Bill Pope takes a long-term approach to planning that addresses not just the needs of his own clients, but also the needs of his clients’ families. It’s a strategy that requires great attention to detail and a solid sense of prioritization. And, with the growing number of baby boomers nearing retirement, his services are in high demand.
“The baby boomers are really the ‘sandwich generation,’” Bill explains. “Their parents are living longer and usually need help with care or finances. The young adult children are many times needing assistance with tuition, or help in getting launched into their careers as well. I try to assist the boomer with prioritizing the long list of needs — they have to help themselves first, then their parents and finally their offspring.”
Read on for Bill’s five keys to identifying how to best help clients — and why gaining their trust is an important part of the process.
See also: Bill Pope on Selling LTCI
1. Ask the right questions.
You can’t be a good listener without first asking good questions. Pope finds the Q&A process essential to developing the right plan for each client. This time spent getting to know the client also builds a relationship that has deep roots.
“An advisor seeks first to understand the goals of the client,” he says. “I ask a lot of questions upfront and collect the information in order to formulate a plan. Each time a recommendation is made it refers back to the plan and is presented in the context of a helping relationship rather than a transaction.”
2. Help set sustainable goals.
Identifying achievable goals that can last for the long haul is how an advisor really demonstrates value. When Pope set out to become a planner, his mission was simple: Study each client’s overall financial plan and map that against their retirement goals to find something sustainable. It’s worked for him time and time again. Setting realistic, tailored targets helps clients realize that he is dedicated to helping them achieve their dreams.