Getting away from the head trash and going into client meetings in the right mindset is so important. So today Matt and Micah discuss some really incredible insight found in recent content on the Kitces website. They talk about how you could be doing a massive disservice to your clients if you’re going into meetings with a certain mindset—and how to avoid this.
Listen in to hear some different ways to re-think the way you go into meetings in order to ensure that your mind and focus are in the right place. You’ll learn how to know if you’re not delivering massive value, how to educate your clients, and more.
Listen to the Full Episode:
What You’ll Learn In Today’s Episode:
- What client meetings should NOT be focused on.
- The key to being able to charge premium fees.
- Indicators that you’re not delivering massive value.
- How Matt and Micah ensure massive value is delivered.
- Why meetings don’t have to be an hour.
- How to make sure you cover topics your client truly needs.
- When to have meetings and how to prepare clients for meetings.
Ideas Worth Sharing:There’s no prize for average performance. – Brian Tracy Click To Tweet That whole mindset is focused around you, and that’s not what a client meeting should be focused around. – @ThePerfectRIA Click To Tweet We’re big advocates of charging a premium fee, but you have to—in every performance—deliver massive value. – @ThePerfectRIA Click To Tweet
Resources In Today’s Episode:
- Matt Jarvis: Website | LinkedIn
- Micah Shilanski: Website | LinkedIn | Twitter
- The Backstage Pass
- The Perfect RIA LinkedIn Page
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Read the Transcript Below:
This is The Perfect RIA, in case you didn’t know. Bringing you all the strategies to help your business grow. Are you happy? Are you satisfied? Are you hanging on the edge of your seat? Sit back and listen in while you feel the beat. Another myth bites the dust…
Matthew Jarvis: Hello, everyone. Welcome to another awesome episode of The Perfect RIA podcast. I’m your co-host Matthew Jarvis. And with me, as always, the man, the myth, the legend, Micah Shilanski. Micah, how are you today?
Micah Shilanski: Jarvis, it is another day in winter paradise. We are doing pretty good up here in the great land, not freezing too much. What about yourself?
Matthew Jarvis: I’m doing good. I’ve, of course, been in client surge meetings this week, which I know you have been as well, when we’re recording this. And I was on a virtual Zoom meeting with a client and I’m drinking my tea, and as I bring the tea cup up, I realize that it’s the coffee cup that you got me. And it says the man, the myth, the legend. And I’m quickly turning it, holding my hand around the tea cup like I’m trying to survive, because it’s got this quote from you. Thank you for that.
Micah Shilanski: You’re welcome. I’m just trying to help you out whenever I can.
Matthew Jarvis: Yeah, perfect. Well, speaking of client meetings, Micah, you’ve been in surge these last couple weeks, as have I.
Micah Shilanski: Right.
Matthew Jarvis: And at the same time that we’re doing surge, the same time that we’re recording this, some great content came out on the Kitces website, which… Micah, you and I were trying to decide where the Kitces site ranks as far as sites in our industry.
Micah Shilanski: You know, I was. I was looking at it and trying to compare. Clearly, Kitces is number one, right?
Matthew Jarvis: Yep.
Micah Shilanski: But obviously, not only Kitces site is number one, I also think it’s number two, three, and potentially four. Because who even comes close to the Kitces website with regards to content, all the way across the spectrum?
Matthew Jarvis: I’ll confess, it is one of my guilty pleasures. I’m in there, and I hate to admit this, almost every day, just like, ooh, I wonder what new article is posted or what new podcast Advisor’s Success episode is up. That is one of my guilty pleasures and there was some great content, as there always is this recently, on doing client meetings. And Micah, they really kicked off with something important that really struck a chord for you.
Micah Shilanski: You know, they did. They went through and then with this whole thing and they had some good ideas in there. And I think they were picking on this one thing, which I would agree with, it was the mindset of how possibly a lot of advisors go into meetings. And I know I used to have this and this is a total head trash thing. And if you go into a meeting with this mindset, you are doing a massive disservice to your clients. And that’s the mindset of when you go into the meeting, it’s all about a fee justification for you. Are you happy with me, am I doing a good job, do you want to keep working with me? That whole mindset is focused around you and that’s not what a client meeting should be focused about. It should be about them, the clients, and how you’re delivering massive value. And if you are so worried about your fees and your position, are they going to keep you hired, you are not delivering massive value in that relationship. And it really just jumped out at me when they were going through that.
