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The First Call: Unlocking Your Financial Future

This episode provides valuable insights into what potential clients can expect during the first call with "Your Investment Partners." Listeners will gain a clear understanding of how the firm operates, how their needs will be addressed, and the benefits of establishing a long-term relationship.

Key Points Covered:

  • The importance of the introductory phone call in understanding client goals and histories.
  • How the conversation during the phone call opens doors to know each other better and assess the right fit.
  • The benefits of referring clients to other professionals when they need specific expertise outside their scope.
  • Explaining their financial planning and investment management process to clients.
  • How they charge and the incentives behind their fee structure.
  • Understanding the urgency and timelines of clients' financial needs.
  • The subsequent deep dive conversation and plan presentation that follows the introductory call.

If you have any questions about the topics discussed or want to schedule an introductory call, feel free to reach out via phone or email.


(801) 476 - 1200

00;00;06;29 - 00;00;20;20

Speaker 1

Hello and welcome to your investment partners with Paul and Garrett, where we talk about all things financial, focusing on helping you plan, keep and grow for a successful future. If you're new to the podcast, welcome. And if you're tuning in again, welcome back and thank you for listening.

00;00;21;13 - 00;00;41;22

Speaker 2

Hello and welcome to your investment partners with Paul and Garrett. Today we are talking about our introductory phone call when a potential client reaches out to us for the first time. There's usually five main questions we'd like to cover. This gives us a sense of their goals, their histories, as well as where they're hoping to go. If you have any questions about any of the items discussed, please reach out either by phone or email.

00;00;41;27 - 00;00;58;27

Speaker 2

My name is Garrett Smith. I look forward to having you with us today. Welcome back. Here's a solo episode for you today. I kind of want to discuss what happens when you reach out to us for the first time. Oftentimes, reaching out to a new advisor can be a little intimidating because everybody does it a little bit different.

00;00;59;20 - 00;01;19;13

Speaker 2

And we obviously have a strong financial planning process. The client process that we use is our outline kind of work our way through the financial planning world. But you know, really, how does it get going? How does it get started? And it usually starts with an introductory phone call. I just kind of wanted to go over how that phone call works.

00;01;19;24 - 00;01;43;06

Speaker 2

What we usually cover, the conversations that usually happen. That way you at least have an idea before you pick up the phone and give us a ring. We do like talking to a person, you know, obviously prefer face to face, but we have clients all over the U.S. and so being able to talk to them by phone or by Zoom is usually how things get going.

00;01;44;02 - 00;02;15;23

Speaker 2

And so having these conversations can open doors and get to know one another to make sure there's a right fit. We realize we're not the financial planners for everybody. We have certain clients that we work better for, particularly those who fit situations that we've already solved in our own lives. And so that allows those clients to kind of build upon our expertise and bring in just a little added layer of comfort in their financial situation.

00;02;16;09 - 00;02;35;13

Speaker 2

You know, oftentimes we when we're talking to clients, we always tell them, just send everybody our way. You know, we don't you don't have to worry if somebody has a question about money, just just send them our way. You don't have to worry if they're the right fit for us or anything, because we have plenty of contacts that if you know somebody is looking for, this is an example that comes up.

00;02;35;14 - 00;02;50;24

Speaker 2

It's somebody looking for a mortgage and they give us a call. Well, that's not really what we do, but we have people in that industry that we can help refer him to. And and so that way you never have to as a client of ours, you never have to say, well, is this the right fit or is this someone that that works with them?

00;02;51;06 - 00;03;10;05

Speaker 2

And that's kind of what this introductory phone call is designed to do, is just help us kind of work through what the goals are and kind of the current standings. It's somebody that we're looking to work with for the first time and then we can pass them on to the right area if we're not the right fit or we can start down our planning process if we are a good fit for them.

00;03;11;01 - 00;03;42;14

Speaker 2

So let's just kind of dive in of how that first introductory phone call works and what happens when you reach out to us for the first time. Typically, this phone call lasts 15 to 20 minutes. Occasionally they go longer, occasionally they go shorter. But that's usually kind of right in that time range. And really the goal is just to find out where somebody at and what's their current situation and and what are they hoping to you know, what are they hoping to get out of and what are their goals?

00;03;43;13 - 00;04;07;20

Speaker 2

The first question we always just ask is just what what would you like to talk about and how can we help? This question kind of helps us understand your main goals and concerns. Often when this question gets asked, there's kind of a jumbled mess that gets thrown at our way because somebody, when they're working through their financial situation, there's usually one or there's usually not just one or two stresses.

00;04;07;20 - 00;04;23;05

Speaker 2

There's three or four or five. There's there's a lot of things on their mind, and often times it's that disorganization that's kind of causing some of the stresses, just don't know where to start. And so sometimes when we ask that question is just what do you want to talk about? You know, three, four or five, six things come out about.

00;04;23;05 - 00;04;41;13

Speaker 2

I just don't know how to juggle all of these different stresses and considerations on my financial life. I want to save for the future, but I got to help in this situation. Now, maybe I have an inheritance coming. There's a tax thing. I've got an insurance thing over here. And just how do they all work together in my financial goal?

