What You'll Learn In Today's Episode:

  • Following a structured client onboarding process is crucial for success in financial planning.
  • Setting clear expectations with clients helps build trust and ensures a smooth onboarding experience.
  • Thoroughly addressing key areas of financial planning, such as estate planning, risk management, and retirement income, is essential for client success.
  • Regular communication and addressing client concerns throughout the onboarding process is important for building strong client relationships.

In this Masterclass sneak peek episode, Matt and Micah unveil their masterful approach to client onboarding, offering a glimpse into their proven strategies. They underscore the significance of structured processes and transparent communication in fostering client trust and satisfaction. Micah delineates his method, which involves distinct meetings tailored to estate planning, risk management, retirement income, investments, and taxes, ensuring comprehensive coverage of client needs. Meanwhile, Matt prioritizes swiftly integrating clients into the standard client rotation while tackling essential financial planning aspects. Throughout their discussion, the duo highlights the paramount importance of effective communication and delivering tangible value to clients at every step of the onboarding journey. Remember to email lifestyle@theperfectria.com so you don’t miss this, or any, masterclass release

Resources In Today's Episode:

– Matt Jarvis: Website | LinkedIn
– Micah Shilanski: Website | LinkedIn 
– Don’t miss out on our upcoming Prospect Process Masterclass. Contact lifestyle@theperfectria.com to stay informed.

Read the Transcript Below:

Matt  

 Hi TPR nation Amber here from your Follow up Fridays. Today’s episode is a snippet of one of our upcoming masterclass that we’ll be releasing on the prospect process. So enjoy this sneak peek and make sure that you email lifestyle@theperfectria.com so you don’t miss out on this masterclass release.

Today’s podcast is brought to you by TPR LIVE that’s right The Perfect RIA Micah and myself will be joining you live and in person in Phoenix, Arizona on September 25, where we will be helping you with all things related to fees, how much to charge your clients how to adjust your fees, how to explain fees to your prospects, and of course the extreme accountability around how to make that actually happen. So go to  theperfectria.com/live to get signed up and get all those important details. All right back to the show.

Micah  

Welcome to another episode of The Perfect RIA podcast I’m your co host Micah Shilanski and with me as usual, the legendary Matthew Jarvis what’s going on bud?

Matt  

Micah I just live in the dream one day at a time I know you and I are getting ready for another Invictus mastermind we are preparing for TPR live in the fall we’re just having a lot of fun here really bring into advisors what works which is of course our our passion. That’s literally why we started all this accident like I had someone asked me the other day. Why did y’all start the podcast? And we’ve told this story before but I’ll tell again, we wanted people to avoid the mistakes that we’ve made. And we wanted one of those mistakes was listening to the wrong people. So glad to be here again.

Micah  

Yeah, very much. So we want to do a special episode today. We’re gonna give you guys a snippet of a masterclass that is released that’s going through the prospect and client onboarding process now we’ve done this a little before, give it another a little bit snippet, which was great. We have some good positive feedback on that one. So we wanted to give a another snippet and this is going to be going through the Client Onboarding, right. There’s kind of seven parts inside of this masterclass that we have that’s going from when a prospect first contact you or Centers of Influence etc, all the way down into Client Onboarding. Now we’re on the Client Onboarding step. So Jarvis, you’re ready to jump into this? 

Matt  

Yeah, let’s jump into the set. All of these steps are key in success, right? 

Micah  

This is again, we say this is baking. This is not cooking, right? So you got to do certain steps and certain orders in order to get the results that you want it kind of funny. Jarvis have always gotten to this sourdough bread cooking back yet last night, and she didn’t have enough time. So she skipped a few steps. And they both didn’t come out the way the other loaves did in the past, right, you know, and she was like, Alright, now I know what happens now. She knew by skipping steps, it would have a different results, but we didn’t quite know what that result was going to be. So in your practice, I want you to think about this. Do I want to sit down with a prospect and have a great client prospect and onboarding process, met with it and have something I don’t know how it’s going to turn out. That’s the choice you get to make right now. Now, we would prefer that you follow the process in a certain way in order to deliver success to your clients, to yourself to your team, etc. But remember, this is a lot closer to baking than it is to cooking.

