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Client Values and Goals #6 – Transcript

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Client Values and Goals

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SUMMARY KEYWORDS

clients, goals, advisor, meeting, review, business, introducing, conversation, people, process, values, annual review process, advice, based, fraser, talking, important, system, tool, fantastic

SPEAKERS

Fraser Jack, Cate Americano, Michael Topper, Craig Buntain, Tim Henry, Naomi Rosenthal

 

Fraser Jack 

Welcome back to the x y advisor podcast. I’m Fraser Jack and we are finalizing our six part series today on talking to all things about clients based clients goals based and values based financial planning. So today, we are sort of wrapping the series up. And we’re looking at also that sort of that end of the review process. What happens next with clients, and also touching on the idea around transitioning clients who are not traditionally in the gold space world over to a gold based world, as always kicking off our series, Naomi, welcome.

 

Naomi Rosenthal 

Thanks, Fraser. Good to be back.

 

Fraser Jack 

Fantastic. Now let’s talk about your you sort of mentioned some of the the process previously with regards to existing clients and having those those goals based conversations and tracking. We went through the motivational side of all those sorts of things. But tell us about your that. Is there any other part of your review process that sort of with regards to the you know, the ongoing advice and in the fact that we want these clients here for the long term? Yeah, look,

 

Naomi Rosenthal  

I think that Yeah, we’re very structured, as I mentioned in the in the last episode around how we actually approach that annual review process. And so from a business perspective, you know, particularly now, you know, with the ongoing fee disclosure obligations, you know, you’ve got to have a very structured business model, and very scalable business model really, to be able to incorporate what’s required to provide and deliver to the client on an ongoing basis,

 

Fraser Jack 

they mentioned them as structure being the key there for scale, how have you managed to do that? Because obviously, scales are very difficult thing when you want to, when you want to make sure you got happy clients, and they can often mean, you know, high touch. What are your thoughts on scaling for financial advice?

 

Naomi Rosenthal 

Yeah, look, it’s about having the right tools in the business to be able to do that. So the back end systems that you’re utilizing, and then the client engagement tools that you’re using, you know, I think that prior to the COVID pandemic breaking out, last year, we implemented an online tool that we hadn’t really kind of tapped into and hadn’t really started rolling out. And then of course, you know, it comes March 2020. And we’ve moved to zoom for all our meetings, and suddenly, you know, this online tool that we had really only just started kind of utilizing in the business suddenly became so much more valuable, as a as a way to engage the clients and keep them on track.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, and had had clients that haven’t been using an online tool in the past, because some of the time, I always have this belief that we sort of we, you know, clients, our what we train them to be, and so often we say, our clients don’t want to change all that while they don’t want. But that’s just because we train them a certain way to this is how we provide our business, you know, to the to our clients. And then ever since we changed something, it’s it’s scary because we now have to retrain our clients in a new way. Tell us about how you go about that process, or even put a process in place to then systematically get to every single client.

 

Naomi Rosenthal 

Yeah, look, it’s not just the client, sometimes we have to retrain the advisors as well. And, you know, I can also say, well, they’re so used to doing things a particular way. It can be challenging, and a particular I think, if you’re technologically challenged, and you’re not particularly good at multitasking, as well. It’s, it’s, it’s a hard task. So again, look, as much as we have really structured processes and procedures in the practice and the way that we go about doing things. We also have flexibility, because not everything works for every person. I’m not going to expect an 82 year old client who doesn’t get on the computer to suddenly zoom with me and sit there and fill out an online survey or form or what have you. No, that’s not gonna work. So we still maintain a level of flexibility within the business to accommodate different people’s capabilities and ways of doing things.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yep. Fantastic. Now, when we’re talking a lot about goals and values, best advice, and you mentioned your, your URL earlier in the series, we talked about your journey, and obviously through family business and working with, with your dad, and then eventually being the succession plan, if he did in the past, you know, years and years ago, the idea around there was a lot of product based, you know, advice, let’s say there was a lot of, you know, his take risk insurance, for example, there’s a lot of risk insurance advice, how do you then re structure the business and then bring those clients through a process where you go, Okay, we’re now doing sort of more goals based financial planning, and we are more holistic, and we do these other things. what’s the what’s the idea of you know, that that’s quite daunting for a lot of businesses to take a site, let’s say book of business that used to and then transitioning?