00;04;41;13 - 00;05;00;14

Speaker 2

And so that's just the first question is, you know, what would you like to talk about and just get everything out there, everything that's on your mind and and how you know, how we can assess, you know, what's your ideal situation here of, you know, what is the desired outcome to at least the best you can articulate it.

00;05;00;26 - 00;05;16;10

Speaker 2

You know, some people just want to they just call and they just say, you know, there's a lot going on. I just need someone to help me work through it. And, you know, give me advice on exactly what to do. Other people like to kind of have the back and forth conversation and come to a conclusion themselves. And so everyone's just different.

00;05;16;25 - 00;05;37;07

Speaker 2

And so that's kind of what that first question is designed to to kind of figure out is just how is the best way we can work with you? The second question we ask is have you worked with another financial professional before? What went well? What didn't? Sometimes people come to us with various histories. Maybe they had a bad experience in the past.

00;05;37;07 - 00;06;03;11

Speaker 2

Maybe that a good experience in the past. And they're just looking for the right fit today. And so understanding where they're coming from and what's triggering the phone call today opens up that door. You know, often times on this question, we'll touch base on what's been their experience working with CPAs or attorneys or other insurance professionals or anybody else that they're dealing with in their life to just see how coordinated everything is.

00;06;04;02 - 00;06;26;23

Speaker 2

Oftentimes when we get somebody working with us for the first time, there's been no overall coordination. You know, there are CPA advisors. One thing maybe they haven't talked to an attorney yet, so there's not really an overall estate plan coming together. Kids are telling them another thing, their neighbor saying for thing, and it's kind of comes together. It's not really sure how all those pieces fit together.

00;06;27;06 - 00;07;00;16

Speaker 2

And so the second question is kind of geared at that is what's been the experience working with other professionals and how can we start bringing those those pieces together? The third question we ask is what would you like to know about us and our process? We obviously have a strong process of the client process, which is leads us through those steps of clarifying and understanding someone's goals, using our expertise, and then putting into practice and actually implementing the advice that we give and then keeping an eye on monitoring those goals and then enjoying the benefit.

00;07;01;11 - 00;07;26;21

Speaker 2

We talk about that a lot, but oftentimes there's questions about each specific step. And so this is a time to just get clarity about who we are, maybe our backgrounds, our experience, as well as what process we use going forward. And these questions can kind of be in a wide range of of, you know, maybe maybe there are things that are very, very specific about, you know, what is actually implementation look like.

00;07;27;18 - 00;07;44;08

Speaker 2

And to be honest, it looks like a lot of signed paperwork and it could be is just high level of, you know, what happens when we reach our goals. And then we kind of have that discussion because usually once you reach one goal, it's like climbing one mountain. You just see more you want to climb. You take a look around.

00;07;44;08 - 00;08;05;00

Speaker 2

You enjoy the success that you've had in any kind of start on the next piece. That's kind of an ongoing process. And so sometimes it's process oriented and sometimes it's specific oriented. Sometimes it's about our background, who we are, and we just want to work through all those. So there's an understanding of who we are and how we approach financial planning and investment management.

00;08;06;14 - 00;08;33;15

Speaker 2

The fourth question is how we charge obviously every professional charges in their own unique way. We charge on assets under management. So anything we're managing and then the advice comes along with that because we've usually seen portfolio size and financial complexity kind of go hand in hand. Usually somebody who has more assets has a little bit more complicated financial life than somebody who has a little bit less.

00;08;33;29 - 00;08;48;17

Speaker 2

It's not always the case, but they seem to be really tied together. And so that allows us to kind of mark those two together. And we just want to be clear about how it's going to show up on your statement. We're not trying to hide any commissions behind the scenes or tuck something in that you're not going to see.

00;08;49;00 - 00;09;12;18

Speaker 2

So that question opens up the door to answer any of those cost base questions about how we get paid. We don't get any large upfront commissions. We want to earn your business year after year. We enjoy working with our clients and, you know, we really get paid over a 20 year relationship instead of, you know, selling something in year one and then and then moving on.

00;09;13;02 - 00;09;32;11

Speaker 2

So that's why we like to do it that way. And then it kind of aligns our incentives and our portfolios together. So what we say is we eat our own cooking, so we're in the more in the same boat together, working together. And then the last question that we use is when would you like to start? You know, we get at some things are pressing you off.

00;09;32;11 - 00;09;47;13

Speaker 2

Time for your phone calls. Hey, I've got to solve this now. Maybe I've just lost a job. Maybe there's a medical emergency in the family and I'm trying to navigate my investments. Do I keep working or do I stop, take care of a spouse? Maybe there's something pressing, but other times it's just, you know, I'm thinking down the road.

