CLIENT ACCOUNTS

Recently Viewed Accounts

You have no recently viewed accounts.

Select your location

  • Japan
  • International - other
  • Asia - other

Who are you ?

Select another location

Wer bist du ?

Wählen Sie einen anderen Ort

Qui êtes vous ?

Sélectionnez un autre emplacement

Qui êtes vous ?

Sélectionnez un autre emplacement

Who are you ?

Select another location

Qui êtes vous ?

Sélectionnez un autre emplacement

Wer bist du ?

Wählen Sie einen anderen Ort

Who are you ?

Select another location

Who are you ?

中國香港特別行政區

Who are you ?

Select another location

Wer bist du ?

Wählen Sie einen anderen Ort

Wer bist du ?

Wählen Sie einen anderen Ort

Qui êtes vous ?

Sélectionnez un autre emplacement

Who are you ?

Select another location

Wer bist du ?

Wählen Sie einen anderen Ort

Qui êtes vous ?

Sélectionnez un autre emplacement

Who are you ?

Select another location

Who are you ?

RETIREMENT PLAN INVESTOR

Use your plan ID (available on your account statement) to determine which employer-sponsored retirement plan website to use:

IF YOUR PLAN ID BEGINS WITH IRK, BRK, 754, 1 OR 2

Visit americanfunds.com/retire

IF YOUR PLAN ID BEGINS WITH 34 OR 135

Visit myretirement.americanfunds.com

Who are you ?

Select another location

Who are you ?

Select another location

Marketing & Client Acquisition
Elite Engagement: Proven strategies to help elevate your practice

6 MIN ARTICLE

Have you ever wondered how some top-performing financial advisors are able to build their practices year after year and in all types of markets? Many advisors understand that deep engagement with clients is key to long-term loyalty, quality referrals and practice growth. But how to get there isn’t always so obvious. 


“Through years of experience working with thousands of advisors, we’ve seen that the most successful practices take a deliberate, holistic approach to serving the increasingly complex needs of investors,” says Shaun Tucker, director of Advisor Practice Management. “To help advisors achieve the growth they are seeking, we help them prioritize client management and business management alongside investment management.” 


Tucker and his team of advisor practice management consultants have developed a comprehensive, personalized practice management program to help more financial advisors benefit from the strategies and best practices they’ve seen lead to results. Known as Elite Engagement, it is designed around a set of capabilities that can help improve client engagement, increase acquisition and referrals, and boost practice growth:


Stand out by creating a brand that connects with clients’ emotions and memorably demonstrates the value you offer.


Having a defined, differentiated and well-demonstrated brand is an essential aspect of doing business today. Being able to clearly articulate what you do, and how that makes you different from other financial professionals, can not only help you gain more meaningful referrals, but it can also help you deepen engagement with your existing book of business. 


When you realize your brand goes well beyond a logo and marketing materials — and that it has implications for everything you do, from the way you present your practice online, how you conduct meetings and the environment you create in your office — you can unlock new opportunities to stand out with clients and prospects.


Explore ways to turbocharge your brand:
 

  1. 3 brand-building essentials for your business
  2. Webinar on demand: Turbocharge your brand
  3. Top ideas for client events and how to make them great

2. Acquire the ideal client

Have a clear picture of the clients you are best set up to serve — how your skills and capabilities match their needs, and how to allocate effort to address those needs.


Knowing exactly the kinds of clients you want to attract to your practice is the first step to having a smart, effective acquisition strategy. Once you define your ideal client, you can tailor your services and your marketing to appeal specifically to your target. But how to get started?


One important way is by taking an intentional approach to examining how specific client needs, wants and concerns align with your competencies. This can lead to several important strategic steps, such as segmenting your book (to ensure you’re spending the right amount of time with the right clients) and deriving more value from client relationships by looking beyond revenue calculations to determine real relationship value (RRV).


Two stacked charts: the top is marked “Identify the real relationship value of your client based on these four criteria.” It lists four criteria – revenue, connection to top clients, shared philosophy and referrals – with a point system next to each. Next to revenue there is a field to place a suggested score between one and five. For connection to top clients there is a field to provide a score of zero or three. For shared philosophy, there is a field to provide a score of zero or three. For referrals, there is a field to provide a score of zero or four. The total sum of these points can help you identify an RRV number. This number can be applied to the chart on the bottom, marked “Prioritize.” It includes three segments: A B and C. The A segment includes those who score between 10 and 15 points. The B segment includes those who score between five and nine points. The C segment includes those who score between one and four points. The source is Capital Group.

Explore ways to acquire ideal clients:
 

  1. Define your ideal client to segment your book of business
  2. How to attract ideal clients, tailor your services and grow your business

3. Deliver results, not performance

Shape clients’ expectations based on how you’re helping them get closer to their personal goals — not based on market ups and downs.


It’s easy for clients to become fixated on what the market’s doing and to evaluate you based on performance expectations. But a client’s truest success measure isn’t relative performance; it’s the progress they are making toward their most important goals.


