A holistic approach to financial advisingSubmitted by Agrawal Associates on February 20th, 2017
February 28, 2017
More than 80 Investors Group financial consultants gathered together earlier this month for an extensive training session focused on improving the client experience.
Led by Girish Agrawal, the financial advising training session was the third of four hosted by Agrawal Associates.
With close to 25 years’ experience in the financial industry, Girish continually stresses the importance of developing long-term relationships between advisors and clients.
“With a solid understanding of financial concepts, I have been able to develop further ways of creating and identifying solutions for clients,” explains Girish. “It has also allowed me to create a vision and ethical standards for my team and my practice, to ensure clients are served in the most appropriate manner.”
Goals versus actions
Creating and identifying solutions for clients relies on information and insights. Let’s say Jane Smith wants to make monthly contributions to her RRSP investment to save for retirement. Is that necessarily the best strategy for her retirement goal? Jane’s financial consultant can help her explore options to achieve her goal.
During training for both executive and senior financial consultants, Agrawal emphasized three points to improve the client experience:
- Identify client needs
Every client will come to their financial consultant with different long and short-term goals. A valued advisor will help identify goals rather than actions early in the relationship. While Jane Smith may have a goal of saving for retirement and have a RRSP action plan in mind, Girish recommends consultants focus on larger goals rather than singular tactics.
- Offer information and guidance
With the goal firmly established, now is the opportunity for consultants to provide insights and perspectives on the options available. Girish looks at the initial plan presented by Jane and offers alternatives, along with advantages and disadvantages of both. The more product knowledge a consultant has, the more options and context they can offer a client to best support their goals.
- Facilitate client-led action
Ultimately, it’s Jane’s choice on how she wants to proceed. Following Girish’s mentorship and vision, the Agrawal Associates team don’t “sell” plans to clients. Instead, they help clients like Jane understand opportunities. This philosophy asks the client to take the lead on making change, identifying for herself which option will meet her goals.
These three basic steps are part of relationship building. Focusing on a long-term relationship between the consultant and client will lead to success.
“Do things over a lifetime with clients — not all in the first meeting,” advises Agrawal. “Set up your future with client success, not the other way around.”
For more information about upcoming informative events, please visit Upcoming Events.