Matthew Jarvis: Totally, it is. And it made me think of a sort of a corollary, pre-COVID of course, which would be… I love going to see live performances, including theatrical performances, so I’ve been to Broadway and I’ve seen Broadway shows and the tickets there are four or five or $1,000 a piece to see, versus the local community theater in my neighborhood, that the tickets are $20 to go see. And you say, well, why is the community theater $20 and the Broadway seats are $1,000? And the answer is pretty clear when we use that. The answer is the quality, the performance, the deliverable is so much better on a Broadway theater production than it is in the local theater. That’s the fee disparity. And so Micah, I think this translates to you and I. We’re big advocates of charging a premium fee, but you have to, in every performance, deliver massive value, or in this example, Broadway-level value.
Micah Shilanski: And there’s a great quote, I’m pretty sure it’s from Fred Astaire that I really love. And it was when he was doing performances all the time and a reporter was asking him in an interview saying, “Well, how come you can come out and get on the stage every single time and give this phenomenal performance as if it was your first time, but you’ve done this thousands and thousands of times?” And Fred Astaire turns around and says, “Look, this may be my 10,000th time of doing this, but for that audience member, that’s their first.”
Matthew Jarvis: That’s right.
Micah Shilanski: And that’s what we have to remember. That’s the excitement, the understanding, the compassion, all of those things we have to bring to every single client meeting, which is why I get excited about surge. This is go time, it is time to deliver that massive value on a huge, huge basis.
Matthew Jarvis: It really is. And I think a couple of indicators of that, that I’ve seen in my life, earlier in my career, an indicator that you’re not delivering massive value in a client meeting, is that you’re frantically preparing at the last second. The client is in the lobby, they’re in the conference room waiting for you and you’re quickly shuffling through papers, and you’re clicking through screens, and you’re thinking, oh my goodness, what are we going to talk about today? That’s an indication that you’re not delivering massive value in your client meetings.
Micah Shilanski: Totally agreed. Let’s go through a couple more, what is not massive value? And now let’s flip around and how we deliver massive value in our surge meetings. What do you think?
Matthew Jarvis: Yeah, that’d be great. I would say another one on that list is any kind of market commentary. Now I want to distinguish a little bit here and we’ll share some examples with this episode. I often like to have a piece of market education. So you might say, well, Matthew that’s semantics. Well, it’s semantics if market commentary… My definition would be, anything that’s talking about the current environment, interest rates, what I think the market’s going to do, PE ratios, yada, yada, yada, anything that was on CNN this week. What I consider market education, is if we’re looking at, I don’t know, presidential election cycles over the last 100 years. If we’re looking at the increase in computing power or the increase of productivity or something that looks broader than just right now.
Micah Shilanski: Right. And really what that does well, that’s the value side, so we’ll get into that. But another thing that is not in value, is having a meeting for an hour to have a meeting for an hour. Time does not equal value. The more time you have on your butt on your seat in your office does not equal value. It’s about delivering value consistently. A time in a conference room or on Zoom with a client call, does not equal value. I can have some highly-valued meetings with clients that are complex situations and… One client in particular, our meetings are never over 30 minutes, owns multiple businesses, does a lot of stuff, he’s a very high D, he comes in, we fly through things really, really quickly. He delegates and moves on. He is not about wasting his time, which is great, really enjoy that. That does not have to be an hour, don’t stretch meetings when they don’t need to be.
Matthew Jarvis: Wait, wait a second, Micah, could this be a conflict of interest with hourly financial advisors? Do they in fact have a conflict to waste the client’s time?
Micah Shilanski: Comments are now flying in, thanks.
Matthew Jarvis: That’s right, keep those coming. What is massive value? Carl Richards in the Kitces blog, he touched on this example of when you come in, ask the client, Do we need to make any changes to the agenda?” And I think that’s a great start, but that is a yes or no question. It’s a great start, it’s certainly better than you launching into anything else. The next level, we would call like a Backstage Pass or a TPR level would be, what else do we need to add to the agenda? It makes it open-ended, no is not an answer to what else. Actually Micah, I had this come up last week. I said, “Mr. and Mrs. Client, I’m really glad to see you. We’ve got several things I want to cover today. What else do we need to add to the list?” And it suddenly got very quiet and it got very serious. I could really feel this seriousness in the room. And the client says, “Well, Matthew, I really didn’t want to say this, but I just got diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease.”
