Every Advisor should re-do the math for their personal financial plan. Add another 10, 20, or even 30 years to the forecast to have enough money to maintain your lifestyle forever. How much do you need? How much do you have? What business decisions do you need to make today to bridge the gap?
For veteran advisors, it’s pretty simple:
1. Plan to work longer. One of the great things about our business is that it’s a great business to operate for a long time, even part time. Finally, once and for all, do what you’ve always known you should do to have the business you really want.
2. Focus on your Ideal Clients. Your best clients are going to live longer and want to keep their money and their lifestyle for their entire life, so it’s not as important as many would have you believe that you have to kiss the asses of their kids in order to keep the assets on the books. It’s much more important that you have a high-trust relationship with both spouses. 70% of widows leave their advisor within a year of their husband’s death. That’s the problem worth fixing.
3. Elevate your client experience and value promise. Embrace true, values and goals-based financial planning. Your clients need more than asset management or “financial planning lite” to prepare for and navigate the future. When mid-career and younger advisors realize that your clients control most of the money now and will be keeping much longer than previously believed, the competition for your clients will heat up. The advisors who work to “rescue” the high-net worth ($2M-$20M) ideal clients from apathetic veterans.
4. Harness technology. If it’s over your head, make sure your staff gets it. It’s crucial to not compete with the machines. The machines are better at the hard skills and they can help you streamline your operational efficiencies and some of your client deliverables. For about $1,000 per/month, you can have all the best financial planning and client service technology you’d ever need to acquire and serve ideal clients.
5. Improve your people skills. Ask great questions, listen with empathy, make an emotional connection, build high-trust client relationships, counsel individuals and couples to establish goals that are crystal-clear and well defined, tease out their core values and other emotional drivers, inspire people to take the action required to achieve their most important goals and fulfill their most deeply held values, coach clients to stick to the plan during uncertain economic times, and hold clients accountable to do what needs to be done…especially when it’s not comfortable and they don’t feel like it.
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