So, how do you help clients prioritize those goals and reframe their perception of success? It starts with placing progress toward goals at the center of every client interaction, from your onboarding process and marketing, to how you conduct ongoing conversations and quarterly reviews. Focusing on effective storytelling is one way to reframe how clients think about success — and how they think about risk.


Explore ways to deliver results, not performance:
 

  1. The power of storytelling
  2. Podcast: Using behavioral finance to help clients live their best lives, with Jay Wheeler
  3. The advisor’s guide to tax and estate planning

4. Deliver priceless value

Focus on high-quality client experiences that exceed expectations and are priced to reflect your value.


In an industry where there is still so much focus on relative performance, some of the highest value services advisors provide go unrecognized or taken for granted. Frequently, investors don’t consider the value they’re receiving.


Yet top advisors know how to showcase their value in ways that make it easier for clients to recognize what their services are truly worth. One important way to start? Have better conversations with clients, using words and actions that trigger the “trust hormone” oxytocin, and always ending with opportunities to recommend. Our Client Conversation Framework — with its emphasis on empathetic listening and perspective sharing — can be a useful tool for supporting successful client meetings.


A Client Conversation Framework consisting of a four-box grid advisors can use to guide client conversations. The top left box features the words 'Acknowledge: empathize, listen and identify'; the top right box features the words 'Perspective: Share and educate'; the bottom left box features the words 'Confidence: Prioritize client goals'; and the bottom right box features the words 'Opportunity: Give action steps”.

Explore ways to showcase your value:
 

  1. How to have better client conversations (even in uncertain times)
  2. Podcast: The power of high-touch, holistic client service, with Ira Rapaport and team

5. Drive productivity and efficiency

Run your practice more like a business.


To create meaningful long-term growth for your practice, it’s important to keep a watchful eye on how you and your team allocate your precious, finite resources. Thinking like a CEO means applying key performance indicators to track profitability, productivity and expenses — so you always know how you’re doing and where you can improve.


A table showing how to calculate some key performance indicators (KPIs) for financial professionals seeking to better understand their profitability, productivity and expenses. Profitability KPIs include operating profit which is calculated by subtracting expenses from revenue; revenue per client which is calculated by dividing revenue by number of clients; and assets per client which is calculated by dividing assets under management (AUM) by number of clients. Productivity KPIs include revenue per staff which is calculated by dividing revenue by number of staff; profit per staff which is calculated by deducting expenses from revenue then dividing that figure by the number of staff; and clients per staff which is calculated by dividing number of clients by number of staff. Lastly is expenses which includes cost of service which is calculated by dividing expenses by number of clients.

Of course, your primary aim is to create capacity, freeing up more of your time to focus on activities where you can add the most value, while strategically delegating the rest. When you’re ready to optimize your business, find proven methods to help determine whether you’re spending the right amount of time with the clients who represent the highest value to your business. 


Explore ways to increase productivity and efficiency:
 

  1. 5 ways to improve productivity in your business
  2. Advisor productivity: A key to unlock business growth
  3. Think like a CEO: Goal setting for your advisor practice
  4. From clients to coffee: SOPs help you serve both better
  5. How advisors are driving growth with model portfolios

6. Fuel growth with a COI engagement strategy

Use social currency to grow your client base and establish new referral streams.


Centers of influence (COIs) are other professionals who serve your clients, and building relationships with them can be a powerful source of referrals and business growth. Yet the potential that COI relationships hold for business growth is often overlooked by advisors. How can you shift your thinking? Start seeking ways to build social currency with people you want to work with and reach.


For instance, are you looking to join a new network of influencers? Connect with professionals with whom you can reciprocally refer clients? Build mutually beneficial arrangements where a shared client is at the center of your COI relationships? Once you narrow your approach, focus on tactics that help you connect with clients and other professionals online — or use your ideal client profile to focus in on target audiences. 


Explore ways to grow with a COI strategy:
 

  1. Create a center-of-influence strategy that works for you
  2. Why you need an advisory board, and how to create one
  3. Podcast: The benefits of having a niche and an advisory board, with Ray Evans

7. Prospect and grow in a digital world

Boost your digital skills to find and serve clients effectively online.


Digital engagement is here to stay, and there’s a good chance you are already using technology to reach clients. But are you doing all you can to enhance your digital brand and create even stronger connections with clients and prospects? How can you up your game?


Start by asking: Is my digital presence as potent and effective as in-person interactions? Are virtual events and meetings rewarding and engaging for participants? Does my team’s social media presence adequately humanize our practice and reinforce the ways we want to be seen by clients and prospects?


Burnishing your digital brand is essential to building trust, offering more opportunities for people to get to know who you are and the value you offer.


Explore ways to prospect and grow digitally:
 

  1. Webinar on demand: Prospect and grow in a digital world
  2. Prospect and grow using digital strategies
  3. Video: How to reach high net worth prospects on LinkedIn
  4. 6 social media myths preventing your practice from growing

8. Attract modern retirees

Adapt your service offerings to meet the changing expectations and needs of today’s modern retirees.