 

Naomi Rosenthal 

Yeah, look, we’ve had that experience in our business, we purchased a risk broker a couple of years ago, solely risk based clients. That’s all they knew from their advisor, they had a great relationship with the advisor. And so that transfer of the good relationship from a risk perspective worked very well. And so now, you know, how are we going about sort of broadening their concept of what an advisor can provide to them really starts with the annual review process for risk only clients and introducing over time, and acknowledging that there are other things that we do. So when we send out an email to that client to say, look, you know, you’re at your insurance policies are due for renewal, and let’s catch up and have a conversation. And by the way, we also do X, Y, and Zed, we, when we took over that book of business, we opened the door to say that we do a lot more than just risk insurance. So it can be some people can appreciate that, and say, Yeah, I want more than just a risk advisor in my life. And many of them also, I like no, I don’t need that right now. I’ve got my stuff sorted elsewhere, and I’m comfortable with where I’m at. So it’s horses for courses. And it’s really just a constant, I guess, providing a constant reminder to people that you you can do a lot more than just the one thing. I think having introduced the astute will tool into our business has enabled those broader conversations a lot earlier, I think then then otherwise, and so we’re talking through helping people sort of you know, set their goals and looking at their broader information. where that goes from there is really up to the client, whether or not they want to pursue a broader relationship or not.

 

Fraser Jack 

I mean, you mentioned this in the the idea of visuals and one of the previous episodes, is that a really important part of this

 

Naomi Rosenthal 

to a degree. I’m not as familiar with that side of the tools in terms of, you know, the modeling, as I probably should be or would like to be. That’s kind of the next phase for my own educational journey is to utilize the tools available much more productively and effectively. But certainly, yeah, I think that when you can show somebody, well, hey, you’re doing this and it might look like this, if you tweak this can absolutely help them to see the value of taking border advice.

 

Fraser Jack 

I love the way you call it an educational journey, because I think we’re all on that at some point. And I don’t think we should ever get offered, by the way. So this politics is back to really what we talked about in the first episode around some of that branding, idea and messaging that you want out there. What do you guys do with it that the branding type stuff when it comes to, you know, mentioning to existing clients? Or do we, you know, regular contact is in newsletters? Is there any other marketing or social media?

 

Naomi Rosenthal 

Yeah, absolutely. So we do a monthly newsletter that goes out to our client base. We have Facebook page and LinkedIn page for the businesses that we posting on regularly and gaining some traction in those areas. And yeah, we’ve got marketing initiatives across a broad range of categories for particular client specific oriented things that we’re trying to achieve. And we also are now doing manager investment manager webinar interviews on a quarterly basis that we invite our clients to attend and we record those and then they are available to our clients to listen into.

 

Fraser Jack 

Tell us about the engagement of those webinars. Obviously, we find it hard to get people on to webinars all the time, because I think from a professional context, we’re always jumping on them. And there’s plenty available but what about from a client point of view they might not be you know, good getting access to so much like we are. Tell us about the engagement on those webinars?

 

Naomi Rosenthal 

Yeah, look, I think to date, engagement hasn’t been that high. But for us, you know, this is all part of building our brand and building our brand within our client base and helping clients just see that we are doing things that help them understand where they’re investing, and that if they want to tap into it, then they can. And so I think over time, we’ll see more and more of our clients when they get used to these regular quarterly emails coming through saying, We’ve got another webinar coming up, come and join us. But also people get to watch them after the events that will send out the link to allow them to see that after the events happened. And I’m not sure that we’re not sure if we’re tracking that engagement after the fact.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yep. Now, of course, we’ve had you on these episodes, talking with your advisor head on in predominantly, if you put your licensee head on. And when we talk about goals based financial planning and looking at, you know, getting into clients goals, hopes, dreams, aspirations. Talk to us about how that is so important from a licensee point of view.

 

Naomi Rosenthal 

Yeah, no, I think, you know, the licensee has so many obligations, to ensure that the client, best interests are put ahead of everybody else. And so it is, you know, absolute interest as a licensee to ensure that whatever we put in place in the business, and whoever we take on in the business, truly at heart has the clients best interest, first and foremost. And to that end, it really is about the goal, the goals and objectives and the values that a client has for their own lives that really come to the fore. For us.

 

Fraser Jack 

Fantastic. Nomi, thank you so much for being part of the series. I really appreciate it. And if somebody wants to continue to get hold of you, whether it be for licensing or or continuing this conversation, what’s the best way for them to do that?

 

Naomi Rosenthal 

They can call us on one 300 w 1312. They can go to our website, pws.net.au Stig, thank

 

Fraser Jack 

you so much. And we’re in the episode six now of this series. And welcome back, Craig.

