Staying in touch with clients underpins lasting relationships, and there’s no better time to engage with clients than in the lead up to 30 June.
Recent research by CoreData1. confirms that clients who enjoy regular contact with their advisers are more likely to be regard the relationship as long term.
CoreData found 76% of what it classified as ‘Devoted’ clients – those who are extremely loyal, and 56.7% of ‘Fond’ clients, those who will not switch advisers, have contact with their financial adviser at least twice a year. Increasing client engagement doesn’t just enhance the relationship, it can be a source of growth through positive word-of-mouth referrals.
Moreover, fewer Australians are happy to ‘go it alone’ when it comes to their finances. BT’s 2015 Australian Financial Health Index Report2. found just 30% of respondents like to ‘do it all themselves’. So chances are, your clients are waiting for a call.
Six EOFY touch points
As we head towards the end of the current financial year, there is no better time to contact clients than the present. The key is to offer insights relevant to each client’s needs.
With this in mind, we look at six ways to use the financial year-end to kick start conversations with clients.
1. Remind clients of super contribution caps
Clients who are growing super through salary sacrifice can sail close to the wind when it comes to breaching concessional contribution caps, especially if they have changed jobs or received a pay rise over the last 12 months.
Accordingly, it is timely to remind suitable clients about the annual concessional limits ($30,000 or $35,000 for over-50s) noting these caps include employer contributions made under the Superannuation Guarantee.
On the flipside, other clients, including the self-employed, may be unaware they can maximise their super contributions up to annual limits.
You may find it helpful to send clients a copy of BT’s Plain English Guide to Super Contributions.
2. Offer a heads up that Annual Tax Statements are on their way
Let clients know annual tax statements are on their way, explaining why they are not all issued on 1 July and offering a reminder about where clients can find their statements.
3. Ensure your SMSF clients are aware of the changes to rules
The lead up to 1 July 2016 provides two considerations for SMSF trustees that haven’t arisen in the past.
Back in 2011, new rules were introduced that placed additional restrictions on SMSFs investing in “collectibles” or “personal use assets”, typically artworks or antiques. However if the SMSF already owned these assets the rules were delayed until 1 July 2016.
Using artwork as an example, from 1 July this year, SMSFs are explicitly banned from storing relevant artworks on their own premises or those of a related party. Most funds comply with this by having artwork held at a gallery, but it is a new rule.
In addition, when artwork is held at a gallery, the gallery owner would normally have insurance in place to cover the artwork. From 1 July, the SMSF must also hold a policy of insurance over the artwork that reflects its value. And that’s where it can get tricky as the value of artwork can be subjective or change rapidly.
With these new rules soon to take effect, it is important to remind your SMSF clients about the need to seek advice to ensure their SMSF complies.
4. Offer to provide key reports to the client’s accountant
Offer to liaise with a client’s accountant to provide key reporting details. It doesn’t just make tax time easier for the client, it can be an opportunity to expand your professional network.
5. Give clients a tax checklist
Provide clients a checklist of items they need to start collecting for their tax return. Sure, they may already have something similar from their tax specialist but the main point is that you’re letting clients know you are thinking of them at this busy time of year.
6. Plan ahead for new financial year goals
Ask clients to consider their financial goals for the 12 months ahead. Offer tips and starters to get them thinking.
Conversations around super are always useful ahead of 30 June. BT’s 2015 Australian Financial Health Index Report found 35% of respondents were aware of a decline in the value of their superannuation, up from 31% in 2014. This opens the door to engage clients in conversations about strategies they can use to grow and protect the value of their nest egg.
So there’s no better time than now to engage your clients and deepen your relationship with them. What have you done in the past to engage your client during EOFY?
1. CoreData whitepaper What’s on advisers’ minds in 2016, May 20162.The BT Australian Financial Health Index 2015, a nationally representative sample of n=4,450 Australians aged 18+, looking at their attitudes towards finance, money and retirement.
This information is current as at 07/2016.
This communication contains material provided directly by third parties and is given in good faith and has been derived from sources believed to be accurate at its issue date. It should not be considered a comprehensive statement on any matter nor relied upon as such. Before acting on this information, you should consider its appropriateness having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs.
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