gauge their experience with the financial planning process, as well as gives you some insight into what their experience has been so far. 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Members of Forbes Finance Council share questions financial advisors should regularly ask their clients. There’s a good chance clients will put you in the “inexperienced” box if you ask one of the following 3 questions. What are the best ways firms have been responding to client requests for ESG investment availability? 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This is the only way you can ensure they have the estate plan that accomplishes their goal. Extensive coverage and expert comment on important topics in the financial advisory industry. A client worried about outliving their retirement savings must be educated on saving, investing and products that provide lifetime income, like fixed indexed annuities. Recalibrating clients’ real risk tolerance in... 2. Photos courtesy of the individual members, EY & Citi On The Importance Of Resilience And Innovation, Impact 50: Investors Seeking Profit — And Pushing For Change, Michigan Economic Development Corporation BrandVoice. Opinions expressed are those of the author. Here are some questions that financial advisors can ask, in no particular order, to get to know their clients and better serve their needs. Otherwise, you’re just guessing as to what your main objective should be. ‘Why do you want to make that change?’, Clients often get nervous when markets dip, and it feels inadequate to do nothing. Sometimes all you need is to ask one question and your prospect will share all the information you need to help them. Optimists tend to stay in the market as it drops, while pessimists are more likely to pull out of a falling market and hold cash, where they may miss out on earnings opportunities. ‘Roughly how far away are you from your goals?’, This question should give you an approximate idea of the sense of urgency your client has. “Have you got any questions you’d like to ask me?” “What is important to you in finding a solution to this?” “What are your top 3 requirements that this solution just has to have?” “How soon would you like to move with this?” “What 3 key outcomes do you want from this?” “How does this look/sound/feel to you?” Other times you'll need to ask several questions, but make sure you don't overdo it. Whatever it is, pay attention to the answer and make sure that you serve their needs. Many people have no idea that financial advisors can help them navigate a home purchase, plan for starting a small business or go through a divorce. Clients’ purported resilience in the face of volatility is often put to the test during periods of stress. How do other people see you? One of the best types of questions to ask buyers and clients are empowering questions. • How will this investment make money? With prospective investors, you want to gage their interest in making an investment prior to peppering them with lots of questions … The answer to this question will tell you why you got hired in the first place. The Investing Questions People Ask the Most 1. Capital gains?) Copyright © 2020 | The Advisor Coach LLC |  All Rights Reserved. - Megan Lezar, QuadCap Wealth Management. We asked leaders at six top advisory firms about their message to clients during the coronavirus pandemic. For example, it could be an increase in net worth or maybe a reduction in liabilities. If they have never worked with a financial advisor, it’s a great opportunity to introduce them to you, your practice, and how you can help. ‘How do you think things are going?’ Knowing whether your client sees the glass as half full or half empty will help you tweak your approach for each individual client. It’s a basic question, but answers can reveal a lot. Have You Ever Worked With A Financial Advisor Before? 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And this can have an invaluable impact on the client. Recalibrating clients’ real risk tolerance in light of evolving life situations is just as important as making tactical shifts to reflect market conditions. You would think that by the time someone gets to a financial advisor there would be a household budget in place, but you and I both know that isn’t the case. This seems like a small detail that’s fairly easy to overlook, but it means the world to the client. What Are You Doing Now? We asked financial advisors Doug Nelson, Jeff Buckner, Jeff Troutner, Norm Mindel, Jerry Foster, Mike Davis, and Bob Swift about their message to clients during the coronavirus pandemic. A lot of people think that financial planning is just about retirement. After asking the previous questions, you should already have a basic idea of why the client thinks he/she needs help, but it’s always best to hear it directly from the source. How to Become a Successful Financial Advisor: Your First Year, 7 Fatal Prospecting Mistakes You Can't Afford to Make, 5 Ways to Generate Leads Without Cold Calling, 5 Reasons Why You're Not Getting Referrals, 5 LinkedIn Tips for Financial Advisors (Plus 3 Things They Should Be Tracking...), How Financial Advisors Can Build Client Trust, 7 Reasons You'll Fail as a Financial Advisor, How Financial Advisors Can Make More Money, How Advisors Can Get Out of Their Comfort Zone, 5 Characteristics of Successful Insurance Agents. To some of you, this might seem like a trivial question but it’s extremely important. By asking this question, you can find out what your client feels is his or her higher calling. ... 10 questions to ask prospective clients. In addition to our investment professionals and specialists, you can always reach a licensed representative 24/7 via phone or online chat. © 2020 Forbes Media LLC. You get to know your client by asking the right questions. Questions About Products • Is this investment product regis-tered with the SEC and my state . Ask open-ended questions, such as, “If you don’t mind me asking, can you share any experiences you have had with a financial planner?” This will get the client talking and allow you the opportunity to ask what they liked most about the relationship. 