What would happen to your annual income if you lost six out of your 10 best clients? How would it affect your lifestyle? Could you pay the mortgage? Make the car payments? Send the kids to college?
The brutal reality is that many of your clients will, in fact, be leaving you as each year passes. Concerned?
Statistically, you have every right to be concerned because it’s not a matter of “if” you lose your top clients but “when.”
An estimated $14 trillion in wealth is in the process of being transferred from the Greatest Generation to the Baby Boomers. Another $30 trillion has already begun to leak into the hands of Generation X as Baby Boomers and their parents pass away by the thousands each day.
Most advisors assume the wealth will be transferred to the children, when, in fact, the vast majority will go to the matriarch. And unsurprisingly, matriarchs and patriarchs have different priorities.
For generations, matriarchs have traditionally deferred to the patriarch to manage the family’s financial affairs. Although that role has evolved somewhat with some matriarchs now becoming more engaged, the relationship is still primarily between the advisor and the patriarch.
When the surviving widow assumes control the estate, their Generation X children often enter the picture with good intentions, recommending different advisors. Naturally, they want to protect their inheritance, which is why 66% of heirs fire their parent’s advisor. Source: InvestmentNews Data
Ignoring this trend could be detrimental, but doing the right thing now can lead to a secure and prosperous future. The obvious solution is to strengthen the relationship with the matriarch AND the children by winning their trust and earning their loyalty, before disaster strikes.
So, how can advisors earn loyalty? The answer can be found in changing the conversation and embracing a “holistic” financial or estate plan, one that includes both: the tangible wealth and life-learned wisdom.
To build trust and loyalty, financial and insurance advisors only need to introduce the concept of having ‘legacy talks’ with family members to learn about their family history and legacy assets, and provide a way for them to do it.Financial advisors can do a good job helping clients manage their wealth by providing them with a comfortable retirement, and one that benefits future generations. However, if the heirs don’t know their unique family history, how the wealth was created, the risks, challenges and sacrifices that it takes to build an asset, beneficiaries often treat it as a mere windfall.
When the wealth of a family is divorced from its narrative, it is often squandered by heirs, which also explains much of the reason for the soaring failure rate of succession plans.
When Baby Boomers were asked to rank their priorities when passing down an inheritance, their family history and life experiences held the top spot by an 8 to 1 margin. This was based on a survey conducted by the Allianz American Legacy Pulse Survey.
By opening the conversation with the concept of holistic financial planning to both the patriarch and matriarch, it will resonate with the matriarch. From the outset, you’ll be demonstrating that you care as much about the family’s heartstrings as their purse strings.
To build trust and loyalty, financial and insurance advisors only need to introduce the concept of having ‘legacy talks’ with family members to learn about their family history and legacy assets, and provide a way for them to do it.
Unfortunately, there have been very few viable solutions available to advisors. Only recently has the topic of holistic financial planning emerged in books such as the $14 “Trillion Woman” by author Barbara A. Kay.
As more and more advisors find themselves losing clients and facing an uncertain future, the topic is fast becoming a priority, and new, more effective solutions are becoming available.
The “Legacy Stories Handbook” was featured in a TED Talk by top advisor, Shari Burnum, at the 2016 Raymond James Advisor Development Conference. Introducing the concept of holistic financial planning to thousands of elite advisors, Ms. Burnum explained why advisors must “change the conversation” or risk losing future business.
It is not hard to see that financial advisors who don’t start “changing the conversation” may soon find themselves left out of the conversation altogether.
The good news is that savvy advisors can differentiate themselves by being the first to introduce prospects to holistic financial planning and retain more of their clients when life transitions occur.
The financial services industry is at a crossroads and never before has the future been more uncertain for advisors. Trust is eroding, making it all the more difficult for advisors to gain assets under management or sell financial products.
Yet, in midst of all this tumult, a level of trust can be quickly earned by demonstrating that a client’s wealth is about more than just the money. It’s also helping them understand that their life lessons and values are the glue that binds the generations of the family. If ever there was a time to ‘change the conversation,’ this is it!