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Deeper Client Relationships at Scale #1 – Conrad Francis – Transcript

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Deeper Client Relationships at Scale

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SUMMARY KEYWORDS

client, business, money, advice, journey, fantastic, coaching, advisors, salesforce, people, build, point, financial planning, tool, tech, called, information, technology, conversation, data

SPEAKERS

Conrad Francis, Fraser Jack

 

Fraser Jack 

Welcome to the x y advisor podcast, a global community of financial advisors sharing and learning with one another to drive the positive evolution of financial advice. To get involved, go to x y advisor.com. Or simply download the x y advisor. This series deeper client relationships at scale is brought to you by my prosperity, the all in one client portal and app designed to enhance your practice efficiencies, promote your digital brand and grow your revenue. You can book a demo directly from the website, go to my prosperity.com.au Welcome back to the Expert Advisor podcast. I’m Fraser Jack and we are exploring all things around having deeper client relationships at scale. This is a series brought to you by my prosperity. And today I am chatting with Conrad Francis, get a Conrad. Hi Fraser. Glad to be here. Thank you for catching up. Now you tell us about yourself. You run a business in NWA called inspired money.

 

Conrad Francis 

Both both chime Mitchell and myself started inspired money back in 2011. strategy from another failed financial flooding, finding resistance, unfortunately, was with another business partner that didn’t manage the business well enough. So we had to take ourselves out of that and started inspired money in 2011. And it was actually really interesting time post GFC. The model was working for us, we had a growing business over there just we were attached to a property development company and obviously through the GFC over here, that that wasn’t really the best place to be attached to and it didn’t work for us. Also, we were on the previous business up, I extricated myself and in Shannon, try and join me on that journey with another person. And we started inspired money 2011. And from that point in time, it’s been it’s been onwards and upwards.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, fantastic. And we’ll get we’ll get into that story in a second. But, but you start that business, and now you’ve grown, what sort of sizes at the

 

Conrad Francis 

moment. We’ve got about in excess of two and a half 1000. I say clients, but obviously there’s there’s probably 300 fee paying clients and the rest are probably more more insurance focus clients.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yep, that does it. And how many staff?

 

Conrad Francis 

We’ve got three overseas, they’re still in the Philippines, one in in India. And we’ve got 13 in the office.

 

Fraser Jack 

Well, fantastic. So it’s a it’s a fairly decent sized business, then.

 

Conrad Francis 

Yeah, I mean, it’s one of those things that you think you don’t know how big it’s going to get until you actually start to grow, grow your business and build scale into it.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, fantastic. So let’s go back. Let’s go back and explore your story. Your dad sort of interesting story. I think it’s sort of started as a bank, you know, a bank teller and worked his way through to becoming a bank financial planning,

 

Conrad Francis 

tell I’m an easy call on bank Johnny’s when he was at the National Australia Bank from about 1999. Sorry, Ly, naughty, but not at all to till 2013 is a national throwback. And midway through I met, I met a guy who introduced me to the values of financial money that as the banks were rolling out through those days, and he did some work with my parents, I loved what he did. I had an affinity with stock broking and stock selection. To understand the wider value of financial planning and went down that path within the National Australia Bank. got to a point where I could see that just, I mean, and I say this really politely I mean, the bank only had their product. So the reality is, that’s all you had to sort to serve the clients with. And you know, when you’re attending industry events, and those types of things, you start to understand there’s a wider product selection that probably serves clients better. And that got me Got me working or looking at working outside of the bank. And that’s, I think, when it was 2002 was when I left the national striving,

 

Fraser Jack 

yeah, fantastic. And so then then you started a journey of running your own business to being an entrepreneurial. And at the same time, but I have to mention is at the same time you were doing a lot of coaching of our basketball.

