Richard Weylman took the stage at IMCA’s annual conference Monday afternoon to talk aboutcreating an exceptional client experience.

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Weylman, of The Weylman Center for Excellence in PracticeManagement, told the audience that a superior client experience iscentral to effective wealth management. He focused the interactivepresentation on highly effective client communications,understanding the client’s needs and tailoring the wealthmanagement team's approach to fulfill those needs. His centraltheme was “What do affluent and wealthy clients really want fromtheir financial ‘team?’”

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Through his research, he has identified six “must-haves” for anadvisor in order to have a successful client relationship:

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1) Warmth

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There must be chemistry between advisor and client. The clientis determining the “presence” you bring to the relationship fromthe very first meeting.

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2) Friendliness

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“Well, you might say, ‘of course, anyone would want theiradvisor to be friendly,’” Weylman said. “It goes far beyond that.They want you to personalize and humanize the experience. If youbring economic security, that’s good. If you bring emotionalsecurity, even better. But what they really want you to do is toeffectively address their fear, uncertainty and doubt about theirfuture.”

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3) Personal interest

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Advisors might know their clients hobbies, like playing golf andtennis. But do they know where their clients play golf and tennis?What are their special interests? Does the advisor know about thecharitable, cultural or religious organizations to which the clientbelongs?

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4) Undivided attention

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Clients do not want an advisor to be all things to all people,Weylman said. They want the advisor’s undivided attention. However,they want the advisor to be able to grow his practice and not bebogged down in day-to-day administrative tasks. Weylman's researchshows advisors spend just three hours each week on marketing andnew client relationships. Successful advisors typically spend 19hours a week on such tasks.

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5) Responsiveness

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Wealthy and affluent clients want 12 contacts per year. The wantthem to be scheduled contacts, not “ad hoc” contacts.

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6) Direction and Guidance

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“The cliché in the industry is ‘he who builds the plan owns theplan,’” Weylman said. “I just read it in Registered Repmagazine, probably from a failed advisor that wants you to fail aswell. The cliché is plain wrong. He who executes on the plan ownsthe plan. The client wants you to provide next steps. By providingnext steps you elevate the conversation.”

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“My research shows 71 percent of households with $1 million ininvestible assets are actively looking for sources of newinformation to help them invest,” he said. “It’s not a great leapto go from looking for sources of new information to looking for anew advisor.”

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Weylman then asked the audience to circle the correct answer inhis “self-analytic instrument” about the service platform theadvisor provides. The choices were:

  • Exceptional or acceptable
  • Structured or spontaneous
  • Personalized or institutionalized
  • Proactive or reactive
  • Definable or debatable
  • Distinct or “just different”

“People will compare you to what they already have,” he added.“By identifying what makes you distinct, rather than different, youimmediately remove the comparison from the client’s mind. If youbuild a distinct practice, you will close the door on clientattrition.”

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