We recently conducted a survey of Snap users and uncovered the three top business driving activities Financial Advisors, Planners, and Investment Managers are conducting with Snap’s financial planning software.
When we asked Snap users the question, “what are you currently doing in your practice?”, this is what they said.
56% said they are meeting with prospects as they are looking to expand their current list of clients.
79% said they are providing plans to clients who have come in with questions.
85% said they are proactively offering clients the option for a financial plan.
We wanted to better understand the prospecting side of things, so we asked some additional questions around that. Of the 56% of Snap users who are in growth mode and currently meeting with prospects, we asked them if they were using Snap during those meetings.
68% said YES, and 32% said NO. So we asked, if not, why not?
33% said they simply hadn’t thought of it, and everyone else said they just don’t have the time or capacity to create plans for prospects.
We have spent the better part of 8 years speaking with Advisors and uncovering how we can continue to evolve and help, and what we have found is that there is a large group of Advisors who have figured out how to use Snap efficiently and in real-time during prospect meetings.
What exactly are they doing?
Here is what has proven to be effective. Advisors gather high-level information from the client, 5 pieces of information will do to get started. The information does not have to be exact, a general estimate is fine at this stage.
Scenarios to create for prospects:
Current state: what would happen on their current path?
Recommended state: what additional actions/optimizations can we help them achieve?
Stress tested plan: what would happen if life deviates from the plan, either unexpectedly or intentionally?
- Returns are variable and/or lower than expected
- Income and savings are lower than expected
- Forced to take time off work
- One client passes away early
- Retire early
- Downsize family home at retirement
You can create the first scenario and model what their current path looks like within a few minutes for simple cases. You can stop there, or choose to keep going to drive even more value. From Scenario 1, the base plan, you can model real-time recommendations and optimizations within the software, answering questions like “How much can I afford to spend so I don’t run out of money?” with just a few additional clicks. You could then carry on to build out multiple what-if scenarios that cover numerous questions, concerns, and possibilities.
Bonus: These steps will also work very well for your existing Advisory clients if you don’t already have your own financial planning process in place. If that’s the case, see below for the Financial Planning Toolkit which will be highly beneficial to help you get started.
Focusing on addressing the first scenario, we can enter a few data points into Snap, and quickly demonstrate for the prospective client whether or not they have adequate funds to meet their cash-flow needs as well as their additional goals such as travel and gifts to children.
In today’s Case Study video, we are meeting with 34-year-old Angela Gibson. We don’t know very much about her yet, but we can start with what we have. In the video, you will see Snap’s Financial Planning Questionnaire being used. This resource can be downloaded here.
During this meeting, how much data was required?
- Angela’s DOB
- Province of residence
- Existing capital assets
- Planned contributions
Five pieces, that’s it!
With that information, using Snap, we were able to show her how much she can afford to spend to ensure she never runs out of money.
But what else did we accomplish in such a short period of time?
- We showed value before having to ask for anything in return
- We started the data collection process
- We started building trust
- We laid the foundation for the next steps to start working together
This is a proven process to turn prospects into clients. What we have found is that once you use the software to show what planning looks like, clients are often excited to see what it will actually look like once their information is accurate and complete.
This strategy allows you to start small with data that’s readily available, which minimizes upfront work for both the client and you, the Advisor. This sets the foundation to gain the client’s buy-in, and set another time to collect the rest of the information you need.
How to start those financial planning conversations with prospective clients.
It’s not always easy to start the planning conversation, whether it’s with a prospect or existing Advisory clients. Many Snap users have found that leading with the Value of Planning document is highly effective in getting that buy-in and interest in the planning process. The Value of Planning one-pager is part of your Financial Planning Toolkit. You can share this with clients to help demonstrate the reasoning behind planning, and help them to understand what’s in it for them and how the planning process works.
You will notice the questions in the top right hand corner: Ever ask yourself, how long will my money last, am I going to be okay?
Once you start talking about these questions, this is the opportune time to hop into Snap and provide those answers in real-time. This is exactly what we saw during the prospect Case Study video.
This process works for both prospects or existing Advisory clients who are new to financial planning.