 

Conrad Francis 

Yeah, I’m still a basketball coach, a coach in what’s now called the NBL. One West over here with the journal I was in a very successful team have coached a few Australian sides also at national tournament and insane players go on to college careers and professional basketball crews, which is really, really good. And I think there’s a there’s a very big synergy in coaching, basketball and running a business and coaching clients in the Finance Center. I think I’ve been really lucky to find the the real, the real nexus of where all that stuff meets and how one serves the other serves the other so it doesn’t really feel like anything’s taking time from anything else from from my perspective, and everything’s feeding you know, my wider purpose which is to see people achieve the best, the best outcomes in every area of life. finance, finance, business or in in basketball sport.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, that’s exactly what, that’s exactly the link I was gonna draw back there. So you, you’re absolutely right, you know, coaching people or coaching humans, whether in sport or you know, taking control and being accountable for their own decisions and money and all those sorts of things, very much very similar. And we sort of think about financial coaching is something that is a little bit different from advice. But essentially, it’s kind of the the foundation for financial advisors,

 

Conrad Francis 

representatives and other we’ve actually gone backwards to go forwards, we’ve actually got a couple of our advisors now are trained in, in money coaching, which is more behavioral, and then that becomes the platform we can build off. So if we identify clients getting stuck on their money journey, then we’ll pull them back and pull them into the coaching journey. Or if we think they’re not ready for financial planning advice just yet, we’ll put him on the coaching journey first, just to give them a better foundation to receive the advice. You know, I don’t believe any advisor doesn’t doesn’t want to connect with their clients. It’s just that sometimes it’s not done. It’s not it’s not best done with advice. First, it’s got to, you’ve got to look at the foundation and where people can receive the advice. And so that’s really been something that has been an eye opener for us. It’s still feeling new, if you talk about money coaching in, in, or finance coaching in this country, I mean, but I’ve been doing it for years, just unknowingly. So we just put a structure in that.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, but does it end when you mentioned that you’ve you’ve tried to meet a staff, what sort of training courses have you found out there?

 

Conrad Francis 

Well, we scour the internet in and, and look for what seems to be the most value, most popular, but also one that was synergistic with how I spoke about money and coaching and babies. And there’s a, there’s a course right out of the US by Lady, it’s called, can’t remember what the actual I think it’s called money coaching,

 

Fraser Jack 

I couldn’t quite get the money Coaching Institute.

 

Conrad Francis 

Inside the gym, she puts people through a six week get certified bunny coaching course, which obviously allows the attendee, to go through their own journey, and then apply that to some teaching processes. And we’ve now pull that information out we use, we’ve got a digital platform, which one of our teams built by way of an app which sits on a person’s phone. And so we’ve got the ability to do that as a one to many, or obviously, in some cases, a one to one type scenario.

 

Fraser Jack 

Fantastic. And that goes into the different archetypes.

 

Conrad Francis 

Everything is it’s, it’s easy to understand when you create an archetype rather becomes very hard to say when it’s about you. So if you can, when you can extract it into an archetype, it’s very easy to talk through,

 

Fraser Jack 

exactly and sort of brings everybody into a year into realizing that they’re not the only one in that situation. Let’s get back to your journey. Because it’s, it’s quite interesting. As you as you mentioned, you you’ve been involved in businesses, and then you found yourself on the wrong end of a business partner. Tell us about that process.

 

Conrad Francis 

Well, I mean, when I left the national strike bank, I went into partnership with an accounting practice that was fun, but then learned that accountants think very differently to financial advisors. And you know, and that, that dissolved, we moved on, and I took some time out of the industry from that while work tomorrow for a bit free, I felt that being on my own wasn’t fantastic, took some time at the industry, and then came back into the industry with what I believe to be, you know, any business that was going down the right path, they were largely a mortgage brokerage firm. They wanted financial planning on the side of it and and then they wanted, they were doing their own offshoot personal development, sorry, property development stuff, and it sounded great. But when the GFC hit, that just challenged everybody’s reasons for why they’re in business. And obviously, it wasn’t about building the financial planning business, we were the cash cow that was supporting everything else. And, you know, the most of the money was just being used to patch up other wounds, and it just wasn’t fun. So yeah, we showed much of myself and another staff member extricated ourselves from that. And started inspired me from that point on with a with a clear focus of financial planning. We’ve now obviously added a mortgage broking down to it so we’ve back ended it as opposed to leading with mortgages. In Australia, whether I like it or not, I’m not a very pro property person. But you know, every Australians dream is to have a property so instead of trying to battle the conversation, we just jump in bed with them and at least get them out of the debt fast as possible.

