One of the things we’ve discussed before on this blog is the importance of transitioning your clients smoothly to a new advisor. Not only is this a great thing for an up-and-coming advisor, it is the best thing for your clients, too. They will know that their money is in good hands and feel confident about working with their new financial advisor. You can retire knowing that everyone is happy. But how, exactly, are you supposed to get this done while doing everything else that comes with RIA succession planning? Our experienced team has tips that can help you prepare your clients for the transition and make it a happy one for everyone involved.
How to Make a Smooth Client Transition
Take It Slow
There shouldn’t be a rush to transition your clients unless there has been a major disaster or emergency. You need to give your clients plenty of time to adjust; at the minimum, one year, and in the best case scenarios two or three years. It really does take that much time to smoothly switch over a client to a new financial advisor. This gives them time to get to know the new person and get used to them handling their portfolio for them.
Send Clear Communication
Whether it’s email, letters in the mail, or a phone call, there should be plenty of communication with your clients during the transition period. You’ll want to let them know that you intend to retire and that you have a plan in place to move them to a new, trusted advisor. You can do the initial introduction of the new company or independent advisor in these communications just to get your clients used to a new face. This is a good time to remind them that for the time being, you are still in charge. This reassures them that you haven’t abandoned them.
Finally, when the time is right, bring your clients in to meet their new advisor face-to-face. You should be at this meeting to make the initial introductions, and this doesn’t have to be a one-time thing. You can meet with clients for a number of times together with the new advisor before you hand over the reigns and allow them to run the meeting on their own. This is the perfect way to help both the new advisor and clients get used to working together while you slowly transition out of the picture.
Keep Everything Client Focused
The goal with the transition is to keep the clients happy. The happier they are, the more business you’ll be able to retain and the more you’ll be able to sell your business for at the end. Just like your business has always focused on your clients, your retirement should focus on them, too.
If you are worried about making a smooth transition for your clients during your RIA succession planning, talk to the advisorRETIRETM team. We help you make the transition from start to finish and know how to treat your clients right. Visit our website for more information on our client transition services or contact us through our website to get started with your RIA succession planning today.