Matt  

Yeah, Micah let’s keep in mind the stakes. I’m not talking about a loaf of bread for dinner which is no disrespect to a loaf of bread and dinner. We’re talking about someone’s financial future. Not just your financial future, their financial future, but we’re talking about this client, this prospect who is now become a client, they have hired you because in their heart of hearts, they believe that you are best suited to get them to their financial goals and if your ad libbing if you’re winging it, like I guess we’ll see how this goes. I can skip a few steps here there, right? You’re doing a massive disservice to this person, right? Just as a terrible disservice. So, when we think about you know what, I don’t really want to send out loom video or I don’t want to take that extra step. I don’t want to plant that seed. You’re doing that not just at your own detriment, but to the detriment to their financial future. So heavy stakes here Micah.

Micah  

Amen. Amen to that. So Jarvis, in our previous videos, yeah, we were talking about how do you meet with clients, when you talk to prospects? What deliverables Do you get what delivers? Do you not give and it’s important to have these distinctions that’s going to be there. And we ended with a client saying yes, the prospect saying yes becoming a client. And now we’re moving into the onboarding. Now, your nice processes are really, really late nuances and differences. But I would say that biggest difference is the client onboarding experience. It’s going to be different for our office than it is for yours. So why don’t you walk through your office real fast? What is your Client Onboarding look like? Then we’ll go through mine.

Matt  

Yeah, that’s for sure. That that in some of that really came down to the nuances in different niches and really getting your prospect process should evolve based on what your prospects are facing, right? So I always joke that the clients that I like my ideal prospect is someone who wants to retire tomorrow. The $3 million in their 401k they’ve ever worked with an advisor and they just want someone to take it with that demographic with that niche. Then you can very quickly do rollovers and you can do everything from there because of this trigger event. So in our onboarding process, my goal is that the client rotation the normal surgery rotation as quickly as I can, and so we’ll do an onboarding meeting to do paperwork to answer questions, I will initiate all the transfers, that ideally happens within about two weeks of when they agreed to become a it’s gonna depend on my travel schedule. But that’s typically when we do that. We initiate all the transfers there. Within about four weeks we’ve gotten as many transfers are gonna move quickly. There’s always some stragglers that’s when we’ll meet to do an investment policy statement will meet for the first time we’ve discussed investments in any detail is once the money has moved over, I haven’t looked at their funds. We haven’t talked about Morningstar radius other than we ever would, so then we get the recommendations. And then the second half of that meeting, work down the one page financial plan list. So for about the first year, I want to meet with him every calendar quarter, until we can drop them into the semi rotation. Each week. We’re going to pull up whatever the value add was for that quarter to make sure that they’re on track with all the other clients and it will go down the list of the items on the one page financial plan. Within about a year… We’ve gotten everything taken care of on the one page financial plan and we’ve dropped them into the normal classroom. And that seems to work really well and it gets them into the process.  So Jarvis a couple of questions on this one that you had mentioned that you you transfer assets right away and you haven’t really looked at their funds and I know you kind of have right but you’re not doing that as detailed analysis. How do you comply with some of the potential compliance regulations that day with the SEC right, so you’re not exactly under the BD side of it, but let’s say that you were with a BD or back when you were and they had these requirements. You got to review the funds and give the disclosure out before you’re making a transfer of a 401 K over to an IRA. How do you handle that in this process?  It’s better than one Ks, we need to be targeted the DOL rules. We’re still going through a client of our disclosures that our attorneys have signed off on saying hey, here’s what you’re paying here. Here’s what you’re getting here here when paid with us, but we do it in very round numbers, which our trainees have signed off on. And we just let them know that it’s very clearly our disclosure. You are going to be paying more to work with our team than you’re paying right now. We’re like hey, squinted the numbers on a Tuesday. No, you’d be paying more probably dramatically more but you’re getting all these things. Great new. Value is not an excessive fee. We could part ways this friend you could always find a new 401k plan, I guess.

Micah  

Yeah. And I really wanted to point that out, right? Because some people will say, hey, they’re getting clients issues. Hey, we’ve seen compliance things, right. It might be different, but it’s the same things that we’re dealing with. And we’re able to work with these and Jarvis I love what you did right there is just saying, yes, you’re going to be paying dramatically more. Here’s a range of what your 401k is fee is going to be an RS is going to be some X Factor, you know, several times larger than that more than likely in this is the services that you’re getting. So it’s important to have that don’t shy away from that one.

Matt  

Yeah, and we could do a whole old side rant on this. It’s important also to know what the compliance rule is and what it’s not like know where the regulation is. Let’s say you have to do a Morningstar report on every fund before that. That’s not in the regulation.

Micah  

He starts working on. 

