With any business, sometimes you have difficult clients. We identified four types of clients that may make or break your business.
The indecisive clients are the most time consuming clients on your books and though they are generally harmless, they tend to change their minds in-between meetings leaving you, the financial planner, to continually reassess their goals and objectives each time you meet with them.
It is essential to touch base with these types of clients and to understand more than just their financials. Understanding their value system and decision-making process is highly important with indecisive clients. Also, evaluating their support network and who they lean on to evaluate decisions is essential in inviting these support networks into the financial planning process.
You may also want to incorporate an alteration fee for changes outside of the agreed scope of advice. This can effectively curtail indecisive clients into sticking to the original financial plan agreed upon during the first few meetings.
At the end of the day, you have to evaluate whether or not your time is worth the constant back and forth, and ask yourself – what is your hourly rate for working this client?
When dealing with over analytical clients, the attention must be on the details of the advice. For example:
– What were the factors that influenced your decision to recommend a specific product over another, more seemingly obvious choice in the clients’ mind?
– Can you show me a 30-year projection which is broken down by yearly impact?
– How are your fees broken down per service or per hour? Can I have a summary?
These are just a few types of questions that may come up when you have an over analytical client. Ensure that you have separate pairs of eyes to check anything with a number as they will be analysing every detail of the Statement of Advice. You may wish to supplement your research with visual aides to ensure that the information is received through different learning channels.
The “My Friends Said" clients are the types of people who do their research by asking the opinions of their friends. As frustrating as they may seem, these types of clients end up being the most loyal. If they are given a great experience, they will refer their network of friends and become a loyal advocate for your business and do the due diligence for you to their network.
The Silent Clients are ones that you never hear from or those who don’t reply back to your messages during your ongoing service reviews, then suddenly, they lodge a complaint for lack of communication or drop off from your books without notice.
As a financial planner, it is your role to ensure that you stay up to date with all of your ongoing service clients. Make sure all communications across various communication platforms such as voice mail, text message, email and even post.
Ensure that you have company policies and procedures guide in place for all employees so that everyone follows a comprehensive follow-up procedure and that all communication attempts are well documented in File Notes and email notifications to your silent clients.
If, after several attempts, your silent clients have not replied or showed signs of attempting to communicate with you, it may be best to switch off their ongoing service fee for the time being. This is just a preventative measure that safeguards you and your practice.
We hope that you never come across one or all of these types of clients. But if you do, it’s best to have a system in place that safeguards you and your employees.