Many Financial Advisors and Planners currently need to determine what solutions they can implement to obtain their client’s signatures digitally, especially for clients who has limited technological experience.
Over the coming weeks, I will share my view on some of the tools available in the market. The first is an extremely popular choice, namely Adobe Sign or Adobe EcoSign. Adobe Sign allows you to send documents via email to your clients for their signature.

Here are the things I like about the Adobe Sign platform:

  • 1- You can customise the subject line and body of your email to your client.
  • 2- You can CC other users such as your assistant or the client’s spouse (if required)
  • 3- You can set the fields in the document that you need your client to complete and your client will be guided by the reminder stickers on the left of the screen.
  • 4- After the client has signed the document, it is stored to your adobe account and your client’s if they have one. Further to that the signed document is emailed to your client and they can download it directly after they have signed it. Everyone you CC’ed in the email will also get a copy of the same signed document.

What I do not like:

  1. There is no way to password protect the document so that it remains secure via email. Anyone with the link can open the document on your client’s behalf.
  2. There is no way to customise your email with your logo

The cost:
Adobe Sign allows you to send 2 documents free in a 30-day period.
• With a 12-month commitment price per user $ 11.49 (Approx R 206.82 p.m.)
• Month to month use, Price per user $ 17.24 (Approx R 310.32 p.m.)
For more on Pricing you can click here.

Alternative Adobe Subscriptions:
You can also subscribe Adobe Acrobat Pro plans that allows you to create forms and more with your PDF Documents, Turn scanned documents into editable, searchable PDFs and more. Adobe does offer a free 3- day trail for this option.
The subscription for a 12-month commitment is $ 17.24 per user per month (Approx R 310.32 p.m.)
For more on Pricing you can click here.

What does your client need?
Your client only needs an email address and an active internet connection.
It works on Laptops, Mobiles and Tablets.

User friendliness – Document sender 4.0/5
User friendliness – Document Receiver 4.8/5
Secure Platform 4.0/5
Customisation 3.0/5
Pricing Structure and flexibility 4.5/5
Overall Score 4.5/5

You can watch the how to video here.

When you heard the possibility of a lockdown in South Africa, be honest, there was some part of you that started to panic initially. That is a normal human response to the unknown. As humans, being he superior specie we all want control of something, because our personalities differ. The degree, however, is different.  

Here are 6 things tips to deal with your clients in these unprecedented times:

Don’t tell them not to panic

When you are upset, the last thing you want to hear from someone is calm Down, so why would we say this to someone who is panicking?  Instead of telling them not to panic, rather say it’s okay to panic, followed by your response you would have if you told them not to panic. This way, you give them a sense that you are in control and the reaction they have is normal. People like to know that their reaction to events is normal.

Give them the Facts

We are in a problematic situation, and no one knows how the future will pan out. We do not know what is coming and we do not know if lockdown will work the way the government envisages it to work. For now, you need to focus on what is important, keeping yourself and your family save. Trust that the plans we have put in place will materialise as they should. It is also important to remember that you are not alone, and fund managers are all considering their options and strategies. Where you do not know the facts, be sure that you leave them with the message that should anything change they will hear from you.

Give them comfort.

If you do life insurance or medical aids, assure them that the cover they have in place will cover them and their families. This a time to remind them why the solutions you have put in place remains so critical for this journey.

Be available; be visible

Remember that you should not use this as an excuse not to be available. If you cannot be available during their most trying times, they are ever likely to experience, you will break the trust with your clients that you have built on for so long.

If you are not available for whatever reason, ensure that you have provided them with alternatives and sufficient information.  You do not have to build up a library of information overnight, share information from your other business partners. I do however want to caution, that you need to ensure that you are comfortable with the information contained in whatever you share.

Take care of YOU

During a lockdown, you need to ensure that you take care of you. Your mental and social wellbeing is more important than you might realise at this time. One way of ensuring your mental wellbeing is taken care of is to plan. Plan your days, create your accountability measures and ensure that you touch base with others frequently.

Focus on the remainder of the year.

Whilst we do not know how long this is going to last, we do know that things are going to be different for the remainder of the year and the following years, we do need to plan and review our strategies. Parts of your strategies might still be implementable whilst other parts will need a complete refocus. Use this time, to think about how you are going to recover from this.

Barbara Mundell Consult (PTY)LTD provides professional consulting services to financial planning practices. Contact us should you need assistance in planning and managing your practice. We are a recognised FPI CPD Provider, providing customised CPD programmes. We will remain fully operational during the national shut down.

Following from my article Money is not about Money, I now pose the question to you, If it is not about money then why do we talk about money?

As Financial Planners we are great at telling people how to reach their goals. We teach them that they need to plan, protect their plan and how to do this is monthly savings, investments and payment of insurance premiums. 

The reason most people to not reach their goals is the lack of willpower and motivation. 

The goals can be realistic and challenging and in most instances, they are not easy for our clients to achieve. In the plan that we present to people, we generally require them to save a substantial amount of money, pay insurance premiums for something they might not use during their lives. 

As Financial Planners we are generally very passionate about Financial Planning, crunching the numbers for our clients. We are satisfied with the process when they have committed to the plan and implement our recommendations. Now what? 

A year pass and you check in with the client, and you again present numbers and we feel satisfied by the clients appreciating our efforts. Another couple of months down the line and the client has missed his debit order, now what? 

The reason is not that your planning was poor, it was not because of the client not buying into their(your) financial plan, but is more likely that the client has lost motivation and the willpower to continue. 

As financial planners, we need to help clients focus on the why as often as we can. The why is their own accountability measure of their dreams and goals. The why is the reason they made a sacrifice in the first instance is the reason they will remain dedicated and focused on the plan. 

Are you sure you get to their WHY? 

Find out more on how to ensure you get the why in my next article. 

*If you are in the Financial Planning Profession, reach out to find out more about how Barbara Mundell Consult(PTY) LTD help you change the experience and build trust. 

Barbara Mundell,CFP® BAP(SA)™
Barbara Mundell Consult (PTY)LTD

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