Initial Interest Meeting

Have you ever wondered how Covisum President and Founder, Joe Elsasser, CFP® uses the software in his own financial planning practice? In this new video series, Joe shares his process and how he uses the Covisum software suite to add value in a variety of different client meetings. In this first video blog post, Joe walks us through an initial interest meeting with a prospective client. 





As you may know, many of our software products really represent the implementation of our processes in our financial planning practice here in Omaha. So, today I want to walk you through, real briefly, our first meeting.

In our first meeting, a client will have come in. In our practice, we would call it an "initial interest meeting," or you could consider it the "hire me" meeting. The idea is that a prospective client would have come in from some form of marketing. Most often for us, it's a seminar we conducted through the library systems and they're coming in for a free consultation. Typically, the meeting is focused on one of the topics in the seminar, either taxes, Social Security, retirement income planning or long-term care planning.

In that first meeting we walk them through our process for answering their most pressing question. So, for example, if I have a client whose most pressing question is around Social Security, because that's the seminar that piqued their interest, we're going to start with Social Security Timing®. We're going to walk them through a sample client in the Social Security Timing software and show them the difference between claiming early versus following an optimized strategy. We'll also show them an alternate strategy, because that's really the value of a financial advisor (to help them identify any alternates that might be a better match for their other assets or some of their unique income planning needs). A typical alternate strategy that comes to mind right away is for clients who are retiring with debt. We might want to get some cash flow started into the household sooner because they'll actually have a negative real rate of return on delay, specifically delaying the amount of assets that could have paid off the debt.

Now from there, after showing them the process to answer their most pressing question, our goal is to show them how that one question intertwines with the rest of their financial life. And that's so important because the value of a financial advisor, in general, is showing people the trade offs, right?

"If I make this decision, it's going to trade off with this other decision." And that's where the use of Income InSight® comes in. You have the ability within Income InSight to show the impact of the Social Security decision on what you're doing with other assets. So, if I'm going to delay my Social Security, I've got to have income coming into the household, and that income has to come from somewhere. Maybe it comes from continued  work, but maybe it comes from IRA withdrawals or maybe it comes from a non-qualified account. And maybe I want to do some Roth conversions in between. Those are all items that I can do with Income InSight.

What you've got to realize about the Covisum stack is it's designed with your client in mind. Ultimately, most clients do not have the ability to grasp what we can deliver as financial advisors. And so they compartmentalize into one question, and ideally they want one question answered at a time. But the problem with doing so is the tradeoff that most clients don't see until it's too late. So a great financial advisor equips themselves to answer each of the major client questions. And for us, focused almost entirely on retirees and people in retirement transition, that's really tax, risk, Social Security, health care and overall retirement income planning. So when you look at all those questions, we've equipped ourselves to answer those key questions and then transition into the broader context of the overall financial plan.

Build Your Custom Tech Stack 

You have all of the tools to alleviate client concerns and make sure they feel prepared for the next chapter of their lives with a comprehensive retirement investment strategy. Show them what their retirement could look like with an overview in Income InSight® or dive into specifics with Social Security Timing®, Tax Clarity®, and SmartRisk™.