 

Fraser Jack 

As opposed to trying to say don’t do very some very interesting learnings in that process and then and then obviously, you know, sort of resetting and then working out exactly what you do want your business to look like I think that’s probably for the police. Fairly valuable and then obviously starting again, tell me about starting again from scratch starting a business from scratch. How did you go about that?

 

Conrad Francis 

jack? I mean, this time around obviously was very different because Yeah, I believe now believed I had the ability to grow businesses and believed in myself. And I think that’s that’s the other part of his journey, right is understanding that I go what you can and can’t do what you do and don’t want, and what you have to accept responsibility for on that journey. And I think, from that point on being in business with the accounting practice being in business with the property developer, you know, I probably no, not probably I did, I just passed on a lot of responsibility, I didn’t necessarily want to grow into an except insight. And therefore, obviously, what happened were the were the design with those two businesses dissolving, going into one spot money, I knew I did some work on myself, I knew what was going on, I knew what I had to step into. And what I had to accept and be responsible for, in my conversation with my other business partners on was exactly that they all wanted to go into, you know, somewhat of equal shareholding. And I said, I can’t do that. I’ve got to accept full responsibility. If you believe me, then that mean, and I’ll deliver, and I took it upon myself to do that.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, that’s really interesting. So you, you’re going to get you’re going in there saying it to build the best business, I need to build the best to build the best you first and starting with you and doing some work on yourself. You mentioned them, you know, taking responsibility a few times, I think, I’ve seen some other clips with you talking about the word accountability, that’s obviously fairly big in your room, in your, in your personal values.

 

Conrad Francis 

accountability is massive. I mean, there’s only two things are us. I mean, it’s not my equation, I don’t know where I came up with it or found it. But it’s one of us over the last more in excess of 10 years, accounted accountability plus empowerment equals high performance. And the truth is, they’re the only two things I ever worried about your deep belief in what you’re trying to achieve, and are you doing the things you need to be doing? You know, and I think some people, you know, we’re when they’re not achieving what they want, I just break down one of those two equal parts of the equation, and we can figure it out pretty quickly, you know, and usually, people are spending time in the wrong areas, or they’re doing the wrong things, or they actually don’t believe that they deserve or are able to be where they want to be. And I’ve worked with plenty of businesses now. And I’ve worked with plenty of athletes that have tried to get into Olympic Games and the like, and it’s really that simple woman, I don’t think we need to complicate it any more. And so when a client comes to you, whether it be financial planning, business coaching, or, or basketball coaching, for me, it’s a case of I go, Well, what are we trying to achieve? What’s the ultimate goal? And we believe what’s it look like and visualize that type of stuff. And a lot of people, you know, it’s a very emotional process, because, you know, they’re dealing with some really, really deep seated internal demons.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, fantastic. And you’re exactly right on. I love that saying, I think, you know, the key to that high performance in, especially when you’re dealing with high performance athletes, is that accountability and empowerment. So you know, and it does, it does resonate with, with the end client in the financial planning business, you know, taking, you know, responsibility and accountability for what they can earn, and what they can spend and the things that they can control. And then, you know, empowering them to live their best life. So I think it’s fantastic saying, well done. Thank you for sharing that. So that probably leads us to the business that you’re you’ve got Now tell us about the business that’s set up now, how does it How does it work? And how does it help the clients

 

Conrad Francis 

that works with One Spark money is, is a gold space advice business. And I think we talked about that earlier. I mean, goals based advice, I believe most advisors have been given gold space advice for a while, it’s just a term that’s been used, which I think helps focus the business and, and engage the client on in an area that we all we can all play in, not just technical, which I don’t believe any client really likes unless they’re probably engineers. So we can talk about a goal that motor makes it a compensation that’s owned by the client driven by the client. And we’re essentially holding their hand on their journey. And I think that’s something like a client comes to talk to us about retirement. Well, I love to get them to visualize what retirement looks like feels like a means to them. And from that point in time, work backwards, to where things need to observe the actions that need to happen in order to allow that vision to become reality. And that’s and that’s, that’s exactly what we’re talking about with relation to accountability and belief.

 

Fraser Jack 

Fantastic. And do you work with any particular demographic of clients?

