AdvicePay Financial Advisor Community Blog

Why Ongoing Planning can be More Valuable than a One-time Engagement

April 23, 2020 By Honor Randall
Honor Randall

Imagine this: a new prospect reaches out to you after their parents pass away. They need massive guidance to make big financial decisions about the forthcoming addition to their nest egg. They’re likely stressed, uneager to share details of their financial life outside of their inheritance, and untrusting. It can be a tough scenario for everyone involved.

Now imagine a client you’ve been taking care of for years. You may have known their parents weren’t in great health and had preliminary conversations about what to expect. You already know their goals, where they stand financially, and you’ve already earned their trust. While the conversations are still emotional, they’re open with you and thankful for their partnership.

Building a relationship with clients before the financial waters become murky can make those tough conversations less tense and awkward. One-time planning can be a great stepping stone to ongoing planning, but a solidified relationship builds trust with clients and is more valuable in the long run for most people.

3 Reasons Ongoing Financial Planning Beats One-Time Engagement

1. Clients have a trusted partner for the big (and small) questions

It’s not likely someone is going to reach out to a financial advisor they’ve never worked with just to find out if a recent dip in the market is a reason to sell out of their 401(k) holdings. However, if that relationship already exists, they may send a quick email or pick up the phone just to calm their nerves. Even better, you’ve already educated them about market volatility and long-term investing and a market dip doesn’t even make them sweat! Each financial decision adds up over time and impacts long-term success. Having a partner for seemingly small choices can make all the difference in someone’s financial life.  


2. Clients have added accountability for progressing towards financial goals

Most people know (at least on some level) they should be saving for their future or making strides towards financial goals, but the immediate and pressing responsibilities of day-to-day life can sometimes win out. Maybe it’s time to evaluate if their retirement contributions should be going into that Roth IRA still or actually create that budget this month! Who has the time? A financial partner can help clients prioritize financial objectives and even assist with simple tasks that clients may just not get around to without an external push.  


3. Clients don’t have to factor in cost during an already stressful time

Life changes that coincide with large financial decisions are stressful! Tack on a lump sum payment for a decision that is already big enough to require the help of a financial advisor, it can be a large pill to swallow. With ongoing advice, clients are already planning for their financial planning cost as part of their ordinary expenses. It’s one less thing to worry about during an already stressful time.


It’s a win for you, too!

Clients aren’t the only ones who benefit from ongoing planning. It can save you time and simplify conversations and advice. Clients set up on an ongoing financial plan are more likely to share their full financial picture and be more open than those working with you for a one-time need. You already know their goals and their situation so you don’t have to spend time digging into these important details before crafting a solution. You have a foundation of trust so conversations, although sometimes centered on unpleasant topics, can be smoother and more productive for everyone involved.

The Bottom Line

One-time projects can be a great way to attract prospects and start the process of building trust but be sure to communicate the value of ongoing planning. You may just find a client for life!


Posted by Honor Randall

Honor is AdvicePay’s Product Owner. With a passion for innovation and a keen eye for market trends, Honor is at the forefront of driving product development and ensuring customer satisfaction. Having worked in the financial industry for over five years, Honor has honed a versatile skill set that combines technical expertise with a deep understanding of industry needs. When she’s not helping bridge the gap between our product development and strategy, you can find Honor running, cooking, and exploring National Parks with her family.

Topics: Retainer Model, Practice Management