 

Craig Buntain 

Thanks, Fraser. Good to see you again.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yes. And so we were talking about all things to do with their clients love their long term, their ongoing clients and all that, or they could be new existing clients that we need to transfer. But let’s talk about long term clients to start with, how important is it to long term clients that you really are focusing on their goals?

 

Craig Buntain 

Yeah, look, I think, given the nature of a long term relationship, like any relationship, a client and advisor relationship is going to going to change based on, you know, circumstances that some that are beyond our control, and some that are completely controllable. And so you need to be having those conversations about what in your life has has changed now? And does that have repercussions to some of the goals that you’ve got for the future, and having that really regular update, and the understanding that one or the other review, depending on which end of the spectrum of changes from lack of its legislative changes, our clients expect us to get to them and explain how that affects them. And whether that’s, you know, whether that means goals are now no longer achievable, or, or whatever it might be? And then if something in their life changes, where we expect them really to come back to us and say, Okay, well, this is what’s changed. How does that affect things? Or this has already affected my goal?

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah. And that’s the rules of the relationship, right? You’re the you’re the, you’re the planner, you’re the advisor, your job is to do this, and I will do that. And I can demonstrate that I’m doing that. But you’re the client, your job is to do this as nurse and you’re saying to demonstrate you’re doing?

 

Craig Buntain 

Yeah, exactly. Exactly.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah. Talk to us about new clients, because sometimes we, you know, you’ve been, you’ve been in industry, you know, as long as I have it’s been it’s there’s that we come from a place where in the past, product based advice might have been the norm. And so then when really getting into goals based advice worlds, sometimes there is a teaching some new ways of doing things.

 

Craig Buntain 

Yeah, yeah. It’s interesting. When the conversations that you have around goals with clients that have been maybe previously advised 10 years ago or something, and then you you bring them in through the new really goals based process, their eyes light up. They can’t believe how different the experience is to what it was that they’re actually having conversations that they feel are really going to help them that somebody helped articulate their goals probably, maybe not better than they can but just in one They hadn’t thought about and ask them the questions that maybe they haven’t thought about to refine those goals and, and work out which are, you know, which are conflicting. And, and, you know, they’re obviously the regular update of that. And teaching them the importance that you know, like if if this thing changes, you need to contact me, we will contact you if, if the next big changes, it’s really that training people. Once again, I think I said in one of the early ones is this is how we do things. And it’s not this is how we do things. Because that makes my life easier. It’s this is how we do things, because it’s going to make our relationship better, and it much more easy to achieve your golf. Yeah,

 

Fraser Jack 

it can be a daunting task, though, for some advisors to then introduce a new process like this. You mentioned that, you know, you’ve had a positive response, and people talking about this being the best meeting ever, etc, etc. How did you get over that initial fear, I guess, of introducing a new system to or how can advisor sort of get themselves over initial fear of introducing a new system to an existing existing relationship?

 

Craig Buntain 

Yeah, we, we actually started introducing that stuff with existing kind of longer term clients where, you know, I’ve definitely got some clients or had some clients in my, in my client list that were really very product driven type clients. And that was the extent of the relationship we’d had in the past. introducing them to the goals based off, I really just did it in in their annual review. So we’ve always done annual reviews with clients, they just probably weren’t as in depth, as they have been for maybe the last five or six years. And what I started talking to them about was just look, the goals that we’ve got on file for you and are different to the ones that you and I have spoken about. So I’ve written down all the stuff that we’ve discussed, that isn’t in relation to, you know, diversification, or what you know, whatever it might be from a portfolio perspective. And that’s really the way I started, I went back and look through some of the file notes that I had made from meetings with clients, and actually identified goals that were goals that we’ve never sat in front of them, and, and really told them that, you know, this is a goal, and extrapolated it out in any kind of noted format, I suppose. I knew what they were, they knew what they were, but they weren’t really written anywhere. And they weren’t reviewed very well. So that was the starting point for me. So it was actually going back through a couple of the files at review time, and actually putting down what I thought their goals were, and going over them with the client and and clarifying them, I suppose, as if they were a new client in that regard. And just having that conversation to say, look, these are the goals, What’s changed? You know, these are the some of these things might have dated back in the fall notes to three or four years ago. Is that still a priority? Or, you know, is this new thing and much, much bigger priority now.

 

Fraser Jack 

So this, so this meeting, I’m just, I’m just trying this on? For somebody out there, there might be in this situation where they’re trying to do this, this meeting could be that you, then you go back through your file notes, you write some notes and say, I think these are your goals from what we’ve been talking about. But we now have a, we do this discovery meeting where we can actually get get to the bottom of this. Do you want to book one in? Or do you try and do the review?

