The Long View on CRM2 Implementation from Susan Silma

In a recent blog for Mackenzie Investments, Susan Silma, co-founder of CRM2 Navigator shares a few longer-term ideas that should help with the three remaining phases of CRM2 implementation.

1. Proactive - between now and Jan 2017
Most firms will send clients their first CRM2 reports in early 2017, for the 2016 calendar year. Speak to your clients before they receive their CRM2 reports, to avoid any surprises about CRM2 performance and fee disclosure. Prepare client-friendly explanations of the fees and be sure to understand how money-weighted returns work and the difference from time-weighted returns. Be prepared to talk to clients about how their returns will help track progress to their goals. Try to connect fees and performance to the fee-worthy value you provide. Fee-worthy value goes beyond a value proposition – it is all of the things you do for each client, including the “intangible” or hidden things that will justify the fees your clients pay. Ask your firm for tools and training to help explain fees, performance and fee-worthy value. It is also important to analyze your book. Which clients are most at risk?

2. Reactive - early 2017
Prepare to react positively to client questions. Our research shows that, even when an advisor thinks they have been clear about fees, clients either barely remember the conversation or have not done the calculation (from percentage to dollars, or from quarterly amounts to annual totals) that would result in the total they will see on the CRM2 fee report. As a result, it is impossible to know which clients will have sticker shock when they see their fee report. Ask your firm for tools and training, including FAQs, about how to have these difficult conversations. A good conversation will not only keep your clients comfortable, but will also help you attract new clients when other advisors fail to handle those conversations well.

3. The new normal – 2017 and beyond
After CRM2 implementation, you should step back and consider the impact of recent regulatory initiatives on your clients. In the post-CRM2 and POS world, clients will receive a disparity of fee and performance information. Help your clients make sense of it all. This phase is an opportunity to put the information to good use. There will be a new focus on crystallizing client goals, planning around those goals and building a communication program that regularly updates clients about the progress they are making toward those goals. This type of communication program requires a fresh approach in delivering relevant and personalized information to clients.

CRM2 is an opportunity to engage with clients, deepen and strengthen existing relationships and build new ones. If you have not checked out Susan’s earlier blog posts, take a look for additional tips and background on CRM2.

CRM2: What to Do in the Months Ahead  As part of this Mackenzie Investments blog series, read the blog by Larry Distillio, Assistant Vice President of Practice Management at Mackenzie Investments, that showed us a number of ways to emphasize your value post-CRM2.