Our last article was on the challenge of knowing and pricing your value. It included advice from a two-day course we attended. We had such a positive response to that article that we thought we’d do a follow up with more practical tips.

Client experience

We’ve undertaken a number of initiatives to improve our overall client experience. Each goes beyond the traditional role of an advisor. For instance, many advisors discuss estate planning matters with clients. But we go the extra step by offering to meet with our clients’ executors and providing them with an executor package that describes the various roles of an executor. The package also includes additional information, like an area to list email passwords and safety deposit box locations. This ensures the executor’s job is easier and creates less potential for conflict.

Read: Transition clients to fee based

Aside from estate planning, we also provide clients with extras, such as an emergency response information kit that contains details of what should be kept on their fridges about their medical situations. Paramedics are trained to look at fridges to see if a person takes any prescription medicine or has any allergies.

Our hope is that with this type of experience, clients will feel that all aspects of their finances are cared for in a professional and thorough manner.

Stick to your business beliefs

Another thing we learned is that the value you provide is often derived from your core business beliefs. At the course, we brainstormed our beliefs and made sure they were consistent with how we continue to articulate our value. Here are some of the business beliefs we established.

1. Planning makes success more likely. If a client has a financial plan, he’s more likely to meet his goals. So, providing clients with a plan to meet their goals is a big part of our job as advisors.

2. If you don’t like something, take action to change it. If a client is not in a position to meet his goals, it’s our job to encourage him to take action. We also often need to tell clients what action to take.

3. Education is critical in order to control emotions and make rational decisions. Part of the value we provide is in educating our clients about their finances, and being honest about what they should expect. Promising a client unrealistic returns may get him to sign in the short term, but it will be a terrible client experience in the long term.

These core beliefs are individual to our team and may not apply to all advisors. But we still encourage readers to establish their own core beliefs so you can identify what unique value you provide to your clients.

Read: How compounding goodwill raises your brand

For instance, one of the things we do that’s consistent with these three beliefs is to provide retirement projections to clients. A retirement projection allows us to map out a plan, which makes it more likely that a client will succeed in their goals. It also serves as a prompt to take action when a client is not doing what they need to do to achieve their goals. Lastly, we often use the projection as an emotional anchor when markets are poor because it allows us to demonstrate that poor returns in the short term have little effect on the client’s long-term goals.

Defining your business beliefs is more important than ever with the coming regulatory changes. Advisors who are able to articulate and demonstrate their value will have a tremendous opportunity going forward.

Craig White and Grant White are investment advisors at Craig & Grant White Family Wealth Management Group, National Bank Financial.
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