 

Craig Buntain 

I yes, I do it at the review. But I explained to them that that’s going to be part of the review this this year. So explain that it’s not going to be the same type of review, we’re going to delve much more into their goals and objectives, which is a little bit daunting for some of them to begin with. But because you’ve generally already got a rapport with these guys. It it flows quite well. I actually found that was a really good way to practice or not practice refined my goals, skills on existing clients, we’ve already got that report as opposed to a brand new client.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yep. He mentioned it could be daunting. I guess it’s one of those things that on the other end of that, they could just say, Well, how long you’ve been doing this? Why didn’t you bring me this earlier? as well?

 

Craig Buntain 

Yeah, that’s right, I suppose. Look, generally, generally there was there was always an element for us of of their goals. It just wasn’t as defined a process, I suppose. So that’s, that’s really the the answer to that is, look, I’ve just I’ve taken some classes on doing this better. You know, your clients are happy to hear that you’re bettering your education and upping your skills. You know, that’s not a detriment to them. Yeah, that’s

 

Fraser Jack 

exactly right. We used to do it this way. But we think there’s a better way. So we’re going to explore that.

 

Craig Buntain 

Exactly.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yep. Well, Craig, thank you for coming on the series really appreciate you putting your hand up and offering all that information over the series. If someone wanted to continue the conversation with you, what’s the best way that they can get hold?

 

Craig Buntain 

Oh, good question. Probably checking me out on LinkedIn. Suppose would be the easiest way.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yep. Fantastic. And should you miss it? I really appreciate your time. Thank you.

 

Craig Buntain 

Okay, thanks, Fraser.

 

Fraser Jack 

Welcome back, Kate to this episode l final episode in our six part series on all things values and goals based advice. And in this episode, we’re talking about the review process. Welcome.

 

Cate Americano 

Thank you. Thanks, Fraser,

 

Fraser Jack 

tell us about tell us about some of the work that you’re doing with the advisors around this review process and cementing this ongoing relationship with the client.

 

Cate Americano 

Yes, as part of incorporating the values in terms of the review process with the annual review process, or even as part of the discovery process, it is very much around that pre positioning and transition, you know, from what’s typically been walk come from sort of product to strategic to goals based advice, this is the next level or the next step in that process, which is just adding the values on to the goal and anchoring it a little bit deeper. So I guess for advisors that are feeling concerned are not really sure where to start. It’s just in terms of the branding and the marketing and the conversations, I’d be incorporating it into their existing process, it’s not a separate one, it’s just incorporating it into the discovery meeting pack and confirming the meeting there or at the annual progress meeting, when they’re sending out the details for the clients to check. And this simple conversation is that it’s actually it’s, you know, we’ve been the guardian of your money, and we’ve taken good care of you in terms of that we obviously look out to take care of your family and understand you and and what’s important to you as part of that process. You know, it’s kind of formalizing and a little bit more so that we can actually measure it is we’re introducing the values based conversation, now we’ve potentially been having this conversation, because they would have been like they, they may not have known that they haven’t necessarily gone through and identify the top five values. But a lot of the key drivers and how we’re making our decisions is based off the client’s values. And so this is just formalizing the process. It’s not, it’s not necessarily big and scary, it’s actually really exciting and very meaningful for the client. And, and it’s really helpful, like I’d always be, I always be looking at into this environment that we’re in, which is that really, you know, the vehicle world, the volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. And this is just another layer of being able to help clients know more about themselves than they ever have before. And as a financial planner, for them to be able to help anchor their goals and based advice to those lovely values that actually make it really, really congruent with each other yet, like, you know, in alignment.

 

Fraser Jack 

Fantastic. Now, you mentioned the word helpful, which I think is a is a motivator. For a lot of a lot of advisors, I think a lot of advisors I speak to earn got into the business too, because they wanted to help people. So certainly a great way to to think about that what you’re doing with regards to values based advice. Now, I’m going to get into that pad in a minute where we go deeper on the idea of, you know, retraining clients that were previously we’ve trained to do a one way into a new system. But before we do that, you mentioned the word progress meeting. And we sort of used this word review, meeting and progress meeting interchangeably, but I think that’s really important language. Because, you know, reviews are the things that I think in the past, you know, you’re looking at past events, which are out of our control, really, they’ve also looked at past and we can we you know, we can’t really control that. But progress towards is a towards motivation, and it’s something that we can control

 

