Everyone loves to make progress. Sometimes, for your clients, that progress is clear and obvious. Other times progress is often more subtle and may go unnoticed.
You probably see this all the time. You create a plan for a client, encourage him or her to save and invest, and the portfolio grows. That’s obvious progress. But that same client is likely making progress that is less obvious, progress that results in a greater sense of confidence, control or clarity.
So what can you do to help clients fully understand and appreciate all of the progress they are making so they appreciate that fact and can share the message with others? And how can you take that message to prospective clients to help them understand what is possible?
Create Your Own Confidence Index
If you know me at all, you know I love data. I love it because it tells a story. More than that, it brings weight and credibility to the messages you want to share.
What if you could use data to help clients see their own progress in a new way and send a powerful message to prospects?
In our on-going industry research we ask clients about the ‘Three C’s’ – confidence, clarity and control. We’ve found that the most engaged clients (those who are most satisfied and provided all referrals) are more likely to feel confident about achieving their long-term goals, have a greater sense of clarity about their future and feel more confident that they can achieve their goals.
It’s all very well to point to industry research, but what if you created your own Client Confidence Index? You could use that Index to achieve three important goals.
- You can demonstrate or remind an individual client how far they have come, relative to where they started their journey with you. In this scenario you would ask a new client to answer three questions about his or her confidence, clarity and control (the actual questions are below). You would then ask those same questions every few years to demonstrate the impact of working together.
- You can tangibly demonstrate the impact of working with a good professional advisor, thinking beyond investment performance. In this scenario you would aggregate the initial ratings from new clients, as well as the change over time so that you can communicate that impact to prospective clients.
- You can engage existing clients. In this scenario you would ask existing clients to answer the same three questions and compare them to an Index of your other clients. You can share that Index broadly but also use the information to drive deeper conversation with individual clients.
The Confidence Index Questions
The three questions I use in industry research are below. You’re welcome to use those with your clients or edit to fit your specific needs. Each would be asked on a scale from 1 to 10 with 1 being ‘not at all confident (or clear)’ and 10 being ‘extremely confident (or clear)’.
- Confidence: How confident are you that you will reach your primary financial goals?
- Control: How confident do you feel that you can positively impact your own financial future?
- Clarity: How clear are you about your plans for retirement?
The Confidence Index Process for New Clients
- Create a link to a poll with your Confidence Index questions and room to enter client name and the date. You can do this for free and with limited technical skills using Survey Monkey.
- Enter results in a simple spreadsheet showing client name, the date and responses on each question.
- Re-send the poll in advance of an annual review based on the timeline you have set (e.g., every two to three years).
- Share and discuss the difference with clients at the review meeting.
The Confidence Index Process for Existing Clients
- Send the same poll to all existing clients.
- Aggregate the results and share information back with your existing clients or to drive deeper conversations.
There are, no doubt, other questions you could ask of clients but these provide a good start. The idea of having your own Index suggests you take progress seriously and recognize that it shows up in clients’ lives in different ways.
Thanks for stopping by,