 

Conrad Francis 

mums and dads You know, I’m pretty simple person mum and dad came from from Myanmar. Back in 72. We didn’t have a lot. And so the goal, excuse me, the Gulf for inspired money was to work with with mums and dads and to keep advice affordable for all Australians. And that’s been it’s a pretty big goal. But I mean, I was taught by my business coaches, it’s got to be big enough to get you up in the morning and draw you in a normal look at my family where we are now versus where we were, then. You know, I’m really grateful for the advice that that advisor gave my parents and i’d love every advice. I’ve got every client to get advice. I mean, I think the people think they can’t afford it or people think they’re not worthy of it. And that’s that’s the myth I want to break.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, fantastic. And so um, so it all sorts of demographics. Are you mostly in in in Who are your clients So you’re able to observe clients around the country,

 

Conrad Francis 

we are mostly in wi but I’ve been I do have a lot of clients all over the place in Victoria, and I’ll be going to Victoria for a long time, and a lot of my friends have relocated over there. So they’ve been, you know, people that have brought me new clients. So why Victoria? So I’m in Sydney and a couple in Queensland now. And that just, I think, is just the way it works, I guess showing up varies when when good clients move around, they don’t end up finding other clients. So that’s how it’s worked for

 

Fraser Jack 

  1. Yeah, fantastic. And people do move around the country, so they stay clients. So has the business grown from organically as you bring clients on? Or have you purchased books or have you grow in the business over time, so

 

Conrad Francis 

between 2011 and probably 2018, we we’ve done a lot of what we’re focused organic growth scenario. And that got to got to a point where we then wanted to look at acquisition, we built the framework a tech platform was was, was at a point, we wanted to feed it more just to, you know, get to the the efficiency part of the game. And so we will use acquisition compensation with a bigger business, I wanted to acquire us for our our efficiencies, that that was a 12 month painful conversation, which didn’t eventuate because another institution got in the way. But shortly post that probably two weeks post that we were already in a conversation with another client, sorry, another business that was looking to sell because he was looking to move to New Zealand and start next wise was live. And that was going to feed the the merged entity. But since I didn’t go ahead, we wind up doing that acquisition first. And that was on, I think it was around 2019, we did that. And from that point on, we’ve done six or seven others now. So we’ve acquired businesses, from advisors that have left the industry, obviously, there’s been a lot of advisors that have reconsidered their, their futures based on education and compliance and, you know, post Royal Commission. And, you know, we could look at the glass half empty the glass half full, I’m just opportunist, I just like to drink what’s ever in the glass. So the opportunity was there, we we took it on board. And we we probably we probably put off more than what we were, we could chew. But we figured it out. And we didn’t need to add a lot of stuff we had, we had staff there. And the technician helped us helped us scale pretty quickly.

 

Fraser Jack 

It scales up, there’s a lot of learnings along the way, when it comes to acquiring businesses, the first time you do it, of course, you’ve never done it before. So you’re less you learn a heck of a lot. But by the time you get to the sixth or seventh, it becomes a little bit easier.

 

Conrad Francis 

Yeah, it does. And I mean, I think again, it’s you never know when you’re in the midst of it or management as much as you can plan. And this was a this was a story shared with me by my cousin A long time ago, you will never be prepared for the future version of yourself. There’s only so much you can ever do. And then you’ve just got to take the leap of faith and you got to trust and you got to, again, accept responsibility. If you’re going to grow, then accept responsibility. If you want the outcome, you got to do the work. Yeah, fantastic. And so

 

Fraser Jack 

is there anything you’d do differently when it comes to acquisitions? Or any Hot Tips you’ve got on? what to look out for or don’t do?

 

Conrad Francis 

I think you’ve got to work with your team a bit quite a bit more closely. I mean, everybody wants, but nobody knows. And I think that’s the big thing. Because ultimately, it’s easy for me to go out and, and make a deal happen. I mean, I love making deals happen with different businesses, different stages. I think the thrill of Chase is phenomenal. But the practical side of it is making sure and ensuring that your team is on the same page. And I’m not saying my time word, I think given given the amount of opportunity. I think that was the biggest issue. I mean, there’s no there’s no issue with desire with more guys, I want guys and girls, I really want to help clients, it’s just that there was a massive, it was a massive, massively inundated with with a lot of opportunities. And it took a little while to settle down and go through a wall and dot your i’s and cross our T’s and, and deliver

 

Fraser Jack 

a fantastic service. It’s definitely a team sport, then acquiring a business.

