Put it in Their Business Plans


The evidence from Kehrer Bielan research is clear – financial planning is a win-win-win for the client, the advisor, and the firm; clients with plan are more confident about their future, move more of their assets to the advisor who worked on the plan with them, and are less likely to abandon the firm.  But half of bank-based advisors work on planning with no more than one client a month.


At a recent Kehrer Bielan virtual dialogue, four investment services directors whose advisors have embraced planning shared their insights on how they got there.  There was general agreement that tailoring financial planning goals into each advisor’s individual business plan should be a component of management tactics.


Melisa Lindsay-Lipkins, who manages investment services at OnPoint Community Credit Union, started small, encouraging her advisors to practice using the Goal Planning and Monitoring system that Raymond James provides its affiliated advisors, completing 6 plans a quarter, even if they are just practicing on make-believe people. Some advisors got with it.  In reviewing the plans every month, Melisa found that one had been done for Carrie Bradshaw.  But only about half of her advisors were reaching their goals.


“Every month. I was telling them how many they started, how many they created and how many they finished, how many they adopted.  We’re firm believers in all advisors having a very specific action plan and business plan each year. So, I wanted planning goals incorporated, but for each person, it was little bit different.  Sometimes it was, ‘I’m going to do them for all of my clients’ or ‘do them for A and B clients’…. “


Once her advisors saw the net new assets they were acquiring from clients with a plan, they “drank the Kool Aid.”  Now the business plans all include creating a plan for every advisory client.


Steve Kruchten, who built a financial planning culture at Bremer Bank before his recent move to Raymond James, took a segmentation approach. “We started looking at clients with a million dollars and above, advisory clients, and they were paying us $10,000 a year, so they should have a plan. Let’s call that an A client.”


Similarly, B clients with $500,000 are paying $5,000 a year for financial advice.  Shouldn’t they have a plan?  What about C clients who are paying $2,500 a year?


“So we decided, okay, let’s decide that we are just going to put a financial plan together for our A clients. I don’t care about your B’s or C’s. We’re not going to boil the ocean. I like to pick a Holiday as a target date.  Let’s say its January.  OK, then let’s have a financial plan with all your A clients by Easter.  Then we can focus on getting plans started on your B clients by the 4th of July, or Halloween.”


You can catch up on the rest of this conversation by viewing the virtual dialogue recording.

Click Here to View the Recording