Micah Shilanski: Wow.
Matthew Jarvis: Wow. Suddenly, the whole agenda gets torn up. I didn’t physically tear it up, but everything we were going to talk about, now doesn’t matter. Now, if I had just given him a yes or no, would they have volunteered that? Probably not, because they were pretty hesitant to reveal that, but that’s a major issue. That’s how I can deliver massive value. I’m not saying, “Hey, let’s look at what CNN says about the markets this week.”
Micah Shilanski: And that what else question, that’s actually something I really picked up from you, because I used to say anything else and I’ve changed it to what else? And it’s a huge change. Because anything else is more of a no, yes or no question, versus what else really puts the emphasis on them coming up with something to add to the agenda, which again, we get a whole marketing aspect of it, makes them buy into the agenda even more, as well. But it really creates that opportunity for them to share with you, which is what you need to see. Because little things like this, if you would have continued on in your presentation and he’s thinking about Parkinson’s, he’s not listening to a bloody thing you’re saying.
Matthew Jarvis: No, Nope, he’s really not.
Micah Shilanski: Let’s move a little bit and talk about how massive value. Now, we just did our TPR Live event, which is just outstanding. And we went through how to run a client meeting in-depth in TPR Live. And one of the things that we went inside of there that we’ve implemented was kind of this six point of contact structure in our office when a client is getting ready for a meeting. Something I do not follow, which is some of those old coaching models that are out there and I still hear people talking about them like the 12, six, four, two, or was it six, two and one, depending on your different levels of clients. They have these different service models, you’re supposed to touch base with them once every single month, then you’re supposed to have a call with them, then you’re supposed to have in-person meetings with them so many times. And I think you’re having meetings for the sake of having meetings.
We want to do our meetings when there’s a need for the client to come in, not quarterly because that’s when the fees coming out, not once a month because I’m guilty and I think I need to reach out to them, but where am I delivering value? That’s number one. Whenever we’re setting our meetings, it’s about what decision points need to be made and when do I need a client in about those decision points. That’s how we base our meetings. Then when a client comes in for a meeting, the meeting is based… We have six points of contact with that meeting. We call to schedule the meeting, we have a pre-appointment email we send two weeks before the meeting because our meetings are booked months in advance, two weeks before the meeting, we send an email, this is something we started this last year and clients absolutely love it, telling them what the agenda is going to be and asking them what else they would like to add to that agenda. And even if they have nothing to add, clients love getting that feedback, they love sending an email, they’re super grateful for that.
Matthew Jarvis: Micah, I’m just going to interject here. This is not the automatic confirmation email generated by your calendar, right? This isn’t just the generic, come 15 minutes early, here’s the link.
Micah Shilanski: No, thank you for that clarification. We’ll post it in Backstage Pass for our members. This is a personalized email from the relationship manager. It’s a bit of a template, just to be fair, because it is, but it’s a personalized email to that client going over what our agenda’s going to be. And it comes directly from her, they get an email directly back for any feedback that gets put into our meeting agenda. Whatever their response is, gets put into our meeting agenda, printed out when that client comes in.
Matthew Jarvis: Now, Micah, that’s got to take some time from your team and for advisors with small teams, they could be doing that themselves. But this is where we distinguished mediocre advisors from advisors who are delivering massive value. If you just want to have the autoresponder go out, great. Go for that. But don’t be surprised when Micah ends up with your client. Don’t be surprised when you go for a fee increase and they say, “Eh, I don’t know. I heard Vanguard, who sends the same generic emails, will do it for 30 bips.
Micah Shilanski: Right. And yes, this takes time, but oh my gosh, this isn’t rocket science. It’s not like it takes weeks and weeks to do. This is something pretty quickly you can get in place with again, it’s a high-touch conversation you’re having with a client. That’s two, third one is going to be the appointment confirmation. That’s going to be a little bit more of the generic one, a couple of days out, making sure they’re confirmed, either by email or phone call, whatever their preference. Then we have our meeting, and then we have two post-appointment followups. We have a letter or a BombBomb that’s going to be sent out to them, a video email. And then our team is going to call them three to five days after their appointment to follow up with their homework, to see where they’re at in getting their things done, and to see if they had any additional questions after their meeting.