 

Conrad Francis 

Yeah, yeah, you’ve got you’ve got to make sure everybody’s engaged ready. And on the same page. I think, in hindsight, the pandemic for us was first probably what we needed, because it’s effectively a lock in to just drill down and, you know, we were focused clouds were available. And it became it became a good thing for us.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, fantastic. Now, you mentioned a second ago, the concept of, you know, feeding the deck machine. And, you know, we all get to this point where we’re introducing technology, and we’ve been paying for it all and we’ve got to, you know, be at a certain size, I guess to be able to get some efficiencies or some out of the money we’re paying for the technology versus you know, the amount it’s doing for us. Tell us about Tell us about that and how you’re using technology in a business

 

Conrad Francis 

or to create exactly why technology is a cost obviously. So therefore it has to have some sort of value. It’s either saving you money or or making you money, or both, if you’re really, really lucky. And we were we were blessed. We’re not going to watch that inspired money with shine and with the other business partners along with Craig. You know, I was not in the advice realm. I wasn’t giving advice. I mean, although I had the ability to advice I chose to just guide the business and shading right? What about giving advice to clients, I went about directing the ship and figuring out go form, where are the icebergs? What do we need to mitigate? And it was clear to me back in 2011, that we needed to invest more money in tech, not us, you know, it’s very easy to go and use the tools on the table, because it’s just a crutch that we can use. But we didn’t, we didn’t use the x players, we didn’t use the coins or we’d winches at the stage, we wouldn’t build your own CRM, we wouldn’t deliver our own tech piece with a few other tech businesses around the place that are no longer around. So again, try to grow a business and try to try to innovate technology with the front of product curve businesses, was hard work. And I mean, I guess like if shading Craig had their chances, they probably would have poked me in the eyes and wrapped me up and told me not to go out and talk to anybody, because it just seemed like, every week, there’s a new bit of tech that we’re trying to plug into the machine. You know, the end, the end result needed to be twofold, though. I mean, I think this is the this is the issue. I mean, if we, if we went on current technology, we’d be looking at efficiencies just for us. You know, I want to know, particular technological efficiencies that delivered outcomes or great outcomes to the client first and through delivering outcomes to the client, then give us the ability to to benefit from it. So I think that was our focus. Well, I don’t think I know, that was my focus or what’s going to give the client the best experience possible. And then from that, have the best business with the the efficiencies and the time and type turnaround times and all that type of stuff. So that was my mode of modus operandi. And I went about looking at all different things. So serums, and engagement clients and gate clients, user interface and digital experiences and easier ways to animate next blind and all of those different tools that you could use use information in different ways to market declines and you know, put things on their phone because we realized people read their SMS is more than what they read their emails and all of those types of little little nuances. We think, Okay, well, fine. Well, how can we do these types of things? So you get all this tech and all these pieces, but then the problem became Okay, we’ll find your son even tools, how do they talk to each other so that it became about integration. So grabbing, knowing the recipe you’re trying to make or getting the ingredients and then allowing it to sing together was the challenge. And so we’ve gone from building serums, to reluctantly going down the path of of going down the Salesforce path, which was something I was trying to keep away from only because of the sheer cost of the business of the of the experience. But it wasn’t in my opinion for what we were trying to achieve. There wasn’t a better outcome for for us. And we managed to negotiate the cost on it quite significantly. Anyway. So we went down Salesforce path, probably in 2017, after a few other file attempts of building and working with other with other CRM businesses. And I say that because we wanted to go down the path of being a multi diversify business, we wanted mortgage broking. We are now still what we are now talking to an accounting practice, we want the ability to data aggregate. And so Salesforce was probably the most open and most most cost affordable and open to diverse businesses. And so that’s where we went, that’s where we built our system, or built our data integrator from

 

Fraser Jack 

Well, one heck of a journey. And I would assume that Jamie journey is not over. It’s gonna be one of those things that evolves over time.

