Answers To Questions From Advisors About Using Mind Maps In Practice Management And Client Interaction

Wednesday, August 22, 2012 12:53
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Answers To Questions From Advisors About Using Mind Maps In Practice Management And Client Interaction
At a recent webinar on A4A, I spoke about how I’ve been using mind maps to successfully launch my RIA, grow AUM, and benefit from stronger relationships with clients based on transparency.

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Here are answers to some of the questions posed by advisors at the session:
 
Q: This is clearly a marketing gimmick. Does it really work in managing relationships?
With all due respect, I would contend that mind mapping is not a “gimmick.”  By definition a gimmick is defined as: a unique or quirky special feature that makes something "stand out" from its contemporaries. However, the special feature is typically thought to be of little relevance or use.  If this were a gimmick, the wealth advisors who started integrating mind mapping in their practice long before me would have gone on to some other type of tactic to attract clients.  Just the opposite is happening here:  once advisors embrace the mind mapping software for both back stage and front stage activities, the map becomes a part of their firm’s DNA.
 
We believe mind mapping software is innovative when applied to the wealth advisory profession.  For something to be “innovative” versus just another good idea, it must, according to Saul Kaplan of the Business Innovation Factory, provide new, more efficient way in doing an activity, and create substantive value to the user. In our experience, mind mapping software accomplishes both. 
 
Q: Are you willing to share your "template" (branches, etc.)?
We are working with Andy Gluck and his team to distribute the templates. We want to make this available to advisors so they can have not only get the templates but also training, Web access, and integration with current technology. We also want to create a means in which clients access their mind maps through their advisor’s web portal. We hear this request frequently from our clients.
 
Q:  What does it really take to implement mind mapping in my practice?
Obviously, you need to purchase a mind mapping software and learn how to use it in a practical application.  In addition, working on a big-screen monitor in front of the client is powerful. You also need a way to link documents to the map.  For us, being 100% paperless made the transition to implementing the mind map much smoother.
 
Q:  Where are the mind maps stored?

We store 100% of our mind maps in the cloud.  We use Rackspace as our cloud solution.

 

Q: Are your mind maps tied in to your CRM? Shouldn’t they be?

Currently, our mind maps are not tied into our CRM. This is one of the limitations of the current state of mind mapping.  When I do a client meeting, I save all data on the client’s map and immediate dictate notes of the meeting.  The notes from the meeting are saved in our CRM.  In addition, activity assignments (the to-dos) are entered and tracked in the CRM.
 
Q: What do you use for a Risk Tolerance Survey?
We use FinaMetrica (www.riskprofiling.com).  They are a leader in offering a low-cost, user-friendly way to gain more understanding of your client’s financial risk tolerance.
 
Q:  Would you please repeat the name of the person who presented demographics on the boomers and Gen X'ers?
Cam Marston of Generational Insights.  Cam presented at a conference before me (which stunk because he was fantastic and I had to follow him!).  It was the best presentation I have ever heard on breaking down the four generations and how best to interact with each generation.  Here’s a brief summary:
  • Pre-boomer (born before 1945): This group is also known as the “traditional” or “silent” generation.  They tend to be attracted to name brand recognition, credentials, past performance and like to interact with their advisors on a social basis (i.e. golf, dinner and gentlemen’s clubs).  They like to communicate by phone and in person meetings.  By and large the husband (if a married couple) is the one who most often comes to meetings and makes the decisions.
     
  • Boomers (born 1946-1965):  This is the first “we to me” generation.  They tend to be optimistic if not idealistic, forever young, over achievers and engaged in life.  Watch the financial commercials on TV.  This is a fun generation to serve!  Most meetings, its husbands and wives equally engaged in the planning process and the mind map resonates with them well.  They want custom creative solutions uniquely tailored to their personal objectives.  One of their most precious commodities is their time.  They are less likely to want to be wined and dined by their advisors.  Most interactions are done in person or phone.  However, we have several boomer clients who are very comfortable in doing video meetings.
     
  • Generation X (born 1966-1979):  This is my generation!  We love to stalk goods and services online for hours then swoop in to make our purchase or hire an advisor.  We also tend to be more pessimistic than the Boomers.  We know things do not go according to plan.  For example, one of my earliest memories was watching Richard Nixon resign.  We also take and give referrals to our peers since they also are online predatory stalkers.  We demand total transparency, do not want to be sold, and crave lots of information before making a decision.  We like to communicate primary via email and tend to be very comfortable with web meetings; in fact, it’s almost preferred.
     
  • Generation Y (born 1980-1999): This is also known as the “special generation.”  They are the offspring of the Boomers.  They are called special because they have been told for their entire life that they are special by their parents.  They are friends with mom and dad.  They receive 9th place trophies.  This special group of people is pack creatures; they go to prom in groups.  They like to by the same products and services as their friends but with a unique twist.  The primary method of communication is texting.  Their view of work is far different than their parents.  A good way to meet an affluent Boomer is by serving their children.
I look forward to being a part of the Advisors4Advisors community.  I will address more questions from the many I received regarding soon. 
 
In the meantime, please feel free to respond with your comments and/or questions.

 

 

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