Most financial advisors are incredibly focused on measuring their assets under management and anything else that impacts their production, but there are several other important measurement opportunities you may be missing that could directly impact your assets under management.
In 2015 think about your strategic planning a little differently by coming up with processes and tools that take into account the following in your work-flow:
Client Information: How much information do you have on your clients and how does this improve your ability to connect with them in terms of improving their financial futures? Understanding a clients’ financial history is an obvious necessity but how does this help you truly understand their future financial goals with that money? Knowing how many grandchildren your clients have, where they plan to retire, and how they spend their free time can be just as important as understanding their life insurance protection and income tax structure. Use your client management system or create a spreadsheet that captures this information, then fill in any gaps as you meet with your clients for year-end planning, or kick-off meetings in the New Year. Your financial advisory team members can even be helpful in this process by finding time to get on the phone with clients to ask them a little more about themselves, which will also familiarize your clients with your team members.
Client Satisfaction: You might be measuring your clients’ performance and tracking their actions against their financial plan, but are you tracking their satisfaction with their relationship with you? Once you have a client there is no guarantee they’ll stay, especially in today’s somewhat fluid management environment. There is a lot of emotion tied up in money and it’s likely that clients will maintain their relationship with you, come to you for additional services, and refer clients your way, only if they feel entirely confident about your abilities from personality through to planning. Provide them with a short questionnaire or ranking system—something that will take less than 5 minutes to fill out—that hones in on the areas you want to focus as a firm based on your mission, values and vision statement. If their expectations aren’t being met, follow up with them as to how and why. If their expectations aren’t in keeping with what you value as a firm then perhaps it’s time for both of you to explore opportunities elsewhere.
Return on behavior: Most financial plans take into account how a person should act, not necessarily how they actually act. Your most ideal clients will have a very genuine repoire with you in terms of sharing information. Try to develop this type of relationship with as many of your clients as possible so you can have an open conversation about their behavior with money rather than trying to get them to act based on a certain perception of how their money should be managed. Once your able to create realistic behaviors that match to their financial plan, figure out a way to track these behaviors and determine how they impact their cash-flow and ability to save or invest money. Creating a system like this takes time up front, but if you take into consideration scale and repetition, you should be able to create a process that works for many clients and provides them with something they can actually relate to on a day-to-day basis.
Return on performance: For CSAs and other team members, it’s important to realize the actions they’re taking that are truly affecting YOUR ability to do your work. If you are spending time on admin related tasks when you should be meeting with clients face-to-face or only focusing on activities that directly generate production, see how your CSAs can help you. Create a list containing all the responsibilities you could potentially share with them. Chances are they will be able to accomplish them more quickly and with less distraction based on their skill-sets, in the same way you’ll be able to accomplish the tasks that are unique to your ability without the distraction of those that aren’t. Track the success of these different task allocations by focusing on the amount you are able to accomplish as a team when you divide performance based on the unique skills and objectives of each team member.
Relationships created through COIs: You may have a clear idea of the type of assets you’ve generated from your separate centers of influence, but when was the last time you sat down and measured the types of relationships you generated through them? Which of your centers of influence are sending you your most ideal clients, and how can you work with those COIs to increase this in the new year? Meet with each of your centers of influence early in the year and compare the relationships you share and the relationships you would like to see more of. How can you set measurable goals that are mutually beneficial for both parties?
Your strategic plan should ultimately be comprised of measurements that do more than consider what you’re bringing in from a monetary standpoint. You’ll find that your relationships with your team members, clients and centers of influence are greatly improved if you share this shift in thinking with them up front, and create partnerships that help encourage this focus.
Coaching questions from this article:
Which aspects of your strategic plan already take into account the above or how are you tracking these things in other ways?
What aspects of your business are you currently measuring and how can the process around these be applied to taking into account further measurements that impact your bottom line?
- How can your team members apply their value in creating these processes and metrics?
Image Credit: CenterBlog