 

Conrad Francis 

It’s tiring, it’s tiring, Fraser, it’s the conversations, you know, I’m the type of guy that guy was I love talking people we’re in technology allows us to do this type of stuff. I mean, I’ve found myself jumping on a plane to go and visit tech people just understand the story. Because that’s the type of person I am I need to know, particularly with startups, and we’ve used a lot of startups. What are you trying to deliver? And you know, and the ones that are on the same journey as us, they’re the ones we end up working with? And, you know, thankfully, it’s, it’s it’s worked more often than not,

 

Fraser Jack 

yeah, fantastic. You’re absolutely right. In Texas, tech companies have to start somewhere. So there always has to be startups. But there, you do have to understand what they’re doing and what they want to do and what they want to achieve. Now you’ve mentioned Salesforce in the integration word, how has that gone with you and what have you managed to integrate?

 

Conrad Francis 

So we were pretty much integrated? So our front end experience obviously is with more prosperity. That’s our user interface or what are you also more prosperity and probably 2014 2015 I thought it was Nirvana. You know, that’s, that’s exactly the, the tool that I want to say when a client’s phone that stage I didn’t have the app, but that’s what we wanted. And that’s where the vision was. And it gave the client a central source for the financial information. We’ve been working with them ever since to try and get other parts of the client’s financial journey integrated on onto the onto the platform. So we’re still working progress. And I think they’re the recent announcement about working with midwinter again, fantastic for us, which is another tool we have used when we plug that into into Salesforce. Not that we produce a lot of documents out of midwinter, it’s probably renewed largely for our error own calculation purposes. We’re under a licensee under a&p. So we’re very restricted reads. So we’ve done all this working on this license module, which is not usual. And so we don’t use midwinter at this point in time for the documents. But in saying that, we’ve been able to use another startup company called God, that have worked with us to produce charter like documents, which is phenomenal, and the work the way they’ve grown innovative over using it over themselves. There they go through some exciting times at the moment. So we use nod lively for the document side of things. We also use digital signatures was a we went down the path of signing out. Now, at that point in time when we went down digital signing. Yes, Adobe was there. Yes. Who the other ones there was there was a few other ones around applies DocuSign I’ll be honest with you, it was costing for us Sania was was was more cost effective. And to be honest with you, the user experience was actually quite cool. So we went down that path will we stay there not sure is still still where we are at the moment. I know some of the some of the documents that do come from chatter hold on DocuSign. And we may be forced to go down at different parties because it’s more widely accepted. But that’s you know, simple as unplug the plug in. It’s it’s not, it’s not a holistic change for us anymore. Things like Twilio, which allows us to SMS clients from Salesforce. And we SMS clients. Everything through your reminders about reviews and meetings to order pizza of dominant what I love using the the app on the on the on the computer that tells you where the whole process is. And I find the voice of watching this bloke deliver your pizza to you. And I said to my advisor, that’s what I want, I want to quite understand where they are in the financial planning process to particularly when they start with this because the process can be so onerous. And it honestly challenged me to see how long it takes from start to onboarding a client, in some instances, that we just need to be giving a client’s information. And so again, with the business that’s built on scale, you can’t necessarily pick up the phone every time that a client notifies progress. But you can send them an email, you can send me an SMS, you can tell me thinking about them, you can invite them to give you a call. And so when a client’s file goes through the process, that’s what we do. Can we do better? 100%. But you know, at this point in time, it’s not it’s not a it’s not a dominoes experience. But it’s experienced better than where we were 10 years ago, five years ago, probably three years ago.

 

Fraser Jack 

That’s fantastic. I love the way you’ve taken that that concept. And you’re absolutely right. It’s about being transparent and showing clients where they’re up to and letting them know that you know that they’re they are transforming in a way and and they get a pizza at the end of it, which is great.

 

Conrad Francis 

I don’t have a problem. I don’t have a problem with businesses that don’t use technology. My issue is that do they realize that life could be a lot easier? You know, and I think that’s the issue. But you got to get uncomfortable, you got to you got to grow or it you got to become uncomfortable, to become comfortable. And using tech yourself is where you have to be. If you’re not prepared to use tech, the new car, get your claws using tech there. My question is, you know, and our goal was civils is to keep advice affordable. So we can’t give advice affordable, if it’s an owner’s manual process. So invest in technology, but then to cover the cost, you’ve got to scale your business. Otherwise, it just becomes a very expensive tech stack. Which again, is fine,

 

Fraser Jack 

but your client will pay for Yeah, it’s a it’s a balancing act, isn’t it between having all the technology in having enough clients going through it? So let me just go back to the concept of deeper client relationships at you know, at scale and being able to say, you know, how do we have relationships told me about the client relationships, and using technology in that way where you got the client to develop the relationship even just put the business was rather than just one or two people in the business?