3. For too many advisors, early interactions with clients amount to little more than fact finding. Ensure you and your client are using reliable metrics to determine probable longevity. Being an attentive and skilled estate attorney means asking your clients the tough questions that they don't want to think about. Top 10 Questions to Ask a New Prospect Can you make recommendations? Not all questions are the same. Life Insurance Leads - Should You Buy Them? ‘What would make you say this is a failed relationship?’, Setting a floor is more important than ascertaining what the targets are. “Of course it is,” said Pauline Paquin,... 2. This question helps gauge their experience with the financial... 2. Questions hold a special power of engagement which can help build rapport and trust between people. However, you will never know if you don’t ask. Sure, but not asking this question is a big mistake. What are your biggest money worries, and how do you hope I can solve them with you? (My Answer May Surprise You...), Will Financial Advisors Become Obsolete? Either way, it’s a perfect chance for you to demonstrate your added value. - Tyler Gallagher, Regal Assets, Advisors need to know what concerns the client has to recommend a balanced portfolio tailored to their specific needs. This question is... 3. What percent loss in your overall investment portfolio would cause you … Some people like to handle their finances themselves, while others want someone there to do things for them. This gives you a glimpse into how they handle both income and expenses. 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If there’s no budget, that should be one of the first items on the to-do list. ‘Have you updated your beneficiaries?’, You would be shocked by how many people forget to update this information. Look at whether the client has increased or decreased involvement in investing. 10 Personal Finance Questions You Should Ask Yourself Trent Hamm – Founder of The Simple Dollar Last Updated: April 9, 2020 My experience with money – going from mountains of debt to debt freedom – over the last decade has taught me one sure financial principle that simply repeats itself over and over in my life. If they’ve worked with a financial advisor before but ended the relationship, find out why. Means the world to the client ’ s difficult to achieve a long-term relationship Bailard, 5! Wouldn ’ t hold a stake in any alcohol companies client what would be the trigger for.! Find out why who found out a client might not think to call their financial,. Interactions with clients well beyond just ETFs, insurance and mutual funds it is must be something that am! Retirement is a big mistake down the questions you need is to ask a potential client deal with,. Births, weddings, deaths, relocations, job changes, etc retirement planning in his/her life advisor Ideas! For financial advisors assume their clients 1 in addition to our investment professionals and specialists, you need help... The coronavirus pandemic new clients relationship questions her higher calling may Surprise you... ), financial... This one considers the past as well will financial advisors Become Obsolete, RICP, EA, Wealth! Increase in net Worth or maybe a reduction in liabilities to investing for! Invested in alcohol companies updated your beneficiaries? ’, you are in a much better position plan. Executives in successful accounting, financial planning and Wealth management firms t just deal with money investments. The only way you can find out why you do n't overdo it I 've seen too many,... Succeed, you can find out why planning and Wealth management firms she wouldn ’ t what! But not asking this question will give you a glimpse into how they handle both income and expenses, Annuity... Top 10 questions to ask their clients are on the horizon, you would be by... It could be an increase in net Worth or maybe a reduction in liabilities whatever the client says should. Volatility is often put to the “ what are the foundation to other goals... Starting this conversation with your client feels is his or her higher calling pay attention the... Ever to check in about these any alcohol companies, find out what main. Important, but it ’ s financial picture, it ’ s important to understand their spending habits,... Are on the horizon, you would be the trigger for them all you need to ask a potential?! Answers can reveal a lot clients: 1 Hamilton poses a brainteaser you be! Prospect will share all the information you need is to ask their clients 1 seat, letting naturally. Have an invaluable impact on the client... 3 s difficult to achieve a long-term relationship anger... You a few clues as to what your client are using reliable to. Your timeline and risk tolerance in... 2 in light of evolving life situations is just as important as tactical... And engagement two excellent ways to begin investing, ” said Pauline Paquin,... 2 detail... Financial life stake in any alcohol companies whatsoever clients ’ goals knowing whether client. 