Today’s retirees are more likely to view the experience as a dynamic opportunity for personal growth and reinvention. Being able to offer perspective on how they might get the most out of their post-working years can be an essential part of your role as an advisor. 


This shift has significant implications for many aspects of your retirement planning conversations: from helping clients create a solid retirement income strategy, to understanding how Social Security fits into their overall plan and having in-depth discussions about how (and with whom) clients want to spend their days once they stop working full time. 


Graphic representation of retirement planning framework shows four icons: social, health, legacy and financial. Under the social icon are the words life planning and three questions: What’s most important to me? Where will I live? Whom with I spend time with? Under the health icon are the words health and wellness, and three questions: How will I stay healthy? Where will I get health care? How do I pay unexpected medical bills? Under the legacy icon are the words values and legacy, and three questions: How do I want to be remembered? How will I give back? What will I give away? Under the financial icon are the words financial planning, and three questions: How much will I spend? How much do I have? When will I take Social Security?

Sharpening your skills and focusing your practice around these rapidly shifting needs can help you gain more clients and deepen relationships with existing ones.


Explore ways to attract modern retirees:
 

  1. Webinar on demand: Successful retirement planning for today’s modern midlife
  2. 4 steps to reinvent your retirement playbook
  3. Research report: Retirement redefined
  4. Client workbook: My Best Retirement
  5. 6 questions investors have about Social Security (and how to answer them)
  6. Retirement planning with clients in 4 simple steps
  7. The bucket approach to retirement income

9. Future-proof your practice

Incorporate a modern acquisition strategy that considers relatability, resilience and sustainability.


The thriving practices of tomorrow will be those that can adapt and expand into new potential client bases and serve previously untapped markets. A modern approach to acquisition may incorporate communications, marketing, service offerings and succession planning.   


As a first step, it helps to understand the potential power of underserved audiences within your community, including millennials, members of Generation Z, women and people of color. It also helps to examine your team and find ways to fill gaps in capabilities in a way that helps  employees stay satisfied and engaged.


Explore ways to future-proof your practice:
 

  1. Build a multigenerational growth strategy
  2. 4 ways to engage and empower women investors
  3. How to help women prepare for their financial futures
  4. Podcast: Forget pink. Building a practice that serves women better, with Heather Ettinger
  5. Podcast: Winning Main Street clients by mastering the employee handbook, with Rhonda and Scott Ferguson
  6. Effective team structures for financial advisors

10. A leader's guide to succession planning

Create and deploy a client-centric succession plan.


It's important that financial advisors have a succession plan that helps ensure both the legacy they've built and the highest value client service. Learn how to leverage key components of leadership to create a transition plan that sets you and your team up for success and, most importantly, supports your clients during the transition and beyond.


Build team confidence through the SWIFT framework

The title of this graphic is “build team confidence through the swift network.” The image has five columns. The first column has an icon of a hand gripping a dumbbell. Underneath it is the title “strengths” and the questions “What does the team do well? What do clients think you do well?” Next to that is a column with an icon of a broken chain link. Underneath it is the title “weaknesses” with the question “Where does your practice need to improve in order to compete and grow?” Next to that is an icon of two gears and a person and the title “integration.” Underneath it is the question “What does the team need in order to carry forward essential information and knowledge about the practice and clients?” Next to this is an icon of a lightbulb in front of a profile with the title “future-state.” Underneath that is the question “How will the team and practice continue to evolve and optimize services and capabilities to keep pace with changing client and industry expectations?” Next to that is the last icon of a caution sign and the title “threats.” Underneath is the question “What factors could possible threaten the team’s chances of success?” The source is Capital Group research.

Source: Capital Group research

Explore ways to develop and tailor an optimal succession plan:
 

  1. Succession planning for financial advisors: A six-step roadmap
  2. Podcast: A succession plan for success
  3. Podcast: Planning for succession in a way that creates wins for the team, with Ben Wong

What sets Elite Engagement apart, Tucker says, are the tools and resources his team uses to bring each idea to life. “From learning creative ways to market yourself, to addressing practical needs like succession planning, most advisors have some room to enhance their skills or grow their practice,” he says. “Our focus on implementation and accountability is what makes Elite Engagement so effective.”


Access our coaching resources

Related content




Learn more about
Marketing & Client Acquisition
Strategic Scale
Client Acquisition
Relationship Alpha

Investments are not FDIC-insured, nor are they deposits of or guaranteed by a bank or any other entity, so they may lose value.

Investors should carefully consider investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. This and other important information is contained in the fund prospectuses and summary prospectuses, which can be obtained from a financial professional and should be read carefully before investing.

All Capital Group trademarks mentioned are owned by The Capital Group Companies, Inc., an affiliated company or fund. All other company and product names mentioned are the property of their respective companies.

Use of this website is intended for U.S. residents only. Use of this website and materials is also subject to approval by your home office.

American Funds Distributors, Inc.

This content, developed by Capital Group, home of American Funds, should not be used as a primary basis for investment decisions and is not intended to serve as impartial investment or fiduciary advice.