 

Conrad Francis 

I guess. I mean, in our journey when the client starts digitally, and you know, we onboard them through the process. So you’ll go to our website, and you’ll see there’s a lot of there’s a lot of tech introduced even on our website, but they’ll they’ll use Microsoft waves microsporidia onboard so they’re they’re put into that space straightaway. And then our first meeting ideally, if if if the client feels as much much as possible if I do these days, which if you take me back a few years, I’d say client don’t want to feel digital factoids. The truth is, the more accepting to digital these days than they are paper in most instances. And particularly for advisors prepared to show you how to use it. But if a client comes in they’ve they’ve gone through the onboarding process, the way they should, then we’re sitting there playing with it with advice delivered in their space, or what they see on their end. You know, we generally put a retirement goal in the tool straightaway, and then we work backwards from there as to go off on what are the what are the advice gaps that exist, because the retirement goal now is actualized. There, most people will tell you all year, I will retire at the age of 65, or 67, or whatever the date is. And when then when I don’t give you a date or some time, we can make some assumptions in we are with them, and prior to them coming in and use the assumptive data that we’ve got. And then we show a product, I will find using the assumptions or using advice you’ve given us. We’re on track, we’re not on track. But if I can use a case example that I worked with a client the other day was an accountant friend of mine, actually. And she’s got 19 years to retirement, and it showed that at 67. If that’s what you chose to retire, she’d be fine. The question then was okay, but that’s not what I need is why I said how certainly you that you can earn 100k Plus, you know, over the next 19 years, so that showed us some gaps, predominantly insurance gaps, because that was the biggest risk other than education gaps to stay relevant and employable. And then we say and then she said, Well, what if I wanted to retire five or 10 years earlier candidates like I will find we move that line in the in the, in the tool, and it showed that we had about a 500k Capital gap. And they said, Never got an investment gap. And then we can talk about that. And that was just all using that tool, that by being brave enough to put a stake in the sand, we then were able to open up the areas of advice and then ask them what they valued more, and went through that that position.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, fantastic. Now, just as with with regards to the, you know, the client embracing the technology that you’re using, I guess I kind of have this feeling that we they always do what we teach them to do, right? Like if we teach them to do it on paper in the beginning, then they get used to paper and then they turn around and go, Oh, you’ve changed something. But from from what you’re saying at the beginning of that process, every new client comes in, gets the technology experience, have you had any problems with, you know, that retraining of an of a client? It’s been around a long time that they used to do stuff on paper? And now

 

Conrad Francis 

Sure. I mean, it’s not a problem. It’s just a challenge. And I think that’s the opportunity that we we face with clients. And now we’ve got different we’ve got different price points for clients and clients are wanting to engage with up with a highly tactile nature on paper. I mean, unfortunately, the cost will go up. And we can we can explain that to a very, very well. And they’ll make a no choice. Does it happen all the time? No. So that’s okay for us. No, but it’s just a challenge to be able to work with a client, we don’t mean to make the system work, we don’t need a lot of their time, we don’t need a lot of their interaction on the tool, we just need to get them on the tool. And that’s what we’ll be using. Because once it’s digital, we can slice and dice the data whichever way we can, which then saves a lot of time. So we can pull information of my prosperity because we’ve integrated that with Salesforce, I think we’re the only ones who have done that. And so we can use that information, it can go into our fact volunteer can go into our statement of advice, it can go into our communications, and then also that allows us to, which is what we’re spending a lot of time at the moment, looking at opportunities to market to clients from from the data we’re grabbing, which is you know, what I say to people here, what I’ve got, what I call my businesses, diagnostic financial planning business, we diagnose before we advise, we’re the cash flow problems, where the capital problems were the behavioral issues that we can see based on information we have, and then let’s give the right or the right advice to solve the right problem. As opposed to one band aid fixes everything.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, fair enough. And I’m imagining this is very handy when it when we’re talking about bringing when you’re talking about acquiring businesses, and then bringing that data in and then being able to then slice and dice.