Matt  

It’s not they’re trying to get there, right. It says hey, you need to disclose fees, which we’re huge advocates of you need to make sure the client understands the pros and the cons, which we’re huge advocates of that’s the entire prospect process, right. And then my own thing, which is not in regulations is I want to make sure that that’s in writing and an email so that we’re covered on all the bases so that when not if we’re audited again, we can say that not only do we do the disclosures, we also emailed them we also send it in a letter etc.

Micah  

Here’s the client sign off on it. Here’s where we go through it. Yeah, man, all of those great things. Okay. And then you had made another comment. About you want to get them everything done in the first year. Right. And so then they’re kind of on a normal routine. What does that mean?

Matt  

So if we look at a one page financial plan, of course my team and I did an entire masterclass on that I that first year there’s gonna be major things that that are time sensitive, like don’t have estate documents right or don’t have life insurance plays or the beneficiaries are all messed up, right? There’s things that are critical that need to happen right away cash flow, reallocating their portfolio, these are all things that we can typically get knocked out within the first year if they have deeper things, a special needs child, complex estate planning issues. Those are things where again, the first iteration in place and then as it comes up in the normal search rotation, let’s up the ante on it each time. I’m a real fan of doing things one layer at a time because like you and I’ve talked about this, if I go to layer five, what tends to happen is nothing. Nothing happens. Let’s get a will. How will we start with a will? And then let’s go to trust provisions and let’s talk about these other things.

Micah  

Yeah, I like it. So so what I heard you say just rephrase it differently. One Page Plan, you’re saying, Hey, what are the critical items that need to get dressed a little bit sooner? And equally important to that? What are things we can make progress on? Yes. So you got to be making progress, especially with that first year as a client showing them that they’re doing things showing, you know what they’re getting for these even small things, small things matter, updating beneficiaries, right. You may think it’s not that big of a deal. Well, if they die, it’s a heck of a big deal. Right? 

Matt  

Yeah. So there’s we’re meeting throughout that first year. We’re pulling up the one page financial plan each time and we’re drawing lines through things that we’ve taken care of right graders we’re taking care of this, Mr. Mrs Client actually, this every single year, right strategic Roth conversions every single year, we’re going to do this beneficial every single year we’re going to do this so to balance other like YouTube posts in the past video of knocking things off the list, but also seeing that this is an ongoing process like financial planning has never done you don’t ever arrive at financial planning.

Micah  

Okay, so you get through that first year, you get those things kind of tended to and then you start rolling into the normal search cycle. And that didn’t mean that as a negative, right, that you’re hyper intentional to deliver value to clients, but you want to get them caught up to be with the other clients. 

Matt  

Yeah, that’s really the key. I’m trying to get them caught up with everyone else as quickly as I can. That way again, our office can see streamlines this quarter. We’re working on Roth conversions this quarter working on 1099 letters for everyone. Again, first year, there’s gonna be some extra things we’re gonna need to do for those new clients. But otherwise, we dropped into the rotation  You know Jarvis, just as one of the things that I said I do, I know you do as well and clients says, hey, we have a normal cycle to review things and so when you’re going to drop you back in, we might have just finished your estate planning, but it might be time for all of our clients and estate planning review. So we might bring it up again, that doesn’t mean the work you did is bad, but you’re paying us to dot the I’s and cross the T’s and I’m not going to make an exception not to look at your things. Again. If it’s time to look at it. We’re going to look at every one and make sure you’re tended to is that going to be okay with you?  Yeah, that’s an important thing to point out because that’s Murphy’s Law, right? Whatever you’re working on, that’s gonna immediately be the next step and the client rotation would make it one of the things speaking of setting expectations, and I’d really love to transition in your process is when we’re having the investment meetings, I always let the clients know always always always Mr. Mrs. Client Murphy’s Law of investing is as soon as we make this transfer, the markets will go down and it could even go down dramatically. And it’s gonna seem like I made a big mistake, but really the timing of when the markets went down, and that’s ok because we’re going to have this setup to weather the storm we talked about the war, chest etc. And What’s brilliant about this and I learned this only through terrible trial and error is if the markets don’t go down. No one remembers that if the markets do go down, which again is Murphy’s Law. The client says Oh, Matthew You know, just like you told me the markets went down. It’s like the only time clients are excited the markets went down, oh, you told us that would happen with that, so

Micah  

That’s solid right now he’s telling me the two things is the day you transfer the money right and the day you retire the day or entire things are gonna go down. Like anything else you want to add to your process before we change over?

