Setting yourself apart with an unbeatable client experience

When it comes to building a successful wealth advisory business, most advisors have the planning and one-on-one relationship side down pat. But what they’re often missing is the business know-how and the ability to systematically build a great client experience. Today’s guest has not only done this as a successful advisor himself; he’s also dedicated his career to helping other advisors build better businesses.

Chris Reynolds is the Co-Founder, President, and CEO of Investment Planning Counsel. With over 25 years of experience in the business, he uses his knowledge and skills to work one-on-one time with advisors, helping them improve their businesses. Under his leadership, IPC has become one of the fastest-growing wealth management companies in Canada.

Listen to today’s episode to learn from Chris about what advisors can learn from Disney, simple steps that can make a big difference in your business growth, and new opportunities in the sudden money segment.

What You’ll Learn in This Episode:

  • Why wealth management is as important as healthcare (5:10)
  • IPC’s Total Client Experience system and what it borrows from Disney (6:55)
  • Four factors that will make the biggest difference in client experience (15:45)
  • How financial advisors can improve the digital experience to stay relevant (19:45)
  • The simple change that helped one advisor grow his business by 33% in one year (28:15)
  • Why commodified offerings like best returns or lowest fees are a bad idea (30:15)
  • Where the biggest opportunities for advisors are right now (32:00)

Links and Resources:

Chris Reynolds

Investment Planning Counsel

Quotes by Chris:

“Well, my personal view is wealth management and financial planning is one of the most critical services that can be provided to consumers.”

“What makes a business great is the experience a client has with that business.”

“You’re supposed to give great advice to clients, but if you can combine that great advice with a great experience, that’s what puts you ahead of everyone else.”

Chris has spent a lot of time figuring out how Canada’s best financial advisors ‒ and indeed, the world’s top companies ‒ set themselves apart. At IPC, he has developed systematized processes to help advisors grow their business by creating an unbeatable client experience.

Below, we’re sharing three key ideas from the show:

  • Four factors that will make the biggest difference in client experience
  • The simple change that helped one advisor grow his business by 33% in one year
  • Where the biggest opportunities for advisors are right now

For the rest of the episode, find the podcast on iTunes or Stitcher, or hit the link above.

Four factors that will make the biggest difference in client experience

It can be hard to decide where to put your focus to grow your business, but there are always a few key moves you can make that will create the biggest impact. Chris has four easy tips you can implement to create a great client experience right from the beginning of the relationship.

Clarity in the initial appointment

It’s common sense that consumers will have some questions for you before trusting you with their money ‒ things like your qualifications, how you get paid, and how your team works.

One of the best ways you can differentiate yourself is by addressing their questions and concerns before they even have to ask. Transparency and openness are key to forming a trusting relationship.

Hint: Check out this episode with John Page to learn more about maximizing conversions during your first meeting with a client.

Less talking, more listening

Advisors can spend too much time talking and giving advice ‒ and not enough time listening. An in-depth questionnaire can help you avoid this pitfall by really getting the client talking.

A great questionnaire goes beyond just a prospect’s risk tolerance and net worth ‒ it gets at what Chris calls “return on life” ‒ the hopes they have for their children, where they want to retire, and what they admire (or want to avoid) in the lives of retired folks they know.

Discovery letter

To show you were paying attention and really demonstrate your value to a client, Chris suggests sending them a discovery letter. Here you can articulate back to them what they said their needs are and show them how you can help address them.

An aligned philosophy

Before you get in too deep with a client, make sure that your wealth management philosophy aligns with theirs. If you believe in long-term asset allocation but your client is more interested in trying to beat the market, the relationship won’t be a good fit no matter how hard you work.

To ensure your philosophies are aligned though, you need to be very clear and specific (both for yourself and to your client) on what your philosophy is.

The simple change that helped one advisor grow his business by 33% in one year

One of IPC’s most successful advisors had fairly static growth for a period of time; then, seemingly out of nowhere, his business growth was in the double digits ‒ and stayed that way over a period of five years.

When Chris asked him what he was doing differently, he said, “I’m actually talking to my clients.”

Every week, he randomly calls four clients just to see how they’re doing and if there’s anything they need help with. The call is unscheduled and with no agenda other than to check in.

The first year he started doing this, business went up by 33%, showing that personal contact really trumps everything else.

He’s even gamified the process for himself: if he gets all four calls in by Thursday, he gets to take Friday off.

Hint: You might think a lot about motivating your clients to manage their cash flow and to be patient with their investments, but how can you motivate yourself to grow your business? For some ideas of concrete goals to drive your business, listen to our episode about the major drivers of advisors’ business growth with Chris Paterson.

Where the biggest opportunities for advisors are right now

If he were starting his financial advising business today, Chris knows exactly which segment he would go after: the sudden money crowd.

In Canada alone, $1.4 trillion of wealth is predicted to move from one generation to another in the next 15 years. That’s a lot of money changing hands.

But it’s not just inheritances ‒ people who spend their lives building a company and then liquidate or sell it often have a windfall they didn’t expect (farms are a great example).

Individuals in both of these groups often have no idea how to allocate that money to meet their needs going forward. They need comprehensive advice and guidance, as well as a methodology to maintain communication and progress on a regular basis. No matter the advances in fintech, these things can’t be replicated by a robot ‒ and the client base in this segment is rapidly growing.

For more advice from Chris, don’t miss the full episode where he talks about how IPC is helping their advisors create a better digital experience for their clients, why you should avoid making your value proposition about the best returns or the lowest fees, and more.

Listen to the show right here on this page or subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher ‒ and don’t forget to sign up for our mailing list below to get a message every time a new episode goes live.