That’s six phenomenal points of contact spanding a couple of weeks pre and post the meeting and the meeting in-between. Clients love it, so when you want to talk about really adding value, I got a lot of high-focus content right there with the client, focused all around them, not around a marketing piece, not around something else, about them and a personalized meeting.
Matthew Jarvis: Oh, I love it. And Micah, something that came out of Live, Live 2020… And Live 2021 is posted now, you can go check that out, theperfectria.com/live. One thing that I got out of it, and this is why I love these live events, is that I get to learn so much from other advisors, from what’s really working in the trenches. You mentioned that follow-up call, that’s something that we had previously not been doing in our office. And after hearing you talk about, that’s really something that I want to implement. That’s how we can add the next level of value. And so again, while you can learn great things from industry commentators, you can learn so much more, so much deeper from advisors. Like I said, Micah, you’re coming out of surge right now or you’re in the middle of it as we’re recording this and we’ve got 150 medians throughout your surge. Talk about having a chance to dial it in.
Micah Shilanski: Yeah, exactly. Because it is really, in my surge schedule, it’s one meeting to the next, I’m doing seven to eight meetings a day, except for on Fridays, it’s only four. So it feels like there’s nothing going on, on Fridays. But yeah, just the four meetings on Friday. I get about 32 to 35 meetings a week and I go for about four to six weeks, depending on spring or fall for my surge. That’s a lot of meetings and this is where your team is so important, because me doing this by myself would be a nightmare, my team coming together and putting this in. But this is a way that I can go from one meeting to the next and not have the clients feel like it’s a doctor’s office. Not have them feel like they’re sheep going through a line, through a process, et cetera. It’s a unique experience for every client because we’re embracing the team to help with that communication.
Matthew Jarvis: Yep. I want to talk about Micah, if we can, something that I think is probably, in my mind or my experience, the most important, perhaps second most, but I think most important thing in a client meeting or actually taken as this, what else at the beginning. I think in my mind is, at the end of the meeting, I have written down in front of them, any action items to which I have committed. They see me writing down… Micah, I know you do the same thing on your iPad, but writing down, hey, we’ll send you a copy of X by this date. Not by some future date, by Tuesday. And I take time when I say, I go through those, “Hey, we’re going to do this by this date, we’re going to do this by this date.
What else does my team need to do for you?” Again, that’s that what else does my team need to do for you? And they’re so impressed that I’ve taken note of what I said I was going to do because that’s the core of everything. Do what you say you’re going to do. And then they say, “Oh, you know what, Matthew? I had this, this week. That value ad you sent us about beneficiaries”, which we’ll post to the Backstage Pass, they said, “I would love a second copy of that to give to my friend.” I don’t think… Perfect. Perfect. But had I not—I’m delighted to help you. Can you send me referrals? Had I not said, what else does my team need to do for you, that would have never come up, that referral opportunity would have disappeared.
Micah Shilanski: One of the things that I love with this, what else, that’s there, is it allows you to embrace your team to help. Jarvis doesn’t say, “What else can I do for you?” He said, “What else can my team do for you?” He’s really showing that it’s the whole team which is going to come behind. And this could be easy things like sending them out beneficiary designations. You know what, sometimes clients don’t get around to scheduling the appointment with the estate planning attorney. We run that through our office, or track down tax documents for them, or help them do conference calls and set up meetings. These are things that our team is easily set up to do and they can embrace and help with the client. These things are massive value adds because again, massive value doesn’t equal time. You sending that extra beneficiary report was a huge value add to your client because she wanted it for her friend, but it didn’t take you much time to do it.
Matthew Jarvis: No, no, it didn’t take much time at all. But again, it’s that next level of performance, the next level of performance is the what else? The next level of performance is when you and I are doing case prep. We talked at the beginning of this podcast, people going into the episode or into their meeting saying, oh man, I hope the client still likes me. And we’re preparing to say, the clients coming in, they’ve invested their valuable time to come and see me. I’ve got to come to the table with massive value. And that’s something we say all the time and I think sometimes people think it’s a cliche, but it’s not. When I’m doing case prep, I’m thinking, all right, I’m going to sit down with this client, they’ve spent time to come see me, how do I deliver massive value? If my entire relationship, if my entire fee for the year was dependent on this one meeting, how do I deliver that much value?
