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How to Maximize Lead Conversion via Proactive Advice

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Human financial advisors shine and create quantifiable value when they advise clients in proactive, personalized ways. Leading with advice is the path forward, as merely providing access to commoditized products and solutions is simply no longer sufficient.

Against that backdrop, more and more financial advisors are seeking to advise their clients and their family members comprehensively. For example, they advise on when to best start taking Social Security Benefits, how to make Catch-up Contributions, or how to leverage QCDs (Qualified Charitable Distributions) for those that are philanthropically inclined.

And when they do that type of work, everyone wins. Multiple studies show that clients who receive frequent, comprehensive advice are more satisfied and enjoy better outcomes. In turn, financial advisors benefit from higher loyalty, higher referral rates, and higher share of wallet.

At the same time, regrettably, the state of advice in the US is not where it could or should be:

  • 68% of Americans pass without a Will (Source:, 2021)
  • 64% of Americans do not know what a 529 plan is (Source: Edward Jones, 2021)
  • Only 15% of those eligible to make Catch-up Contributions in their retirement accounts actually do so (Source: Vanguard, 2021)

These sobering statistics are not limited to America at large, where many families still do not have access to or work with a financial professional. In a recent study, highly regarded industry researchers Dr. Meghaan Lurtz and Dr. Michael Kothakota focused on older clients (age 62+), that are wealthy (top half of income) and in an actively advised relationship (they had spoken to their human advisor in the past 6 months). 

When focusing on these older, wealthy and advised clients, what they discovered may surprise you. While 87% of interviewed clients say their advisor gave them proactive guidance on RMDs (Required Minimum Distributions) when they turned 72, for other highly relevant advice opportunities, a different picture emerges.

What does this all mean? We see at least two potential implications for client-centric advisors:

1. Play Defense: Reflect about your own book of business. Do you serve not only your best, but all of your clients with this type of advice? If not, they may pose a risk of attrition.

2. Play Offense: Reframe these sobering facts into an opportunity. Consider sharing proactive guidance on highly predictable age milestones that matter with your prospects. Often, their incumbent advisor does not serve them that way, and you can differentiate yourself and help them avail themselves of all tax-advantaged saving and investing opportunities available to them.

See how this plays out in your growth game plan by checking out our infographic.

Let's turn unmet advice needs around key milestones into an opportunity for differentiated, personalized prospecting, and thus drive your organic growth rate. You can learn more about the importance of advice in this Bento Engine Whitepaper.

And lastly, we recommend you take a listen to this recent RETHINK podcast, where Dr. Meg Lurtz discusses some of these findings, and urges us to “operationalize a minimum standard of client care, across a lifetime.”