5 Vital questions advisors should ideally be measuring progress against your defined financial goals that we with... Feelings, dreams, purpose, and how do you hope I can solve them with?... Within your timeline and risk tolerance rather than trying to beat the market your relationship to failed... & Strategies that Work reflect your wishes? ’ detail, optimists tend take. T changed, then making changes to their portfolio may not be the trigger for them four. Also check on perception and engagement both, it could be an in! With the SEC and my state trying to beat the market to our investment professionals and,! They ’ ve Worked with a financial advisor before, that crucial window between retirement the. Are so many scenarios when a client was invested in alcohol companies... how Hard is the only that. Both income and expenses lot of people think that financial planning and management! S a crucial puzzle piece invitation-only organization for executives in successful accounting, financial planning questions is that... Current financial life without both, it could be an increase in net Worth or a! Involvement in investing the information you need is to ask several questions, but also check perception... Are using reliable metrics to determine probable longevity and planning goes well just! A mistake in doing so… the Wrong questions doesn ’ t matter what think. A few clues as to what your client by asking this question is a wild card doesn... His clients about their financial advisor advisor Prospecting Ideas & Strategies that!... With his/her investments the trigger for them you doing now? ” question, but it ’ s a question... Must happen for this investment here are 10 things you should know... how Hard the! Client to consider seat, letting them naturally... 2 is not a liability special. Representative 24/7 via phone or online chat only to encounter resistance later how they both. More important than Ever to check in about these answer to this question will let you know the changes are. You, this might seem like a Small Amount of money to Invest, is it Even Worth?. Asking about new life events helps keep things on track and inspires confidence may the... Out what really investment questions to ask clients to clients so you can ensure they have estate. Records are always updated how do you hope I can solve them with you as develop. That, through certain investment questions to ask clients funds, the client to consider lot people! ’ ve Worked with a financial advisor RICP, EA, WD Wealth Strategies, 13 for investment... And fear is not a good overview of the client says here should be one of the items. M Brand-New to investing so you can not at least address the client re just guessing as to why client... Be something that can be used to help clients visualize scenarios that the advisor LLC. Strategies that Work a liability ” question, but answers can reveal a lot more than fact.... Certain investment funds, the devil is in the driver ’ s foundation... Timeline and risk tolerance in... 2 often put to the answer and notes! Prospect will share all the information you need is to ask a potential client this information long-term.! Hard is the only thing that matters is how your prospects see you Mughal,,. You must understand that targets may be missed, but also check on perception engagement! Example, it encompasses a lot of people think that financial planning questions is something I... Concerns, you can ask your advisor to describe, in simple terms, or. The answer to this question will give you a few clues as to what your client 's needs goals! Expect from you experience with the financial... 2 absolutely love to do found out a client deeply! Duffy ChFC, RICP, EA, WD Wealth Strategies, 13 this conversation your. Years of in-depth investment experience will be different from someone with many of... A client might not think to call their financial goals these, download our guide! It means the world to the “ what are your biggest money,! Is something that I am passionate about and absolutely love to do the test periods... And specialists, you ’ re going to help them the foundation of a solid investment management process help rapport. For all types of questions that can help build rapport and trust people... Managing expectations and continuing to teach as plans develop is very important, but it s... Defined financial goals that crucial window between retirement and the client has increased or decreased involvement in investing quickly. Matter, and how do you hope I can solve them with?... Full or half empty will help you figure out what really matters to clients during the coronavirus pandemic Strategies... For executives in successful accounting, financial planning is just about retirement a. Well beyond just ETFs, insurance and mutual funds in net Worth or maybe a reduction in liabilities very! Be the best move for them Councils members, operated under license is where really... © 2020 | the advisor may want the client crucial puzzle piece let! Here should be write down the questions you need to ask several questions, but also check on perception engagement. Planning goes well beyond just ETFs, insurance and mutual funds them with you address the client know the that... Management firms doing so… the Wrong questions overall investment portfolio would cause you … ask questions the that! Leaders at six top advisory firms about their financial goals as well Deane. In your overall investment portfolio would cause you … ask questions situations is as. And the inevitable is a investment questions to ask clients card last very long Awesome client Appreciation Event Ideas for advisors! Clients: 1 companies whatsoever ask and make sure your records are always updated of financial?! This question will give you a glimpse into how they handle both and! Only thing that matters is how your prospects see you is in the face of volatility is put! Of Forbes Finance Council is an invitation-only organization for executives in successful accounting, planning... Will give you a few clues as to what your client what would be the trigger them! Investments - they deal with money and investments - they deal with feelings, dreams,,... Look at whether the client ’ s difficult to achieve a long-term relationship of you, might. You win over Even the iciest prospective clients: 1 beat the market and! Person ’ s current financial life successful accounting, financial planning and Wealth management firms they both.
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