Micah Shilanski: Boy, I absolutely just love that mindset, putting it all on the line for this one meeting and pushing yourself. Now, that also adds a bit of stress, just to be clear. You’ve got to be able to thrive in that environment. But if you’re always pushing that bar again, as you said, you go up against an advisor, who’s not doing it, you’re going to win the client relationship. There’s such a night and day difference.
Matthew Jarvis: Perfect. One other thing I would add to this, is anything that the client does not want to talk about. Now, I want to be careful here because for example, very rarely does a client want to talk about long-term care or want to talk about estate planning. But when I’m in a meeting, whatever topic we’re discussing, I’m constantly gauging the client’s interest in that topic. And Micah, this goes to your point about the length of the meeting. Just because I have an hour set aside on my calendar, does not mean this needs to take an hour. If I am in there and I’m noticing the client is… These are subtle things, they’re leaning back a little bit, they’re crossing their arms, they’re just kind of nodding their head, they’re not really engaged. That’s my cue to wrap up that topic. And I’ve had this happen, Micah, I know you have too.
I spent a lot of time getting ready to deliver massive value in one area. And they say, “Actually Matthew, this happened and so we don’t need to do that at all.” Perfect. I need to be ready to set that completely aside. An example, I can be ready to talk about Roth conversions and they say, “Well Matthew, I just sold an investment property. I’ve got $200,000 of gains, I’m not doing any Roth conversions this year.” Perfect, great. I’m not going to keep belaboring that point. It’s immediately going to get slid to the side.
Micah Shilanski: Yep, absolutely. I think those are just key things that are there, being able to have multiple value adds that you can talk about in the meeting. No Jarvis, how long do you spend in a meeting talking about the markets, talking about the economy, talking about their performance, those types of things.
Matthew Jarvis: At least an hour or two.
Micah Shilanski: For my 50-minute meeting, I spend two hours—
Matthew Jarvis: It’s just like that timeshare. If you rent it out for 600 days a year, it will pay for itself. Maybe a couple of minutes, and it’s always at the end, and we’re typically just looking at it in dollars. So we’re saying, “Hey, last year we picked up $200,000 in growth. Earlier this year we gave back all of that and then we’ve since earned it back. And I’m translating it into dollars. Mostly what we’re looking at is, how much money’s in your war chest.” Especially right now, when people are nervous or saying, “Hey, this is our chunk of the world’s greatest companies. Here’s our war chest.” So whatever happens during the elections or COVID or interest rates or China, or whatever’s on their mind, look, we’ve got five years of a buffer. Do you feel like that’s enough to weather the storm? How about you, Micah? I know you’re spending hours on it.
Micah Shilanski: Yeah, hours in. I would say like five minutes is try to what I keep it to, that’s there. And I would say that’s kind of my max inside of there. And that’s going over where they’re at, money-wise, et cetera, as well as some market conditions and things we should be thinking about. Because I do like to frame in a client’s mind when a big event happens, how they’ve seen those things before. Right? Whether it was COVID, of just saying, all right, this is the apocalypse du jour. Let’s go back to December of 2018, let’s go back to this, let’s go back to this, and reminding them that we’ve been here before, reminding them that this… These presidential elections, they’re almost like they’re on a cycle. They happen every few years. These are things that I just like to remind clients about in the meeting, of where we’re at.
But then I go through the exact same thing, dollars, how much money did they make. Clients can’t spend a percentage, it’s dollars. How much money do they make, where does that put them on track on the retirement side, that goes back on that bucket scenario. You call it war chest, I call it buckets. Do they have enough money to bridge a gap in the downturn? I hit that, the big thing, and I say the growth money will do what it’s going to do. It’s going to go up, it’s going to go down, and we’re going to let it go.
