Relationship building: it starts with client onboarding

Any financial advisor can attest to the fact that slow and complex customer onboarding is a problem. For many advisors, the onboarding process means lots of paperwork, lots of worry about compliance, and is unnecessarily long and difficult.

Because of this, most advisors tend to view client onboarding as a hassle rather than an opportunity. In the wake of a focus on growth, client onboarding becomes an afterthought rather than a relationship-building opportunity. It can be tempting to turn to the next potential client rather than focus on creating a lasting impression with new clients.

First impressions count

The client onboarding process is the starting point for the entire business relationship.

While it may not seem worthwhile, it’s important to remember that first impressions are lasting, and they begin with the client onboarding process. Failing to take advantage of that first face-to-face interaction is a missed opportunity that can hurt the client relationship before it’s even had a chance to get started.

Client onboarding is also an essential opportunity for advisors to uncover client needs, right from the get-go. Understanding the unique challenges and demands of a new client lays the foundation for a continuing successful relationship down the line.

Take advantage of technology

Onboarding software can be used to automatically guide the account opening process and bring it online, while enabling your advisory workforce to go mobile. Taking advantage of available technology to streamline the process and go paperless means more opportunity and time to focus on the personalized side of client interaction.

The application of this technology makes it possible to meet clients anywhere and open accounts faster and more accurately than ever before. And with paperwork out of the way, there’s time for real conversations with clients. These conversations are key to uncovering the key cross sell and upsell opportunities that are so critical to address in the first 90 days of the relationship.

A personalized touch

A little bit of effort goes a long way in distinguishing yourself from competitors. To ensure every client feels valued, consider providing a personalized welcome package to demonstrate appreciation and understanding of the new clients’ business and establish a commitment to service.

Follow up an exceptional account opening experience with a series of personal touch points during the first year of the client lifecycle. Recent studies suggest that most clients prefer a scheduled meeting with their primary wealth management advisor at least quarterly. These check-ins are an opportunity to deepen relationships and help clients select products and services that address their changing needs. Leveraging wants and needs identified during onboarding can help guide these conversations.

Client onboarding forms the base for all future client interactions. Taking advantage of technology that can help simplify and expedite the onboarding process means even more time to focus on the personalized aspect of client interactions, ensuring you put your best foot forward from the very first interaction and build a relationship that will thrive for years to come.

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