As financial advisors and life insurance agents, we love helping our clients. Yet, if our clients are put off by some of the phrases or terminology we use, then it can become an obstacle. Fortunately, there are different words we can use.
Language matters. When we change our words with clients, we can make the financial planning experience better for them and change their expectations when we take them on a journey to reaching their dreams.
For example, in the beginning of my career, I was trained to say to prospects, “I’d like to set up a time to meet and take you through my process.” In hindsight, I cringe at that word “process.” Who wants to go through a process?
Try experience instead of process
While we have processes backstage in our office, when we are on the front stage with clients, we take them on a step-by-step experience.
Try get-organized meeting instead of fact-finder or discovery meeting
Our first meeting is what we used to call our fact-finder or our discovery meeting. We now call this our get-organized meeting.
Try direction meeting instead of evaluation or analysis meeting
Our second meeting is no longer our evaluation or analysis meeting. Now, it is our direction meeting. This helps our clients understand the path we are heading down.
Try design meeting instead of sharing recommendations
Next, instead of sharing recommendations, we set up our design meeting. Here, we take everything we’ve put together and collaborate to create solutions.
Try plan forward instead of delivering their financial plan
Lastly, instead of saying we’ll deliver their financial plan, we now say we will provide them with the plan forward. This is then consolidated into a one-page financial plan, with all the data as appendices.
Our one-page plan is a simple document that includes their current overview, their most important dreams and recommendations that we can check off one by one. The appendices provide the reasoning and the math behind the one-page plan. The simplicity makes it feel less overwhelming, and it feels easier to implement.
Then, for clients who don’t need the whole financial planning process, we create restart or start-up plans. It gives clients an entry point to access financial planning services in a simplified manner.
We all want to engage, excite and empower the people we work with. And, most importantly, we must make it easy so clients are compelled to take action.
Julianne Hertel, of Worcester, Massachusetts, USA, is an eight-year MDRT member and a Top of the Table member. This was excerpted from her 2023 MDRT Annual Meeting presentation “The new world of the plan: Making planning engaging and accessible.” (MDRT member exclusive)
For more ideas on how to connect with clients:
- Watch “How to connect with clients and move past resistance”
- Read “Less jargon, more communication” (MDRT member exclusive, available in 10 languages)