Matthew Jarvis: Yeah. Related to that, sometimes clients will try to corner you for some kind of market forecast or prognostication. “Matthew, what do you think the markets will do after the election? What do you think they’ll do after the first of the year?” Or I’ll love when they’ll say, “I know that you can’t predict the future Matthew, but what do you think the markets will do next year?” Wait, wait, that’s literally predicting the future. But I’ll never bite on that one because I hate being wrong. If I try to predict the market, there’s at least a 50% chance I’m wrong. It seems to be more frequent than that. So I’m just never going to do that, I’ll always go back to long-term plan. We know that no matter who’s elected president, the markets, the world’s greatest companies will find a way to thrive. I’m never going to make a market forecast, I’m never going to get into politics, and I will never take a side. I’ll never say, well, Republican, Democrat, whatever. I’m never going to get into any of that. There’s no win there.
Micah Shilanski: One of the things that I like to do when I’m framing that conversation when clients are there, but whatever events is going to happen, I said… Especially the speed in which information transfers right now, I’m not getting it at ragged on media companies, I’m just saying the speed in which information transfers sometimes makes us a little bit more emotional. “Now, Mr. and Mrs. Client, I know you are not an emotional investor. Our point of view is the long-term perspective, so we’re not going to get caught up in the whipsaws of up and down in the market in the short term. That’s the reason we have your buckets. That’s the reason we have two years in cash, we have three years in income, to make sure you don’t get caught up in that whipsaw. And we’re going to let the emotional investors worry about that. We’re going to focus on the longterm where the markets go up over time.”
Matthew Jarvis: Micah, here’s a question for you on meetings, how much of your client review meetings are the same, surge meeting to surge meeting, and how much is different? How much is kind of a templated approach and how much is really specific to that meeting, barring of course, the clients and he got diagnosed with Parkinson’s?
Micah Shilanski: Of course. Well, our template is always the same with our timeframe for opening the meeting, for going through the meeting, for closing the meeting. Those things are always going to be the same. Our content is going to shift from time to time. We’re always going to talk about where they’re at, unless the market’s down, then I tell them they shouldn’t look at their statements. And I do literally say that. Why don’t we talk in six months? But we’ll generally always talk about where they’re at. We’re always going to talk about cashflow, I’m a huge cashflow fan. We always talk about checking, savings, spending, et cetera. Those are kind of the two things that are always consistent in our meetings. And the other ones will be rotating at one or two value adds that are there. So it could be taxes, taxes tend to come up quite frequently in our meetings. That could be one, Roth conversion is, et cetera, then another value add.
Matthew Jarvis: Yeah. Yeah, I was going to say, same for me. We’ll rotate in a value add each surge meetings cycle, but otherwise, it’s again, what else is on your mind? Guardrails or buckets? Where are you at on the plan? All those things.
Micah Shilanski: Yep. And then clients always have other things that are—especially with this pre-email. And again, I’m just going to preach excited, this is what I really love right now. Getting the client’s questions in advance, that’s saving probably 10 to 15 minutes in meeting time, by the way. Not only am I prepared to answer their questions in the meeting, they’ve had a chance to contribute to that agenda. It’s working really nicely.
Matthew Jarvis: I love that. It also makes your job a lot easier. For someone like Micah, you’ve probably sat through thousands of meetings in your career. For a newer advisor, who’s saying, “Oh man. I’m nervous going into these meetings. I want to deliver massive value.” This contact ahead of time makes your job so much easier, it’s like a softball pitch to yourself. To use that tool, not only does it deliver value to the client, it makes your life that much easier. They email back and say, Micah, the only thing I really want to talk about is, I heard about Roth conversions, can we talk about those? Yes, we can. Perfect. In fact, I will be so ready for that.
Micah Shilanski: And here’s my tax report that shows Roth conversions, here’s the projection on your income, let’s make sure we’re set up inside of there. Yep. And then the only other thing that I will consistently do is planting seeds. If there’s something that I want to do in the future, I will generally plant that seed one to two times in advance before we do it. Example, you just said it, Roth conversions. If I want to do a Roth conversion with a client, and let’s say they’re working and their income’s high, I’m going to say, “Mr. and Mrs. Client, remember that when you retire, we’re going to want to change how we’re investing. We’re going to want to do some Roth conversions so we can lower your taxes over time. Is that going to be okay with you?” Yes. Great. Just to let you know, I’m planting the seed. There’s nothing to do now, but it gets a little complex, so I want to make sure we’re talking about it in advance.