Cate Americano 

100% That’s why I prefer to see advisors call at the annual progress meeting or whatever, you know, how it was their frequency, just the progress. It’s that check in point it’s, it’s better that I Oh, your header way behind conversation. And I just allows you to be able to look at what is completely within their control in terms of, you know, there’s spendings within their control, you can’t control the markets can’t control the up and down, but you absolutely can control your spending. And you know, those things around that. So being able to have that broader conversation around it as a progress, how we’re progressing and tracking to our goals that we set out from last year. And how that is showing up in terms of our cash flow, our debt, our superannuation, our investment, you know, that’s a, it’s such a valuable conversation, as opposed to review for me, just kind of reminds me of, you know, just the review of a superannuation product or an investment just has a different connotation to it. Yeah, so that I would definitely make that a Your Progress meeting as opposed to annual review, even though you are reviewing the superannuation and performance, like so part of that, but yeah, just that mindset shift for your clients.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, exactly right. You know, I think I would review to me means exactly the same thing. It’s talked about past. And I really like the idea of progress. I think it really empowers clients to be in control of their the future and understand that they do have control. It’s certainly one of those major drivers in people’s people’s lives. That talk to me about the retraining, because this is, you know, sometimes people have been in a process, they’ve done it the similar way. And then of course, there’s been a lot of, they’re introducing a new system, some people have that, that limiting belief inside their own head where they, their clients might be thinking a particular thing, which is, sounds weird, but we all sort of fear that in a way fear of being judged.

 

Cate Americano 

Yeah, 100%, I guess the first thing I would say is useful to advisors, you need to go through the process yourself, right, in order to be able to speak with conviction, go through the process, like have somebody do it for you, more than welcome to do it with me if they want to, or that just definitely do it, you have to go through that. And your team, like it’s just so valuable, because you can then speak with conviction about the experience, you then know what it’s like when I say to all financial planner, at all, your staff members should all go through your advice, because then they can speak with conviction about the entire process, they not beginning to end. And they can tell the client about that experience. Right. So that would be the first thing. The second thing is, you don’t need any more skills than you have. You are a financial planner, because you’re wanting to help people. And you are obviously good listeners. Yeah. And you are great at working out what also, this is, this is not a difficult process at all. You like I’ve said on a few of the other podcasts, you just need to care. And you just need to create a safe space to be able to hold the client in that so that if they’re vulnerable, they can be in a space that’s not in charge, and they can be vulnerable about what their personal, you know, values are. The other thing I would say is you don’t need to overcomplicate this, there are as I said, there’s fabulous systems and things like that are there that you can just have a simple little one pager for the back up like I agreed with the values on it. And then the value scorecard on the back that you could just slip in as part of your discovery process or your annual progress meeting. Right. So these are the things that most people will be like, Oh, you know, I’m feeling anxious because there’s a whole big new thing. It’s not, it’s just a little addition to something that’s going to make a really big difference to your business

 

Fraser Jack 

better. So thank you for sharing that. Kate now, if people want to talk to you or get get hold of you around how you can help them with finding their values. What’s the best way to find you? Yeah, I

 

Cate Americano 

have a website inspiration. cafe.com.au or Kate at in Kate with a C at inspiration. cafe.com donate you. Inspiration cafe. Fantastic.

 

Fraser Jack 

Thank you for coming and sharing your wisdom with us. Really appreciate it.

 

Cate Americano 

Thank you, Fraser it’s been an absolute pleasure.

 

Fraser Jack 

Tim Henry, welcome back to this episode, final episode in this six part series all around goals based advice, values based advice, as you call it life planning, if we’re into the part where we start talking about the you know, the review process, the progress meeting, and really looking at the idea around also on top of this the idea of you know, getting new clients teaching teaching clients new tricks, or what do you want to call it, that may not be used to a process? Tell us about your review process?

 

Tim Henry 

Yeah, well, I’m gonna start with something. Hopefully, it’s not controversial, but I would ban the word review, because it is backward looking. Just point that nine through the definition of the word. And again, going back right to the start in it in first session we had chatting about this riser, it’s about how do we want people to feel about what’s coming and building momentum in their future world. So we we stopped calling it the review meeting, because who really wants to go back and look at what happened on and know what’s coming. And so we changed the name of that to a game changer meeting. So we will we want to change up the game. Or maybe we don’t need to change too much. But game change has become a bit of a buzzword so it’s become a bit so so that the word game changer, but we’ve moved away from the word review. So what does it mean for us? Well, I think for us, it’s it’s about we’ve built a modularized approach here. We which we have attached the financial components to that meeting. And we’ve we’ve got that We call that the game changer packages. But again, with that process, we start with that review that review, if you like on or here’s the goals that we had on you. Are they still up to date has anything changed. And when they walk into the room, the beauty of the systems we’re using now and technology, we probably used to spend the first 15 minutes of every meeting in the past or half an hour updating data, we’ve already got a prepared report for the future when they walk in. And then we might modify that after the meeting based on some other conversations that happened in there. So what we’re wanting is for them to walk out with that huge progress report on you know, where I’m headed and where I am in the journey.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, fantastic. So you’re sending out a survey, find goals report to start with before the meeting, getting them to update, and then come into the meeting. And with that route with that review meeting, are you booking that in the same way, as you did with the new business meeting where you the discovery meeting where they get a few options?

