Annual can’t be arsed

Annual can’t be arsed

This blog is all about the annual review. Even the phrase itself causes me pain in my heart and soul. Why? Because the whole notion is just a nonsense. To me, an annual ‘review’ is like sitting on a boat, looking back at port and saying, “remember when we did that good work? That was good, wasn’t it?” But looking back achieves nothing. We want to look forwards – let me explain.

The whole ‘annual review’ thing is a nonsense

So, my client is coming in for their annual review. What does that even mean?

Let’s be honest, ‘compliance’ says that you have to do something every year – a regulatory thing where we have to update our clients on charges, terms of engagement and all that sort of thing. That’s where the word annual comes in.

But ‘review’?

Review means to go over something that’s already happened. And there lies the problem I have with the whole annual review thing. Where’s the value in going over something that you’ve already done?

Going over things you’ve already done adds no value

Okay, so what you did before was clearly of value. But how is going over it again still of value now?

What benefit is a review if all it does is confirm the same stuff, all over again? ‘Reviewing’ is simply looking back at something you did well before. It’s just a half-arsed process that adds no real value to our clients.

In fact, let’s not even call it an annual review – we may as well call it an ‘annual can’t be arsed’.

I mean really, as a great ongoing and human process – after you’ve done all that fantastic lifestyle financial planning and coaching – is an annual ‘can’t be arsed’ really the best we can do?

Of course not.

Make it about enrichment and improvement

So, let’s stop looking backwards. Let’s ditch this concept of ‘review’ and focus on the good stuff. Let’s look forwards. Let’s focus on adding value.

What we should really be doing is improving things and building on all the great work we’ve done previously to create something that’s even better!

Explore and understand your client’s changing needs

So, what’s changed since you last saw your client?

Shift the focus from policies and investments – we need to focus on your client. What’s changed in their world – and in their mind?

I mean, are you the same person you were a year ago? Or 10 years ago? If I asked you what you wanted out of life 10 years ago, would your answer be the same today? I very much doubt it.

It’s likely your client’s world has changed a little too – maybe even a lot. Their family circumstances may be different, their work, their health. Nothing stays static!

Skipper the boat

Our job is to skipper the boat. And sometimes, that means reassessing where we want to go.

Is there a new opportunity that they’d love to explore? Can we stretch their mind in a new and exciting direction? How can we improve things for our clients – and enrich their lives even more?

That’s how we add value – that’s what they are paying us for.

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