Developing an Engagement Plan

The underpinnings of a successful engagement plan require taking a holistic view of clients and their families in a way that extends beyond the traditional “know your customer” efforts required by regulations.

Developing an engagement plan will put an advisor in a distinct—and advantaged—minority, since such plans currently are absent among most advisors.

Recent research conducted by InvestmentNews reveals that fewer than 24% of advisors currently have an engagement plan in place. Importantly, 57% of advisors at firms of all types have no formal plan or strategy in place for developing relationships with their clients’ children, with the remaining 19% of advisors also having no plan in place currently, but expecting to develop one.

In that latter group, about two-thirds expect to have a plan in place within a year, and one-third within one to three years. When those with a plan were asked about its success in retaining clients’ children, most advisors— about 56%—judged those plans to be moderately successful, with about 31% saying that the lack of a relationship with adult children was the single biggest reason for failing to retain them.

Developing a plan to engage an often neglected spouse and a couple’s children or other important family members should begin by gathering information about the entire family, if not immediately then as soon as reasonably practicable. This information should include:

Having a full range of client information and a motivation to make family engagement an integrated part of the business is an important first step. The next is working on ways to engage all family members.

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