Matt  

No, just that you’ve got to approach us with the whitest of white gloves like you really got to there is no concern that’s too small. All emails are responded to with phone calls. There’s none of this Hey, the clients gonna figure this out. It is their first time their entire life savings is in motion. And not just the transfers themselves. And not just the big deal. They’re already hesitant when they make a big decision. Everyone has cold feet. Everyone has buyer’s remorse to some extent. And I need to do everything I possibly can to resolve that.

Micah

Yeah, the first year is really set your referral program in place as well. So there’s good reasons for that as well. Alright, transition a little to my process. So a little bit more in depth. Same concept, though, right is we have a system to get clients ready to be on our normal client rotation. That’s what we’re going for. If we go a little bit more in depth in these this is what I would say Jarvis feel free to push back I would say the number one thing that gets missed saw is remember to think that clients in the first couple of meetings it’s important we also send out a new client welcome gift to clients. Now if you can send out a welcome gift, I like to send it to their work if they’re still working. So everybody gets the this welcome gift that they got. We have a great bakery up here in Alaska, Alaska cupcake factory and we have sent out cupcakes to them. It goes over smashingly! So pick something that you can send out, send it out to their works and under the home if you need to, but thank them when they’re coming in. For that next meeting and you’re going through your how things are set up. Remember to thank them right so you this is a big transition for you and I totally understand that and we’re going to be here with you to make sure that you’re taking care of. So recognizing that they might have some concerns. Another thing that I like to go into we start breaking out of already planted the seeds we have our five areas of financial planning, right estate planning, risk management, retirement income investments, and taxes those above. And I like to now start distinguishing between Hey, this was before you were a client and now you are a client these meetings are going to be different. And so as I get into this meeting, ever want to ask about any questions or concerns they have. That’s always the same format. Then I go into setting the stage about why this meeting is different than our previous ones. A and our previous ones. Our meeting was a bit of a scatterplot. We talked about a lot of different things. As you know, the most important part about a financial plan is that getting a plan but implementing that plan. And so what we’re going to do is be laser focused in these meetings. It is my job to make sure bringing up just one area of financial planning to make progress on that Mr. Mrs. Client, it’s your job to make sure bring it up any other questions or concerns you have about estate planning or not or whatever we’re talking about are not please bring those up so we can make sure that they’re addressed. Sometimes it’s like hey, is that in a couple of months? Is it okay? If we wait, and sometimes it’s such a priority? We have to address it now. But there’s never any question too small. We want to know what these are. Is that going to be okay? So I’m always setting that for the first two meetings reiterating that that framework, I don’t really need that third meeting. So the first meeting is estate planning. Now one of the things I’ve already done I let them know in the previous meeting about this right when they onboard, that we were going to send them out a boilerplate letter about estate planning. I don’t care if you have already done it, I don’t care if they haven’t done it. Everybody gets a boilerplate letter and we tell them that and we kind of review that right what’s a will what’s a healthcare directive? What’s the durable power of attorney what’s a trust so that they can come with a little bit more education?

Matt  

Micah what do you what do you do for clients that had just done their estate documents right? Or just like, hey, my attorney takes care of that one. How do you deal with those situations?

Micah  

You know, I love those questions. It’s one of the things let’s say it’s the the first one which is Micah I just said that. Oh, that is fantastic. Jarvis you work with ABC attorney. They do a great job. We do a lot of work with them. You know, one of the things that attorney does really good as drafting the documents, and they’re really good, like some funding, but sometimes we see some other funding and financial assets get missed, and you’re paying us to make sure the I’s are dotted and T’s are crossed. I’d love to spend just a little bit talking about it. And if it’s only a 10 minute conversation, and that attorney did absolute everything perfect, great. We can check off our box and we can move right along. But I hate not to look at it just might be something missing. Is it okay if we spent 10 minutes in chat about this?  Yeah,

Matt  

Yeah, I think that’s spot on. I think we as advisors, we have to remember that you know, clients have a busy life. You know, we think about all this financial aspects, they think about 1000 other things right, right. And so it’s easy to compartmentalize, oh, my attorney care, the state documents that’s in that box, that box is checked, that’s done, I can move on to everything else, my grocery list, whatever else and so it does help to articulate to clients Hey, my job is to look into all of these boxes, right? We’re going to use the attorney same for taxes, getting for insurance, same for investing it My job is to also look into here to make sure that nothing got missed. 

