Do we want to thank those tightrope walking daredevils from Wall Street who almost brought the entire system down for this new world? After all, it was their actions that drew back the curtain on the Financial Services industry, and lead to an amazing amount of public education about how Financial Planning is meant to work… How to choose the right advisor… and who to contact if you believe that something is not being done right. As a result, the general population now knows what a Financial Planner does, how to spot a professional, and what to expect when they work with one.
Today clients know what to expect when their Financial Planner meets with them. Financial Planners are also finding it easier to speak with clients about all that they do. However, clients still don’t know the process and the details about the Financial Plan… They just understand that they need one, and they should be working with a professional. Either way, this is a huge step forward that only 10 years ago. Yet herein lies the problem. When our clients’ expectations are met, it is just “Ho Hum”!
The “Ho-Hum” Trap is quite easy to understand. It is when we meet our clients’ expectations. The problem is that clients don’t realize that each Financial Plan is customized for them, and they don’t understand the amount of thought, time or effort was put into its creation. They just expected a written Financial Plan, and that is exactly what they got.
So, the question becomes, “How do you exceed a clients’ expectation?” Is this a greater level of education that the Financial Planner provides about the process of Creating the Financial Plan? Is this a taking another step to personalize the Financial Plan with pictures that the client provides? Is this accomplished by branding the Financial Plan as some special process?
The answer for each Financial Planner will be an individual as they are. However, they must start to think of this question, and find the answer that works for them and their clients’. If they don’t, they will very easily fall into the “Ho-Hum” Trap and just meet expectations. Why should any Financial Planner even care about this? Easy! When they exceed expectations, they get a level of referrals from their clients that they could never have dreamed of.