Using Checklists to Prepare for Annual Reviews & Identify Opportunities

Quote of the Month:  “Don’t lower your expectations to meet your performance. Raise your level of performance to meet your expectations” – Ralph Marston

In our office we use a checklist to help us prepare for each client review. The checklist is made up of 35 separate items which allow us to ensure that we are accurately and thoroughly preparing the reports we run for each of our clients. We believe in providing the most up-to-date and detailed information to our clients. This plays a part in differentiating ourselves from other advisors our clients may be working with, or have worked with in the past. The checklist walks anyone who may be preparing for a client meeting through the specific details that must be added and changed prior to a review. The added benefit of this checklist is that it helps to identify potential sales opportunities for the advisor.

Prior to each client meeting, we update the client’s Asset Summary, Income Plan, & Beneficiary Page, as well as organizing the physical client file to remove any out-of-date material. The proper preparation and presentation of these information pages provides an occasion to identify additional sales opportunities.

While preparing the Asset Summary, the checklist guides us through the areas of the summary that need to be updated. During this process we reformat the sheet to make sure it has the current date, client age, fonts and disclosures. We contact each carrier to update the current account values, RMD amounts, and income values. If a particular account has a stock position or values which are indexed, we add a percentage next to that value to indicate exposure of those investments to market movements. This is a great opportunity to assess a client’s pain with regard to potential losses from a particular account or investment. Are they now interested in moving the money to an account with you? We also check the ownership of each account to make sure it matches with our records. If the client has life insurance, we add all known details including the rating, premium, policy date, cash value, and company who the policy is with. There are always potential opportunities with life insurance since costs and needs change over time. For this reason, we always have a series of insurance quotes available during an annual review. The more detail you have on the Asset Summary provides for better opportunities to ask the client about old retirement accounts, maturing CD’s, and other outside investments that the client may be willing to move.

Marketing Tip of the Month:

Call us at 1-888-556-1379 to get a copy mid-year financial planning checklist as a starting point to implement this system in your practice today! We recommend using it to mail a letter to all the clients you have not seen in a while, inviting them to come in for an annual review.

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