Timing Your Next Best Conversation: How to Avoid the Meeting-About-a-Meeting

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Surprisingly, many advisors are making the same mistake, over and over. To make matters worse, not only are they making this avoidable error, but they’ve actually built it into their own workflows.

It’s the dreaded meeting-about-a-meeting—and advisors are wasting their own time and that of their clients by scheduling them.

Why do so many advisors insist on cluttering their calendars with what they recognize as “remarkably inefficient” meetings? Why do they send the same email over and over (“Let’s have a check-in meeting and see if there’s anything to talk about”) when they know that no one wants to have a meeting-about-a-meeting? Where’s the value added?

There’s a reason for these meetings, as inefficient as they are. Not all advice is created equal. Advisors know that good advice transforms into the best advice when it’s presented exactly when it’s most needed.

The best advice rings true and resonates when clients are in a position to act upon and achieve their financial goals. It’s advice that’s present and aware. In a word, it’s “timely.” 

The best advisors know that the most meaningful, timely opportunities to engage with clients occur at critical points in life. Those conversations are often centered around retirement planning, tax strategies, and insurance or estate needs. They revolve around milestones, often at certain ages or specific situations. 

Advisors know that the proper timeliness of advice is often the most difficult aspect of giving advice in the first place. “The ongoing flow of potential advice needs is what keeps the value of advice relevant to clients over time,” explains Michael Kitces. But how can advisors know what is timely without scheduling one of those vapid meetings-about-a-meeting? How should advisors identify when is the right time for the next best conversation? 

Advisors can turn to their CRM systems, or even a spreadsheet, for tracking that information. But it’s a risky bet. Milestones that are buried in those workflows can present problems when it’s time to introduce a client to an advising opportunity. One miscalculation can erode trust or result in a missed opportunity, which is why advisors employ the meeting-about-a-meeting strategy.

At Bento Engine, we’re deleting the “check-in.” Instead, we’ve replaced it with actionable, timely advice sourced from the information you already have. 

Our technology plugs into your existing CRM and surfaces opportunities to provide the right advice at the ideal moment. We also provide turnkey educational material that can be tailored to individual clients. That means no more guesswork about the ideal time for an important conversation. 

We help you see into the future, zeroing in on common age-based milestones that may trigger planning conversations, from talking with the next generation about opening and funding their first Roth IRA with money from a summer job to highlighting clients’ eligibility for IRA and 401(k) catch-up contributions at age 50, or QCDs at age 70.5 for those who are philanthropically inclined.

In short, we’ve transformed the meeting-about-a-meeting into a meaningful and informative conversation—the Next Best Conversation. It’s time to cross off your check-in.

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