Held Away Assets: 5 Ideas to Grow Wallet Share with Clients
• Chris Mauriello • July 28, 2022
Business growth is no easy feat—especially when it relies on new client acquisition. Instead, financial professionals should target existing clients to increase wallet share.
Below I am sharing five approaches to grow wallet share and gain visibility into your clients’ held away assets.
1. Lean into the Holistic Planning Value Proposition
Without the basis of planning, your financial advice is limited to the assets or accounts you manage on behalf of your client.
By moving the conversation beyond portfolio selection, financial professionals can help clients consider the broader impact finances have on their life and well-being. Fidelity has summarized this evolution of delivering holistic advice in the Advice Value StackSM.
Understanding your client’s complete life allows you to account for things like major life events and non-financial aspirations. This will help you have the right conversations to move them toward achieving their personal and professional goals, and ultimately fulfillment.
Taking a more holistic approach gives you a reason to ask about the accounts you don’t manage. Then planning is your “in” to target those held away assets. In many cases, the financial plan can show the value of you taking assets under advisement.
2. Collect the Data You Need Through Digital Onboarding and Account Aggregation
Another commonly discussed barrier to visibility of held away assets is collecting client data. A digital onboarding process or workflow to guide the discovery will ensure you and the client are well-positioned to begin the planning conversation. While collecting account information is a priority, consider including open-ended questions too, such as “What are your financial priorities?”
In a survey1 we conducted with over 300 financial professionals, all respondents said there is often a mix of paper and digital client data to compile. But most (80 percent) of financial professionals agree digital data collection improves and streamlines the onboarding process.
Digital account aggregation can help get you and clients that complete financial view. When clients can connect disparate accounts into one comprehensive, real-time view their data becomes much more powerful.
Now the conversation moves past generic and hypotheticals to personalized recommendations unique to the client’s circumstances.
3. Promote a Client Website or Portal to Encourage Engagement
The value of a personal financial website or individualized portal is another approach to secure the attention of your clients. Even if they are not interested in doing more planning, 24/7 access to a consolidated view of their finances can still be an appealing offer.
Helping clients get their financial life in one place could improve their peace of mind. You could introduce it as a digital tool that can help them stay organized, access their financial picture anytime, and—if they are interested—help them budget or define some financial goals.
It can be as simple as, “If you want to have one place for your financial life, here’s this client portal and it’s a great way for you to organize yourself.”
With engagement on a client-led site, you can start to discover those assets you don’t manage organically. The client takes the lead on managing their financial picture, so it is up to them if they want to introduce assets held away.
4. Showcase Your Planning Specialties
Client awareness—or lack thereof—into your service capabilities could also limit total visibility to their assets.
Do you have a planning specialty or expertise? For example, perhaps you specialize in annuity products. The conversation can very easily transition from, “I know I manage your IRA that you came to me with, but I can also help you consider other strategies as well.” It might be that clients just don’t know the extent of your services.
Make sure that clients are aware of the breadth and depth of your knowledge. To help showcase what you can offer, I suggest having a sample client to demonstrate with.
Because sharing a story can be more effective than simple statements, I recommend walking them through a sample client in your financial planning platform. Presenting a common planning workflow or report utilizing the suggested strategy will help your clients picture themselves in that scenario. Then, they quickly grasp what it’s like to work with you in a different capacity.
5. Assign Planning Opportunities to Specific Client Groups
To that point, there’s additional value to unlock in leveraging a sample client to your existing book of business. According to the social proof principle, people follow the lead of others, especially those that are similar.
By segmenting your business into specific client groups, separated by age or financial life cycle stage, you may see common needs emerge. The similarities across those groupings could help you uncover new planning opportunities to grow wallet share.
For instance, if you segment your book and see concentrations of a client type—40+-year-old clients with families—create a sample client for that group. Having a sample client with similar characteristics and needs can easily show those clients where they may have gaps. This technique transitions them into the financial planning process through inspiration. By addressing what is relevant to them according to commonalities of their peers, they may explore other planning opportunities. These opportunities may include life insurance policies or college-saving vehicles like 529s.
Learn from Your Client Conversations and Workflows to Inform Your Approach with Prospective Clients
Developing tried and true techniques to further engage current clients and grow wallet share could help business development efforts with new clients. Any learnings developed from your planning pitch, how you model financial planning, or present a sample client, will help influence your growth strategy.
For more tips on how to grow your advisory business, check out our blog on how to increase revenue from planning. This reinforces how the financial plan can serve as the touchstone to grow assets under advisement.
1 eMoney Leading with Planning Research, May 2022, Advisors n=360
DISCLAIMER: The eMoney Advisor Blog is meant as an educational and informative resource for financial professionals and individuals alike. It is not meant to be, and should not be taken as financial, legal, tax or other professional advice. Those seeking professional advice may do so by consulting with a professional advisor. eMoney Advisor will not be liable for any actions you may take based on the content of this blog.
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