Financial advisors used to get paid for managing money to help clients safely reach their retirement goals. Going forward, financial advisors will get paid for creating a client experience that shepherds their clients through a lifetime of experiences and transitions that taken together, add up to a life well lived.

In today’s podcast, I touch on a major shift I see happening in the industry. The shift is from the destination (retirement) to the client experience (here and now).

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Three forces are coming together to give rise to this shift from the destination to the client experience.

First, as the millennial generation becomes more pervasive in society, the idea of retirement gets obliterated. Most millennials will never stop working. Instead, they’ll seamlessly blend their work and life to create a way to make money and have fun at the same time.

Second, events such as The Color Run, Tough Mudder, Comic-Con (and the hundreds of other “Cons) are stoking our interest in a live client experience that allows us to “do” something as opposed to passively consume something. Research clearly shows that humans value experiences more than things. Experiences bring us more happiness than do possessions. So, become an experience maker!

Third, big brands are moving away from interruptive advertising and moving toward creating an immersive client experience where the product is part of the production. If you watched the finale of American Idol, you couldn’t tell where the commercial for Ford ended and the Idol show began–it was all integrated into one seamless production. Expect much more of that.

These forces make it imperative that you reimagine your client experience and deliver one that your clients want to look forward to, remember, and experience over and over again.

4 Ways to Reimagine the Client Experience

As I explore in the podcast, there are 4 areas to reimagine in your business.

  1. Reimagine how you find and engage new clients (e.g., digital marketing and onboarding technology).
  2. Reimagine how you describe what you do (e.g., your core proposition, mobile-friendly website with video, audio, and gamification).
  3. Reimagine how you serve clients (e.g., robo-type investment management, digital dashboards with alerts, account aggregation).
  4. Reimagine how you can make a profound impact in your clients’ lives (e.g., help them gain clarity on life goals, guide them on career, learning, and healthcare planning, save them time and make their lives easier, deepen your relationship and the trust bond, and be a steady hand during turbulent times).

To accomplish this reimagining of the client experience, some advisors are implementing off the shelf digital programs with fancy videos and automated marketing solutions. In my not so humble opinion, you’ll never distinguish yourself with those solutions and you will continue to be a “me-too” advisor with no pricing and brand power.

Real differentiation–which is absolutely imperative going forward–requires personalized solutions that reflect what makes you uniquely remarkable.

If you are serious about differentiating your business from the crowd and making a profound impact in your clients’ lives, click here to send me note and let’s talk about your specific situation.

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If you have any questions or comments, please leave a comment below or email me. Thanks!

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Steve Sanduski, CFP® is the CEO and co-founder of ROL Advisor, founder of Belay Advisor, host of the Between Now and Success Podcast, a New York Times bestselling author, and an international speaker.

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