00;09;48;02 - 00;10;20;11

Speaker 2

And so getting an understanding together of when somebody would like to start helps us. So we're not pressuring somebody into a situation where they don't want to be. Because obviously when things are pressing, we want to help encourage and move things forward. But when things aren't pressing, maybe it's time to to wait a little bit. And so, hey, you know, answering that question when you would like to start is laying out what are the deadlines that are ahead of you and how what needs to be done before each one of those?

00;10;20;11 - 00;10;43;01

Speaker 2

Because usually what happens after this point, after this introductory phone call is let's say, you know, we come to agreement, We we think there could be a good fit there. And so then we take the next step of of going into our first really deep dive conversation. And this this can be an hour or it could be an hour and a half of just going through with a fine tooth comb, all your financial situations.

00;10;43;02 - 00;10;59;25

Speaker 2

So if somebody says, Hey, you know, I got something, we need to get started right away, you know, this is the next thing we line up is just this deep dive conversation and we just try to understand the full picture. Where's all the dollars at? What are all the goals, what's all the history? And that just takes a long time to go through.

00;10;59;25 - 00;11;20;09

Speaker 2

And then we'll bring back all the pieces that have been put together and then set up a what we call kind of a presentation meeting, kind of lay out, here's our best ideas to solve these issues right now. And so, you know, kind of is kind of back up. It's there's the introductory phone call, 15 to 20 minutes.

00;11;20;10 - 00;11;40;17

Speaker 2

You want to go past that and there's a deep dive, you know, hour, hour and a half conversation that's just going through your entire financial world. It's well, we're going to ask a bunch of questions just to make sure we understand everything that's going on. Everything looks good there. Then we'll go to kind of our plan presentation where we'll just say, Hey, here's our three or four best ideas for your situation.

00;11;41;02 - 00;12;07;17

Speaker 2

This is what we would do if you want to work with us, if you want to take these ideas and go off on your own, that's okay too. But then at that point, you can choose. You want to continue to work with us, with us and investment partners or I'm just get to thank you and move on. And if you choose to work with us, that's when all the paperwork science account's going to move and we're going to start going down that road and and hopefully have a relationship that lasts for a long time.

00;12;07;17 - 00;12;42;23

Speaker 2

You know, I hope to work with you and your kids. And I like working with multi-generational families. It's it's really fun to kind of start to tie all those planning elements together. But that's typically how it works. It's just it is question heavy. You know, we've got to understand your situation and then we come up with a few ideas in the end as a place to get started because usually that jumbled mess that we start with or not necessarily mess with just that jumble of ideas that are in your head of like, you know, I've got so many things I'm trying to navigate and balance and then we can step in and say, it sounds

00;12;42;23 - 00;12;57;06

Speaker 2

like these couple of things are the priorities that need to be solved right away. In our experience, this is a good way to solve them. If you'd like our help, this is what we can do, and then we'll start to work down items three, four or five after getting, you know, big items one and two taken care of.

00;12;58;02 - 00;13;20;12

Speaker 2

So I hope that kind of alleviates a little bit of stress of when you reach out for us for the first time. It's a simple phone call. You know, we need to start somewhere and you're always welcome to reach out and schedule one of those on our calendar and have that conversation just to kind of see if there's a fit there have had the opening conversation and kind of start down the path of simplifying and clarifying your financial life.

00;13;21;01 - 00;13;28;22

Speaker 2

So always appreciate you having taken the time today and if you have any questions, I was too afraid to reach out. Take care.

00;13;29;19 - 00;13;46;14

Speaker 1

Thank you for tuning in and listening to your investment partners with Paul and Garrett. If you like what you heard, be sure to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. Also, visit us as an investment DOT com where you can subscribe to our newsletter to keep you up to date. See you in the next episode.

00;13;46;24 - 00;14;23;21

Speaker 1

Kessler Norman and Ride LLC, DBA Ascend Investment Partners is a registered investment advisor. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where our firm and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. No advice may be rendered by ASCEND Investment partners unless the client service agreement is in place. The opinions expressed in this podcast are for general informational purposes only and are not intended to provide specific advice, performance data, or recommendations that any particular security portfolio of securities transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person.

00;14;24;01 - 00;14;49;09

Speaker 1

This program is only intended to provide education about the financial industry. All opinions contained in this podcast are subject to change at any time without notice. To determine which, if any, investments may be appropriate for you. Please consult with your financial advisor prior to investing. Any past performance discussed during this podcast is not guaranteed of future results. As always, please remember that all investing involves risk and possible loss.

The commentary on this website reflects the personal opinions, viewpoints and analyses of the Ascend Investment Partners employees providing such comments, and should not be regarded as a description of advisory services provided by Kesler, Norman & Wride, LLC dba Ascend Investment Partners or performance returns of any Ascend Investment Partners Investments client. The views reflected in the commentary are subject to change at any time without notice. Nothing on this website constitutes investment advice, performance data or any recommendation that any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. Any mention of a particular security and related performance data is not a recommendation to buy or sell that security. Ascend Investment Partners manages its clients’ accounts using a variety of investment techniques and strategies, which are not necessarily discussed in the commentary. Investments in securities involve the risk of loss. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. 

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