What Clients Want to Know: Questions a Wealth Manager Should Be Prepared to Answer for New Business

A new client looking to change wealth managers or who has never worked with a wealth manager or financial planner before is naturally going to be hesitant to relinquish control of their financial future.

Most importantly, the client will want to establish trust and be confident that their new planner will make the right decisions for their finances. They will want to know that you have their best interests at heart.

As your financial planner or wealth manager, it is your role to assess and help plan for the future of your finances, investments and estate planning. After answering your questions, understanding your current financial situation, and listening to your short- and long-term goals, the goal is to be able to demonstrate that you are confident, motivated, and smart enough to develop a comprehensive and unique financial plan that will benefit your financial growth. .

You must anticipate the concerns of a new customer and be prepared to answer a multitude of questions. Below are five important questions you should expect a new customer to ask, and possible answers.

ARE YOU A TRUSTEE?

First-time clients may never have heard the term ‘fiduciary’; however, if you have done your research, you should know that it is one of the most important questions to ask yourself before trusting your financial well-being.

It will be important for a potential client to understand if they have a legal and ethical obligation to make decisions in their best interest, and that they are not simply working toward an aggressive commission goal.

Being able to tell a client that you are a fiduciary is probably an important step in securing your business; however, if you are not a fiduciary, you may want to delegate fiduciary responsibility to someone you know or work with who is a fiduciary in order not to be left with clients looking for that added security.

Product analyst Steve Boe digs deeper, explaining the current status of the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, the legal controversies surrounding it, and what to expect in the coming year when the courts reach their conclusions.

CAN YOU TELL ME ABOUT YOUR PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE AND YOUR SUCCESS WITH OTHER CLIENTS?

Essentially, your client will be interviewing you to see if you are the best person for their personal wealth management decisions. To build credibility and trust, he must be able and ready to talk about his personal investment philosophy, why he thinks it works, and the positive results he has achieved for past clients.

According to an article written by Nellie Huang for Kiplinger, there are many key credentials to discuss when it comes to winning new business. An informed client will look for a clean record, which means that she has not had any dealings with law enforcement regulators or taken any disciplinary action against you or your company.

A new customer can also ask about certifications and licenses which, if you have purchased, should be mentioned to establish your experience. A CEP, CFA, or CPA defines your different levels or years of experience, the specific standardized tests you have passed, and ultimately helps demonstrate that you have put in the time to qualify as a wealth management expert.

In addition to certifications, there is a good chance that a new client will want to talk to references from existing or previous clients. Ideally, you should provide them with references from clients who have had similar portfolios and financial goals.

A trusted advisor is the type of advisor that clients can trust, so it’s important to be prepared to discuss their philosophies, experience, and credentials. Spending time securing reliable references will go a long way in building a new client’s confidence in your abilities to execute.

WHAT ARE ALL THE SERVICES YOU PROVIDE AND THE BREAKDOWN OF THE COSTS?

The goal of hiring a financial planner or wealth manager is to improve or fix your current and future financial situation. You or your company may offer several standard products and services, some of which are higher risk than others. It is essential to understand the level of risk your client is comfortable with before fully explaining all potential offers and their costs.

The most frequently offered services will likely be personalized financial planning, retirement planning, loan solutions, investment services, estate planning, and wealth transfer, among others. The cost of any of these services will likely depend on the comprehensive plan you and your client have come up with, but it is in your best interest to be prepared to explain each service, the logic behind the projected cost, prove the value, and most importantly , explain how the fees associated with each product are determined. The more detailed and fluent you are in explaining services and their corresponding costs and fees, the more trustworthy you can achieve.

The MyPrivateBanking website even put together this article on understanding cost drivers and pricing models in wealth management to cut costs, expand services, and win more business.

WHAT TECHNOLOGY ARE YOU USING TO MANAGE MY MONEY/PORTFOLIO?

With the rise of the Fintech industry, the increasing general popularity of cryptocurrencies, and Personal DIY Investment Portfolio Platforms appearing every day, it is imperative to stay ahead of the curve and be able to present and explain the unique technology that you or your business are using to aggregate data, measure results and how you use it to drive ROI. WealthManagement put together a good manual here for advisers.

As a financial planner or wealth manager, you must be able to not only demonstrate that whatever technology you are using to manage accounts, analyze data, and read statistics is trustworthy and secure, but also be able to sell the value it provides with a human, personalized relationship that the client will have with you.

Chief Product & Strategy Officer Jeff Marsden Presents “Top Reads: Technology and the Future of Wealth Management.” As a financial planner, you need to know the ins and outs of the technology platforms used in your industry and that you use yourself, and be able to speak fluently about their capabilities.

WHY SHOULD I CHOOSE TO HIRE YOU?

Finally, when winning new business, it’s crucial to demonstrate that you’ve been listening, taking notes, and have a solid understanding of clients’ short- and long-term goals for the future of their wealth. You want them to leave feeling like they’re going to be a priority for you, so it’s imperative to be specific when making informed and personalized suggestions for your financial plan.

Highlight your strengths, your past successes, showcase your certifications and provide references. Emphasize your availability and willingness to participate in check-ins and direct back-and-forth communication. Be confident, and more importantly, use your time to show that your money is safe with you and that this will be a collaborative partnership.

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