Author Archive | Susan Kornegay

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A Thanksgiving Gift

Last week we received an interesting notification from the Contact Us page on our website. Here was the message: “This is Don and Sarah Smith [not their real names]. You were our financial advisor when we first started in the market. You are amazing. We would just love to touch base with you after all these years.” Adam had no idea who they were, but I certainly did. Don and Sarah were in their twenties when they stopped by our office in the local Sears store in Fairview Heights, IL. […]

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Seasonal Rally or Trouble Ahead?

The lead article in the email I received from Investment News was titled, “This Week Marks the Beginning of a Seasonal Rally.” The article notes that the six-month period beginning at the end of October “historically trounces the performance of the prior six-month period” and goes on to explain the rationale and indicators. Was it that long ago that everyone was concerned about rising interest rates and the inevitable recession on the horizon? And what about the effect of a contentious election cycle? Whether you are a bull or a […]

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Before You Pass the Turkey

Many advisors send cards and notes of thanks to their clients just before Thanksgiving. This year, you may want to send a version of this letter to your senior clients and/or their adult children. Please have it reviewed by your own compliance officer for any edits or disclosures they may require. Dear [Client Name], Thanksgiving Day, the fourth Thursday in November, marks the official start of the winter holiday season which typically runs through the end of December or into early January. It’s a time when families gather for catching […]

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Double-Duty Marketing

Five years ago, we began helping our advisor-clients customize a little booklet we call When a Loved One Passes Away. Its purpose is to provide a checklist for widows and widowers to help them get through everything that needs to be done in that important first year after losing their spouse. Although designed to guide clients, it has become an effective marketing brochure for some advisors who have reported receiving phone calls from people in their community who heard about it from a friend or family member and wanted a […]

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Thumbs Up for Developing Your Niche

We are excited to share that Adam’s article, Thumbs Up for Developing Your Niche, has been published as the cover story for the July issue of Next Generation Planner, a new digital (app-based), monthly publication of the Financial Planning Association. Designed for those who are new to the financial planning profession, NGP provides content focused on helping you make the most out of your financial planning career. The July 2019 issue is available now via the app. If you haven’t downloaded it yet, you can find the app in both […]

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Simplify Your Client Segmentation & Recognition

Last week, we examined how to establish your client service standards, which we defined as the basic standards for service you commit to providing to all clients. These standards would typically include administrative and operational items, as well as client communication and educational opportunities that are delivered on a one-to-many basis. Beyond your basic client service standards, you probably want to recognize your best clients in ways that might be difficult or too expensive to provide to everyone. Client recognition items include cards and gifts for special occasions, as well […]

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How to Establish Client Service Standards

If someone were to ask about what you do to ensure great client service, how would you respond? No doubt you would be able to tick off a few things that you do regularly such as quickly returning phone calls & emails, sending a newsletter, and reaching out to make sure your clients know you haven’t forgotten them between progress review meetings. But how much better would it be if you had well-defined and clearly communicated standards for the service you provide? Let’s begin with some principles for defining great […]

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How to Simplify Your Client Meeting Process

Like many planners and advisors, you may be eager to find a better way to simplify your client review meeting process. Are you still printing out reams of paper for their client review meetings? Prepared to provide performance information, these reports typically cover multiple accounts and often include each of the investment positions, along with fact sheets or other information. Do clients really need or want this amount of data? After all, they probably hired you for your knowledge and analytical skills so they wouldn’t have to do it themselves. […]

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How to Track Your Ongoing Advice

Whether you use our suggested agenda for ongoing review meetings or one that you have created, it is likely that some of your time at these meetings is spent reviewing various financial or wealth planning topics, such as retirement income planning, tax mitigation strategies, charitable giving plans, and beneficiary designation reviews. From a planning perspective and since your clients are likely paying for your advice on an ongoing basis, it makes sense to track these conversations so you can stay on top of any action items that you’ve agreed on, […]

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Preparing for Review Meetings

Assuming that you have your clients sorted out and coded in your Client Relationship Management (CRM) system so you can meet with them at intervals appropriate for their situation, let’s take a look how to prepare for those meetings. The first item is your agenda. Your life is a lot easier when you have an agenda template that you can use for most, if not all, your client review meetings. Email it to them when your meeting is confirmed, suggesting that they take a few minutes to jot down anything […]

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