In a recent blog post, I talked about the importance of consolidating your clients’ assets. I also discussed introductions and referrals and how essential they are in helping you gain new clients for your practice. Here, we’ll take a look at another strategy for business growth: capturing money in motion.
Even if you manage all of your clients’ assets today, there still may be opportunities to take on additional assets in the future. A lot can change in your clients’ lives over the course of a year. And as unexpected life events occur—in particular, ones that leave clients with new assets to manage—it’s important that you’re kept in the loop. Most of the time, however, clients won’t automatically think to give you the money to invest; you have to ask for the business.
It helps to understand where these assets might come from, so that you’re prepared to raise the topic at your next client meeting. Below, I’ll go over some of the more common ways that clients can come into unexpected wealth, as well as ideas for starting a conversation about them. Once you start thinking about capturing money in motion, it’s likely you’ll come up with strategies of your own that are specific to your client base.
Clients in their working years can face a wide array of changes, such as taking a new job; accepting a buyout from a company; or receiving stock options, a promotion, or a bonus. It makes sense for you to know when these events happen, so that you can talk to clients about beefing up retirement accounts or savings before they spend their bonus income.
- “Congratulations on your promotion! I’m sure your new responsibilities will keep you busy—and I hope they also come with a salary increase. How do you want to make those additional funds work for you?”
- “I’m told that this was a great bonus year for (company name). I’m hoping that’s true for you as well! We should talk about how to invest that bonus now.”
Family and Personal Life Events
A lot can happen in clients’ families, and pretty quickly, too. Make sure you are actively listening for cues that indicate an engagement, wedding, or divorce; the birth, adoption, or death of a child or grandchild; or retirement wish lists or goals.
- “I’m so glad you are thinking of retiring in three years. Let’s start consolidating assets so that we can plan our distribution strategy most effectively.”
- “Congratulations on your new child (or grandchild). Are you thinking of starting a 529 plan to begin saving for her college education?”
- “It’s great that your son is getting married. Would you like me to talk to the couple about good financial planning, so they start off on the right foot?”
There are a number of less common events that might happen in a client’s life, such as an inheritance or the sale of a home or business, that should be on your radar. You’ll also want to pay attention to any unusual sales or payment cycles your clients may be subject to. For example, if you have a client who is a rancher or a farmer, he or she might only get paid once a year when the product or crop goes to market. You’ll want to make sure you know when the rancher will be paid, so that you can arrange a meeting or call before any proceeds are spent too quickly.
- “In looking through your taxes, I see that you sold your lake home last year. How should we invest those proceeds for you?”
- “I was sorry to hear that your uncle passed away. You mentioned that he left you an inheritance. Should we discuss the gift and how you might want to invest it?”
- “Congratulations on a great harvest. How do you want to handle the proceeds, so that you can both save and invest to last you through the next year?
Ongoing Money in Motion
While you’re probably well aware of money moving within your practice, it’s a good idea to set up reminder calls around items such as maturing CDs, rollovers, and life insurance proceeds.
- “One year ago, you purchased a CD at your bank with an interest rate of X Now that it’s maturing, we should look at some other options to give you the income you need.”
- “It sounds like your new job will be a great fit. We should review your old 401(k) assets and roll them over, so that we can keep track of them more easily.”
Connecting over the Unexpected
Paying attention to the events happening in your clients’ lives will not only allow you to better manage their investments, but it can also help you build deeper personal connections. Whether it’s an inheritance from a relative who’s passed away or the birth of a grandchild, your clients will be glad to know they can trust you to help them through life events of all kinds. And with stronger relationships and more assets to manage, the benefits to your business can be twofold.
How do you help your clients manage unexpected life events? Do you have your own strategies for capturing money in motion? Please share your thoughts with us below!