Matthew Jarvis: Yep. I do the same thing with required distributions. “Hey, in four years you’re going to be subject to required distributions. Great news. Our office will calculate that and track it. And when we get there, we’ll advise you on how to do that. But for now, I just want you to know that we’re keeping an eye on it. So when you hear things about it, know that we’ve got it covered.”
Micah Shilanski: Medicare, another one. Take these things that you know, the clients are going to hear about. You need to tell them about it in advance because what happen… You don’t talk about RMDs because the client is 68 and now it’s 72 before they have to take RMDs. Do they know that? Nope. Their friend still tells them it’s 70 and a half. So now they’re 69 and you, their advisor, has not brought up RMDs. In your mind, you’re like, dude, it’s three years away. We don’t need to talk about it. No, you need to bring it up years in advance of what you’re going to do. Again, you’re planting that seed, checking the box that you were… And there’s so many great things, right? It puts them in a wonderful position because you know you’re talking about it. It also puts you in their future of this is a longer term relationship and that you’re going to be together for a longer stent than just one year at a time. There’s many benefits to doing this.
Matthew Jarvis: Yeah. It’s these small things that makes such a big difference. Well, Micah, should we pivot to action items? Of course, this podcast is all about taking action because as much as we enjoy talking to you, unless you’re implementing this, it doesn’t count for much. Micah, let’s talk about our action items list for our listeners.
Micah Shilanski: I would say the first thing is, you need to ask yourself, how are you delivering massive value in your next meeting? And if all you have is market commentary, if all you have is performance and where they’re at in retirement, that’s not massive value, that’s an Excel calculator. What are you doing to add massive value?
Matthew Jarvis: I love that. And related to that, if you’re looking at that and you’re saying, Oh man, Micah, I want to deliver massive value or I want to up my massive value game and I’m not really sure how to do that because I hear kind of this stuff, I hear industry studies and industry experts. The best thing you can do is sit down with advisors who are delivering massive value and learn from them. We talked about in this episode, things that Micah and I have learned from each other, and we spend a lot of time together and we both had these great practices, but we’re still always looking for how things can get better. By the way, this what else question, I actually got this from my CPA years ago. I’m meeting with my CPA and she says, “Matthew, what else?” And she would ask that question until I said, “Yeah, that’s really everything. I can’t think of anything else.” And she’d say, “Are you sure? Is there anything else?” And I thought, this is brilliant. This really drew out things.
Everywhere you go, look for what’s working and what’s not. And if at all possible find other successful advisors. Selfish plug for the Backstage Pass, for Live events, things where you can get together with advisors who are crushing it and share ideas with each other.
Micah Shilanski: And I take this same aspect whenever I go to any other professional office, pretty much any other office because I love talking shop to begin with. But I’m always looking at their efficiencies. How are they running their practice, what’s good, what’s bad, what can I take from outside from a different industry and pull it into our practice to make it better? You can see massive value items everywhere, once you start looking for them.
Matthew Jarvis: The last one I would add to the list, and I would confess that I’ve only done this on occasion because my ego is not always this strong, and that is to ask the client at the beginning or end of the meeting, or in a follow-up later, “Hey, what would make these meetings more valuable to you? What part do you like? And just be honest, what parts do not like, where am I wasting your time?” You’ve got to be ready for that and you’ve got to come with sincerity, because clients will be a little hesitant to share that feedback. But if you come to the table with, “Hey, it’s really important to me that these meetings are worth your time. What are we doing well? And to be really honest, what could we do better in these? Where are we falling flat?” And you’ll get incredible feedback and you’ll get loyal clients for life.
Micah Shilanski: Absolutely. As long as you do what they said, by the way,
Matthew Jarvis: Don’t ask if you’re not going to implement.
Micah Shilanski: Awesome Jarvis, this has been amazing. Hopefully this was really helpful out there to all the TPR Nation. Again, special thank you to Kitces and Carl for bringing up this conversation. Really great, especially Kitces’ matchmaking website is always great, it’s how we met. That’s a joke by the way.
Matthew Jarvis: Well, the matchmaking site is a joke, it is how we met, though.
Micah Shilanski: That is correct. The matchmaking site is just a joke. All right. Well until next time, happy planning.
Matthew Jarvis: Happy planning.
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