Helping family members is anopportunity to sell while assisting your clients. (Photo:Shutterstock)

|

In times past, having large families was how retirement planningwas done. You raise them now, they look after you later. Gettingclients talking about their children is a greatway to learn about their own hopes and dreams.

|

Agents and advisors have other reasons for bringing the familyinto the conversation. They want to meet the heirs anddevelop a relationship now, when everyone is healthy.

|

Too often, heirs move money away because they don't have a bondwith the advisor. Advisors also see helping family members asan opportunity to sell up and down the familytree.

5 topics to start a client conversation

The proud grandparent is a classic television stereotype. Farfrom getting them talking, you can't stop them!

|

You want to introduce specific subjects. In most cases, you wantto ask three questions:

  • What was it like for you?
  • What would you like it to be for them?
  • What's your plan for making this possible? (Paying forit.)

Let's look at the five areas:

|

1. Education. It's the obvious one. If they livein a big city, they might have attended a local public school. Theymight perceive the quality of public education in the area asdeclining. This means private school is on the radar for “providingthe best education.” They've heard over and over the contactschildren make in school carry over into the business world.

|

This will be expensive. Relatives and in-laws often make vague“we'll help” promises. College savings plans provide a framework toring fence those assets, so they are only used for permittedpurposes. The parents can encourage the extended family to givecash gifts during the holidays. These get investedappropriately.

|

Expenses run through college and sometimes beyond. What happensif one of the parents isn't around? Life insurance is often part ofthe solution.

|

2. Career. This can go three (or more) ways. They may want their child toqualify to enter a high earning profession. Becoming a doctor orlawyer are the standard careers you hear about in family movies.This takes post graduate education. More money needs to besaved.

|

The second route is following in their footsteps in the sameprofession. Dad is an engineer; their daughter will become anengineer. Mom is a police officer; son will become one too. On the CBS series “Blue Bloods,” don't they refer to it as thefamily business?

|

The third route is actually the family business! The restaurantor supermarket may have been in the family for generations. Thismay not require specialized education, but it might require key maninsurance if the business has other partners.

|

3. Wedding. Some parents think their expenses are done once their childgraduates, gets a job and moves out. Unlike college, an expenseyour client sees ahead on a specific date, weddings can come upsuddenly. Your child falls in love. They propose. It allhappened so fast. How is your client preparing for thisexpense?

|

4. Firsthouse. In the UK, it's called “Getting on theproperty ladder.” It can be difficult for first-time home buyers toget a down payment together. Parents (your clients) often thinkbuying their home early was the smartest decision they ever made.They want to help. Part of the financing might be provided by “TheBank of Mom and Dad.” What's your client's plan?

|

5. Grandchildren. Time passes quickly. The wholeprocess starts to repeat itself, starting with education. Yourclients might see their grown children living in a different world.They are finding it tough to save after paying household expenses.They place a high value on education. They want to help. Itall starts with those college savings plans.

|

In each of these instances, you can see where business comesfrom. You are helping your clients solve problems they knoware not going away. You are well placed to propose solutions.

|

Bryce Sanders is president of PerceptiveBusiness Solutions Inc. He provides HNW client acquisitiontraining for the financial services industry. His book,“Captivating the wealthy investor” can be foundon Amazon.

|

READ MORE at BenefitsPRO:

Complete your profile to continue reading and get FREE access to BenefitsPRO, part of your ALM digital membership.

  • Critical BenefitsPRO information including cutting edge post-reform success strategies, access to educational webcasts and videos, resources from industry leaders, and informative Newsletters.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM, BenefitsPRO magazine and BenefitsPRO.com events
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including ThinkAdvisor.com and Law.com
NOT FOR REPRINT

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from www.copyright.com. All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.

Bryce Sanders

Bryce Sanders, president of Perceptive Business Solutions Inc., has provided training for the financial services industry on high-net-worth client acquisition since 2001. He trains financial professionals on how to identify prospects within the wealthiest 2%-5% of their market, where to meet and socialize with them, how to talk with wealthy people and develop personal relationships, and how to transform wealthy friends into clients. Bryce spent 14 years with a major financial services firm as a successful financial advisor, two years as a district sales manager and four years as a home office manager. He developed personal relationships within the HNW community through his past involvement as a Trustee of the James A. Michener Art Museum, Board of Associates for the Bucks County Chapter of the Fox Chase Cancer Center, Board of Trustees for Stevens Institute of Technology and as a church lector. Bryce has been published in American City Business Journals, Barrons, InsuranceNewsNet, BenefitsPro, The Register, MDRT Round the Table, MDRT Blog, accountingweb.com, Advisorpedia and Horsesmouth.com. In Canada, his articles have appeared in Wealth Professional. He is the author of the book “Captivating the Wealthy Investor.”