 

Conrad Francis 

Yeah, it’s extremely valuable. And it’s, it’s really valuable to them to re engage with the content will find this is what your data is telling us. This is the advice you’ve received in the past. And it’s taking you on a journey to now but to get you from here to here, we’re going to make a little bit we’re gonna need to make a slight change now, or it’s gonna make a big change later. And we can we can show that to them pretty quickly.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, imagining what the the client experience that happens as they come over to your business from the business that you’ve acquired. From the client experience point of view, they’re certainly thinking that that’s a better for them or that you know, something that’s all new and exciting, rather than just new and different.

 

Conrad Francis 

Yeah, I think, I think Well, I’d like to think of new exciting. I mean, it’s very hard, but you don’t really want to make the previous experience, null and void. So useful that you want to try and build wherever you can. Because everybody’s doing the best they can, right the proofs, advisors doing the best that they could. And they’re doing the best like with the information like of the club that point in time. If we’re getting better quality information, which is what we’re getting, then we can have, we can get a better quality experience and so Yes, it’s it’s, it’s almost like a like with the outcome. Well, it’s not like a lot with the input. And so we just created better foundations and better reasons as to why we do what we do. I think

 

Fraser Jack 

that’s really this is a really important point that we should probably hop around a little bit, the better quality information gives a better quality experience. And I think that’s probably that fits very well with what the concept we’re talking about having difficult relationships at scale. You know, and that information, I guess, it’s just gonna become better and better over time.

 

Conrad Francis 

Yeah, 100%. And marketer, will you, you build a house on the foundation of the information you give is the foundation of your advice, the better quality information allows you to build a multi storey house easier, without having to read and re engineer the foundation. So with these cloud books that we’ve acquired, we’re having to go back and re engineer the foundation, so that we can put the second third fourth story on the building. And clients understand that that analogy really, really easily. So yeah, that’s, that’s,

 

Fraser Jack 

that’s the game. We’re playing. Fantastic. It’s incredible. So that’s very good. So that’s what you’re doing. Now. Tell us about what you’re working on, then in the future. How are you evolving this?

 

Conrad Francis 

Well, the next stage for us is using the data data for for things like marketing purposes and client journeys. So we’re working on that strategy enough. I would like to think a lot of this stuff’s been invented. And I think it’s unspotted has been but yeah, we’ve we’re working with more prosperity in their in their, and their client personas to articulate car journeys within our within our database. So appetite conversations, in part. But yeah, I mean, it’s a leading conversation more than anything else, if you identify with one of the one of the personas in we’re going to put them on that journey, which then allows them to have different conversations receive different information. Because that’s what’s happening at the moment. Everything’s hot, highly personalized. It’s not a one cap fits all. And I think that’s what most businesses have done in the past. Because they haven’t had the ability to differentiate we do now and we should. And again, same thing with basketball on my number, we’ve got a team of 20 people in the squad. coaching basketball this year is not not a dictator anymore. Is it? Yes or no? Sir three bags. Also Ritter. There was little Johnny need What is it? What is hairy Nate? What is Paul mean? And how do we get that information to them? And you know, is it is it through videos or through written? Is it through showing you? How do they need to receive the information so that it lands for them in the most, most efficient manner possible. So being able to use the data to then identify the plot, take them on their own client journey is what we’re working on at the moment. Fantastic. I

 

Fraser Jack 

love that deeper, deeper understanding equals deeper relationships point. So Conrad, thanks very much for catching up with us today. Really appreciate your time. If somebody wants to continue the conversation, what would be the best way for them to find you?

 

Conrad Francis 

Right? I mean, that can find me on social I mean, LinkedIn, Conrad Francis, so you know, Facebook, Instagram everywhere. I mean, that’s the other party. So meet the clients where the clients are at so I’m on social in social space. Or go to the Inspire money website, www dot inspired money.com that are you and you can you can click on a link and book some time with me there as well.

 

Fraser Jack 

Fantastic, really appreciate it. Thank you for sharing all these great topics. great wisdom. No, thanks, guys. Appreciate time, buddy.

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