Secrets of Converting Divorce Clients to Wealth
MARCH, 2018
Nancy A Hetrick
The overwhelming majority of CDFA® holders are also full-service financial advisors and one of the motivators for entering the divorce niche is the opportunity to be introduced to our target clients, help them through a challenging period and have them stay with us post-divorce for their ongoing financial management. What can you do to tip the scales in your favor and ensure that they stay?
Throughout each phase of a divorce engagement there are opportunities to seed a future relationship without risking a conflict of interest misstep. The first meeting is where it begins. When a client meets with you at the first meeting and decides to work with you, you should have a client folder to give them with your document list, retainer agreement, client data sheets, and the good ol’ Conflict of Interest Disclosure. This is your first opportunity to let them know that you may recommend that they will need a financial advisor after it’s all over but of course, they’re not obligated to use you and you’re not giving them advice based on wanting to manage their assets later. “But I am a full-service financial advisor.” SEED PLANTED
Then, during the engagement, notice what they’re invested in. Has it been neglected? Ask about their estate planning. Have they done wills? Start thinking about what their needs are going to be post-divorce. Will they need income? Do they just need to learn the very basics of money management? Will they need to have a new financial plan for a retirement that may now look very different? Ask them what kind of relationship they have with any current advisors.
“The first year following divorce can be incredibly overwhelming and if you can represent the hand of support, very few people would refuse that kind of safety and security.”
At the end of the case, you can now make sure that they understand what has to happen to transition any assets into new accounts, etc. This is your opportunity to follow up frequently and let them know you are still on their team. You might consider a once-a-month workshop on financial well-being that would be of interest. This is also a great time to send a recovery gift like a money tree, blanket, or other symbolic gift of hope and a new horizon.
I like to schedule an initial meeting with the client when everything is settled to establish a to-do list for them, start any transfers, set up new accounts, review their budgets and really lay out a 12-month plan. The first year following divorce can be incredibly overwhelming and if you can represent the hand of support, very few people would refuse that kind of safety and security.
As I say to my Velocity students, be in a place of service. Do it because you actually care about the client outcomes and you will build trust immediately!


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