 

Tim Henry 

Yes, so that we look at it in exactly the same way. Or they might actually do it with one of our staff members just searching for a date, or they might just walk in through calendly. But they get the same links as what a new client gets. Because it’s all the same stuff. The only difference being with a new client was sending out a blank effect find we’ve got an existing client, we’re sending out the existing data we have on them. The great thing as well is that anyone that’s using our my prosperity portal, we’ve got live data anyway, which so we’ve already updated that. And in in the mind, they’re fine tuning their data, rather than having to import put a lot of stuff. And what we’ve learned through this process and building such a, it’s a pretty cool report after say, we moved away from soI generating software, and we decided we were going to invest in software that was going to give an awesome experience for this annual meeting. And as clients have experienced, that, we the quality of the data they send us back now has lifted because it’s like, we want the data to be really up to date, because we’re gonna get this call report at the end of it. And we’re gonna feel like we’re nailing it. So where it used to just be some boring pages that they’d get probably not invested in sending it the info.

 

Fraser Jack 

Fantastic, very much around the client experience, I love it. Tell us about tell us about conversations that you might have had. Or if somebody’s going through the scenario where they tried to introduce a process like this, like yours to two clients that are used to one another thing they used to maybe just a product based advice or getting something, you know, a different type of review meeting looking back, and they were introducing something that’s very different.

 

Tim Henry 

I think with any changes that you bring into your business like this. I’ve found the best, or the biggest hurdle is your existing clients. So it’s like how do we change them? So I’ve found the easiest ways to just introduce it and start using it with new clients. They don’t know any different. And then as a secondary step, it’s like, well, how are we going to now push, push, is that a bad word? Probably encourage, introduce, encourage that encouraged in a way that leaves no other options. And the brutal reality of efficiency is the days of saying we’d really like you to do this God, I hate to say it, but it’s like, this is the way we do this meeting now. So if you if you don’t do it this way, you can’t get the best value out of us. And we’re probably headed to a point in time where we’ll say goodbye. I think we have to be like that. And so I would not get too bogged down in how are you going to get people to do it, you first got to get this system on what and the vision for what you want it to look like and how you want people to feel. And then you often say this, that client’s commitment to whatever you’re trying to implement, is always going to be marginally less than your commitment. And I hear a lot of people say, I’ve tried this system, but our clients didn’t really go on it. And it’s like, well, you can tell you’re not even really that committed. So why would they be? So you’ve got to really go in with full commitment, and your clients will follow, I reckon. Yeah, certainly right until your attitude rubs off on them. And you say, Well, this is the way we’re doing. And this is why because it’s going to deliver these we’re doing it to improve our service to you don’t just introduce the service and say, This is a new process. Explain why we really want to improve this. We think we can give you better outcomes and better visual So, how we’re betting this new software, because it’s going to be much better for our communication with you. Who wouldn’t have a crack then again again, okay, well, he, he seems like he’s working really hard for me. I should step up to the plate and help him. And this is this feels to me like it’s a cultural thing, too, is not just the advisor. It’s the whole practice that has to come along. Yeah, well, I think they have to, but I think that they would as well because most of what we’re introducing here is today, making their job easier to engaging with the clients as easier getting informations easier. You know, if they’re inputting data into a system that sucks into the system, virtually, we’re not printing we’re not scanning well. There’s all these knock on effects that we’re not doing in a business anymore. So here there’s a little bit of initial resistance sometimes but it’s if it’s for the greater good, it’s it’s good for everyone the classic cases, you know, we use the my prosperity portal and getting some older clients on that has been a challenge. But once we got them signing things digitally on there, and they don’t have to print and scan and all that sort of thing, they lock sign me out, because we’ve all got iPads. I love it. So it’s just breaking through those initial barriers sometimes.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yep. Fantastic. Tim, thanks for coming on and sharing your processes throughout the the journey this, this last six part series, fantasy, have you somebody wants to continue the conversation? What’s the best way for them to get ahold of you?

