Do you send PDF reports to your clients that summarize their financial plan? Most of the major financial planning tools (eMoney, MoneyGuide, and Right Capital) offer a variety of report options to help illustrate how well the client is on their road to reaching their financial goals. But how do you conclude the report? Do you communicate the next steps in the planning process or the next conversation for the client to have with you? If you’re like many advisors, the report ends and the client has to go back to the body of the email to see what next steps are.
Some advisors have found that their own reports ended too abruptly for their liking. For them, they felt it created a disjointed experience for the client of jumping from one piece of communication to another. They wanted to end the report by transitioning the conversation into the next round of planning or to plant a seed for future planning discussions. And they did this by leveraging fpPathfinder’s resources.
In these cases, advisors are adding key checklists and flowcharts to the end of the financial planning reports.
Here is an example to consider. An advisor with ABC Financial ran a Holistiplan tax report for their client. The Holistiplan report clearly uncovered a lot of interesting planning opportunities for the client to consider, especially a possible Roth conversion opportunity. The advisor knew that this would be the next conversation to have with the client and included fpPathfinder’s “Should I Consider Doing A Roth Conversion?” flowchart as an addendum to Holistiplan’s report. But the advisor also knows that their client is in the process of retiring and needs additional guidance (beyond tax analysis). To transition the conversation, the advisor also included the “What Issues Should I Consider Before I Retire?” checklist.
Now, the advisor can draft an email to the effect of:
“Dear Mr and and Mrs Doe,
It was a pleasure talking with you last week. Attached is the tax report we discussed. There are a number of items in here that I think we should discuss further. Specifically, I think we should consider a Roth conversion this coming year. As an addendum to the report, I have included a flowchart that outlines some of the considerations.
Finally, I have attached a checklist that outlines several planning issues for people about to retire that I’d like to address with you at the next meeting.
Thanks so much and I look forward to hearing from you.”
Reports structured in this way are stand-alone. They don’t need additional PDFs or details in the body of the email. The email serves as the executive summary and draws the client into a clear communication path. Bonus points if you add a customized letter as page 1 or a table of contents!