Due to Coronavirus, virtual client meetings quickly became the ‘new normal’, but are they here to stay? And how do you make them part of your business?
Most financial planners have spent many years meeting client’s in their offices and are comfortable and skilled in this environment. But many existing clients may decide that they would rather not leave home for their annual review meeting and even potential clients may prefer a virtual meeting even when coronavirus concerns are no longer relevant.
Virtual meetings should become part of the modern advisers service offering as a way to attract new clients and retain existing clients. Apart from the obvious client benefits of not having to attend your office here are some other benefits of offering at least a mix of virtual and physical meetings.
Benefits of virtual meetings
- Advice in smaller portions – meetings can sometimes drag on for hours, a better alternative can be a series of shorter meetings done virtually or a mix of physical and virtual meetings to maintain the momentum of the advice delivery especially for new clients.
- Flexible hours – some clients may decide that the best time to conduct these meetings are when they are both at home in the evening or perhaps on the weekend. Advisers may decide that working remotely from home and providing a valued client with an out of hours meeting is worth the effort.
- Annual opt-in – when this is legislated advisers will need to meet their clients more regularly and face the frustration of turning off fees if a client does not attend a review meeting. Virtual meetings may provide an easy alternative for the client.
Get the Basics right
To get started you need to make some basic decisions and learn some simple skills. Then get comfortable with the functionality of your chosen options and test drive on your friends and family.
- Choose a screen share software – there are many different options and most are now fairly easy to use for both you and your client. Some of the more popular options are Zoom, GoTo Meetings, Webex, Microsoft Teams.
- Turn on the Video – it’s important that you spend a few minutes connecting with your clients and this will be more effective if they can see each other’s facial expressions and to normalise the meeting.
- Provide structure – many of the same rules apply as for face-to-face meetings
- Set an agenda
- Discuss each agenda item and allow the client to add their thoughts
- Present your material
- Agree to an action plan
- End the meeting and ask for your client’s feedback
- Audio options – the voice over internet option can be an easy choice to use however with the client’s internet speed out of your control you will need a back-up plan. If the client’s are both together then call them on the phone for a clear audio. For multiple locations subscribe to teleconference service. You only pay for what you use and it can save a meeting when audio is an issue.
Make a great impression
- Presentation software – scrolling through a document may be the way you are used to presenting information in a physical meeting and certainly is an option in a virtual meeting however if you want the client experience to be great then you should consider client presentation software. PowerPoint is one of the more common options; others include Google slides, ZOHO and Canva.
- Client presentation – a good way to consider the virtual meeting is similar to standing in front of a large audience presenting with a screen to enhance your presentation. Preparation is important as you need to have all your visuals ready and easily accessible to allow for a smooth presentation, It’s a skill and you will improve over time.
Client data collection
ASIC wants to “hear the client’s voice” evident in your file notes, discussions and SOAs, and that you can demonstrate that you really ‘know your client’ AstuteWheel’s online tools are easy for the client to use and efficient for your business.
- About You Questionnaire – this online fact find takes the client only 20 minutes to complete and information flows to a database to form the basis of your client fact find.
- 5 Minute financial Health Check – A simple but thought provoking exercise for the client providing a rich source of information for the adviser.
- Electronic Reverse Fact Find – Clients are happy to update their information electronically before the meeting saving time and allows the planner to prepare for meetings.
- Goals Based Advice – An easy tool for the client to identify their goals which then flow to our interactive (screen based) Goals Based Advice tool where goals are discussed, prioritised and tracked and compliance issues are captured.
Visual and Interactive Online Tools
To really make the client experience memorable, advisers should consider using interactive tools in their screen share meetings AstuteWheel offers the following:
- Goals Based Advice – this tool is auto loaded from the about you questionnaire or the stand alone Goals Questionnaire where the client has entered their goals. The Adviser can then open the tool on their screen and work through each goal with the client to ensure they understand what the client wants to achieve, determining a priority order and track goals each year to completion. A report is generated for the client and all your compliance requirements are captured.
- Scope and Scale Advice – this tool provides a visual and structured approach for you to discuss what broad areas of advice will be ‘scoped’ in or out according to the client’s goals and then the ‘scale of advice’ that will be offered in each ‘in scope’ area. A report is generated for the client and all your compliance needs are captured.
- Modelling calculators – show your clients’ their financial future and the effect of your strategies with easy to understand graphs to really get them engaged in and valuing your advice. Whether it’s determining their insurance needs analysis, comparing their investment options or modelling their retirement plan your clients will appreciate the way you simplify the complex and make the meeting all about them.
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