 

Tim Henry 

Well, they can just email we team at Aspire planning calm that are you or go on to our website, Aspire planning calm that, are you and just send the link through the contact page there. And

 

Fraser Jack 

we’ll have a chat. Fantastic. Thank you really appreciate it. Welcome back, Michael to this episode, where we’re talking all things goals based values based financial planning financial advice. Welcome. Thank you for joining us.

 

Michael Topper 

Thanks, Fraser. Looking forward to

 

Fraser Jack 

now this this episode, we’re talking really around the idea of the annual review process. I love to call it the progress meeting.

 

Michael Topper 

Yeah. And I think that’s exactly what it should be. financial plans aren’t set and forget. In fact, you know, if you did some modeling in 87, and then met with a client in adhf, completely different results because of what happened in the market. So a plan is a plan and you put it in place, but it needs changes all the way along.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yep. And and how important is it for an ongoing relationship? How important is goals based advice? I think for the ongoing relationship based advice?

 

Michael Topper 

Yeah, I think it’s exceptionally important. So if you can help your client get their head around their values and their goals, and you can help them achieve those goals without violating their values, you can add real value to the client in the relationship. And they will be clients for life.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yep. And and talk to me about the concept of in progress. Versus review, I think, sort of feels a bit more lucky. are you focusing on the golden just reviewing the products?

 

Michael Topper 

Yeah, the I think a review of products has become less valuable to clients, you know, for an advisor to build a document for me to show me what my super balance is, and what my bank balances are, and all that kind of stuff, it’s got literally no value to me, because I’ve got that all on my phone directly with a bank or directly with the insurer directly with the super company. So you’ve got to be able to spend time on things that are important to the client, and having their goals and when they want to achieve them and how they’re going. And if they’re getting behind on their goals, how to get back on track to achieve their goals, is what they’ll find important and adding some documentation behind that because you have to do from a compliance point of view of here’s your super balance, opening and closing. And here’s the money that went in, here’s the money that went out. And this is the quotes that grew is important. But you can produce a report and send it to the client. And we we find in quite a few advisors are actually sending those out to clients automatically. So rather than that being part of a review, meeting and sent out at the six month mark, or three months before the meeting, to go, here’s here’s how your investments and your supers going. And you know, an advisor can’t control the markets, so they can’t control what the super does, and they can’t control the investments. So that’s good information for a client and it’s part of where they heading, but it’s not the strategy, what’s important to the client and the advisor, what are the strategies? And how do we make sure you achieve those goals?

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, I feel like a big part of goals based advice and how advisors work with clients is around that. That accountability, helping clients create new habits. And you just mentioned that who can control what in this scenario and in helping the client stay focused on what they can control what just didn’t with the behaviors, what they learn what they spend. Yeah,

 

Michael Topper 

and you know, I think It’s good to see, it’s gonna be interesting to see how this goes, if it’s going to be ongoing service agreements, annual agreements, a just a service agreement. So you’re not saying a word like annual or anything like that in it. But you know, it’s got to be pretty clear in those agreements with a client is that there’s some things we have to do for you. And there’s some things you have to do. And the kinds of things that you have to do is you need to come in for a review, at least once a year or twice a year, whatever the case may be on that package, you need to fill in some documentation for us five minute health checks and changes questionnaires or electronic reverse fac viands. And whatever else it is, and if you’ve got some goals, that’s great. And to achieve these goals, here’s a list of things you have to do. And here’s the thing, list of things we have to do. And let’s get together each year to make sure that you’ve done your bits. Because you’re an adult, and you’re a client, you’ve you know, we are here to help you. But we’re not here to babysit you. And here’s some things that we have to do. And hopefully we can tick off all the things we said we would do. So that you’re not giving clients money back,

 

Fraser Jack 

it’d be interesting that the double accountability scale, we had to do this thing, but you’re here to do that thing. And so we’re all here to keep each other accountable to make it actually work.

 

Michael Topper 

Exactly. And you know, things change every year, and you expect them to, and legislation changes that could impact the client’s goals, market conditions change that could impact their goals, the client’s own circumstances can impact the client’s goals and clients. So the first two are out of their control legislation, market conditions. And in their own circumstances, some things are in their control, and some things are out of their control, not getting made redundant or whatever. So every year that’s at a minimum that you need to look at. And any of those things can affect all six areas of advice, and could have a big impact on on the advice and whether an ROI on soI needs to be produced. That’s the outcome. But the key thing is to have the meeting, go through all of those things, work out the impacts, change goals, and modify them if you need to see if the values have changed or not, because people’s values change over time. And so they should, and have a great meeting where the client walks out going, Wow, that was awesome.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yep. Love it. Now, speaking of awesome meetings, let’s let’s talk about introducing new goals, both advice world if it’s new to practice, to existing clients that may not necessarily be used to that and may have a certain expectation in place as to what their advisor does for them.