Micah  

That’s it now if they’re just in the process of it, I’m using filler the same way hey, my attorney takes care of it. Yeah, attorneys do a great job and in fact, I am not an attorney. I cannot draft any of these documents. But let’s talk about where these kind of intersect. It’s my job to help make sure your beneficiaries are up to date. Well sometimes Mr. Guy now I know it’s not you. So forgiveness is probably a bad example for you. Sometimes I find with some clients is their estate planning says one thing, but their beneficiaries say something completely different. And I know it’s not you, but I’d still like to check it just to make sure because I want to make sure that every dime of your money goes to who you want it to go to. Is that okay? If we chatted about this for just a little bit.

Matt  

Yeah, no, we’ve done entire classes Micah on estate planning. You did an entire masterclass on estate planning and there’s so there’s a lot of nuances when you’re doing the state plan. There’s a lot of landmines in there. There’s a lot of things where you got to draw it out on a piece of paper. There’s family dynamics, like this is not something to go into place against. They want to make sure you’re reversed on estate planning before you go deep into it.

Micah  

Amen. So a couple of things. I want to move on to the next one too. Right. I want to come with a net worth statement and if I haven’t beneficiary report those are really handy to show him that many of them may not be deliverables to the client but they’re very helpful for me to see what’s going to be there and then I’m not getting into documents we talked about this and estate planning masterclass great reminder on that Jarvis, but I want to know from them, God forbid if something happens to one of you. What do we want to see take place? Yeah, God forbid when something happens to both of you. What do you want to see take place? And that’s the only question that I asked. And then I get the feedback from them. Now I’ve already read the documents. And so now I’m trying to match up the stories. That’s my job, right? They’re telling me AB and what’s in the stiffeners. Okay, great. I just love to hear it in your words. Right? And they tell me what it is. And it’s my job to read that say, oh, it matches or oh, it doesn’t match. Now we need to have a separate conversation.

Matt  

Yeah, yeah. It’s a critical thing to go through because no one’s ever gone through that with them. Right. The attorneys never done that. Maybe we want attorney somewhere in the universe is doing that. Not they don’t know what it says they’ve not looked through it closely. Half the time the documents are wrong they have wrong people’s names and other misspelled whatever the case may be. And so yeah, Micah I love that he what what is it that you want to happen? And that discussion is coming long before we’re talking about estate taxes are paid or, or testamentary trusts like what is it that you’d like to have happened to? It’s a key that discussion.

Micah  

The endpoint of that not in that meeting, but at a future one, I created an estate planning flowchart, which is a one pager that says when they die, where does all of their money go? And that is really big. I do try to bring the attorney in with that one as well to get them to sign off on it, but pretty much trying to sum up all of their state planning documents on a one pager.

Matt  

Micah, in this estate planning, media awareness, discussions of estate planning, are you trying to get a hold of the beneficiaries or the contingent trustees does that come in? Because again, when we’re talking about referrals onboarding process, sometimes we’ll read people say, hey, this, what you should do is you should try to get all the beneficiaries as clients, or whatever the case would be. I’m just curious how you handle that. 

Micah  

No, no, we make sure we have good contact information on the beneficiaries, right in case we need to reach out and help with that process. But no, I’m not reaching out. I’m not introducing myself. We’re not trying to bring them on as clients. None of that this is just about are the clients wishes going to be fulfilled by their documents when they pass away? 

Matt  

Yeah, and I know that some people tried to do that. And I would just put a lot of caution there. Because as soon as the client thinks that you’re using this to somehow farm them for names or selling something, the whole thing shuts down. So you need to be very, very careful. Anytime you’re trying to solicit referrals, you have to be very careful because it quickly turns into an adversarial relationship which is not ever what we want in the way I get most contact with them. 

Micah  

Jarvis I say, one of the things that a lot of our clients like to do is they make sure their kids or their spouse or whoever has our contact information because we have copies of all of these documents. We talked about pros and cons of why we should have copies the and how we’ve helped clients. Right? And you know, we’re kind of the second phone call that happens and then we started the ball rolling now if your kids don’t want that they want to handle it themselves are more than welcome to We Don’t get in the way. But you’re going to be a client for a very long time and we want to make sure that you’re taking care of it even after you pass away.

Hi TPR listeners. We hope that you enjoy this sneak peek of our upcoming masterclass on the prospect process. Be sure to email us at lifestyle@theperfectria.com to be updated on our masterclass releases.

Matt  

Before we leave a quick word from our sponsors. Everybody wants you to take a quick look around your office and on your desk. There should be the retirement Tax Services desktop tax guide. And if it’s not there, or if it’s not current, meaning you didn’t download in the last month, go to retirementtaxservices.com and download the desktop tax guide. This is a must have resource for every financial advisor committed to tax planning. 

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