 

Michael Topper 

Yeah, the thing that’s always interesting with software is we’ve said to advisors, just be open with a client, but we’ve got some new software, we’re trying to get our head around it, you’ve been a great client of ours for a number of years. Now, we’d like you to just follow the steps and give us feedback. So we can see whether we like this tool and how that’s gonna affect other people. So you get the client on side with you. And so, filling in a five minute financial health check is foreign to them. But it’s pretty simple. Doing an electronic reverse fact find pretty straightforward. And if they haven’t done their goals before then to send out the link to the goals tool and say, you know, one of the things we found is that it’s really powerful when we’ve helped our other clients come up with what their goals are, you know, we’ve used the system now for a year or a couple of years, we’ve been helping clients set goals, they’ve been achieving them, we’ve been modifying them at our meetings, clients love it. And it’s time that we did this with you. And here’s some pointers on what you need to do. But when you come in for the meeting, or catch up on zoom, we’ll go through it with you. And we’ll make those goals more robust and work out the pecking order of them and, and make sure that you understand them. And so do we, and we can make sure we can kick those goals with you.

 

Fraser Jack 

That’s a really good tip. I love what you said about the idea of just being honest and upfront and vulnerable to a degree as well. And just saying you setting expectations as is, you know, like this is not perfect. It reminded me of a conversation I had with somebody years and years ago that that said that one of the best things that they learned to him when it came into conversations with people was their words, can you do me a favor? Can you know doing this thing? It’s new? Look, look, to be honest with you. It’s we’ve had some good feedback, but I’m still you know, I still want to know what you can you do me? You know the the expectation is this, can you do me a favor and help me, etc, etc. That That sounds like a great way to start up, start a conversation about it.

 

Michael Topper 

Yeah. And one of one of our advisors a few years ago when he started using our software. He used it as a guinea pig on his top 20 clients. Now most people are going to start with the 100 clients. And so if they screw it up doesn’t matter too much. But he started with these top 20 clients. And his discussion with them was about some new software. We’ve known each other for the last 10 years, we’ve come to assume things about you. You’ve come to assume things about us. Let’s just stop assuming and start from scratch and let’s go Have a look at what your financial world looks like how happy you are with a five minute health check. And then let’s get together and have a discussion. And they became very powerful conversations that he had with these clients. And, you know, with some of them, he actually found out that I think one particular client had $2 million that he didn’t know about, the advisor didn’t know about. And when he asked the client, because they’d fallen under budget question and said, I didn’t know you had this money. And the client said, will you charge me 1% of assets under management? So I’ve been looking after this to mold myself. That was Let’s stop assuming about each other. I assumed I knew all the money you had, but he didn’t. And and just starting from scratch, and starting with goals and values and things like that.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, that’s a really interesting way of putting it too. I quite like that. Let’s stop assuming because I’m in your right, you know, like we’ve known each other for a long time. And there’s probably all sorts of things that haven’t been said in during the conversation that, let’s, let’s let’s bring, let’s make a time a safe spot, a safe place to bring all those compensations out? Yeah, exactly. Fantastic. Well, thank you, Michael, for joining us in these series, really appreciate it. You help people get hold of you and check out more of what you’re you’re up to.

 

Michael Topper 

And so the best way is just to go to our website. So Stuart wheel.com.au. There’s a lot of information on the website. There is also a book demo. So once a week, we run a live demonstration for 90 minutes. We typically say if your practice that’s got one or more principles, all watch it together. So attend one of the webinars together. Have a good look at what the system does and see whether you think it fits your business, make a decision as a joint decision because one advisor watching it now trying to explain it to the other two advisors is going to struggle. So watch it together. Have good bring your lunch in, sit in the boardroom or on zoom. Have a look at it. If you like what it looks like, contact us and we take the next steps from there. All our phone numbers are there as well. So just give us a call happy to have a discussion. Do you have five minutes, this is what his tutorials about. But if you serious, have a look at the live demo, and it’ll give you all the information you need.

 

Fraser Jack 

The destek Thank you, Michael. Really appreciate it.

 

Michael Topper 

Thanks, Fraser. Thanks very much. Fine.

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