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John O’Connell: New service offerings for financial advisors

Financial advisors can leverage market trends, evolving client demands and technological advancements to target opportunities to create innovative service offerings.

These offerings can not only differentiate their practice but also add significant value to clients which is essential for sustaining growth and remaining competitive.

From personalized wealth management solutions to specialized advisory services tailored to niche markets, the opportunities for innovation are abundant. This gives advisors the opportunity to not only meet but exceed client expectations while positioning themselves as trusted partners in the client's financial journey.

The Oasis Group's John O'Connell shared with Action! magazine some tips for advisors on structuring their service offerings. I caught up with him to chat more about how firms must embrace a mindset of creativity, adaptability, and client-centricity to craft and implement innovative services that drive growth and enhance client satisfaction successfully.


Suleman Din: Thank you so much for contributing to Action Magazine. I loved your insights. We had an article specifically from you that focused on creating new service offerings to attract that next-gen client. My first question to you is why that is important and why firms should think about creating new service offerings. 

John O’Connell: I think there are a couple of things you want to take into account. First, many firms have minimums. The reason is they provide a lot of services to their clients – tax planning, financial planning, and investment management. Some next-gen clients will not meet those minimums, but those next-gen clients may be the heirs of your current clients. Unfortunately, when they do pass away or they begin to transfer some of their wealth, probably at your advice. 

How do you get in front of these next-gen clients and begin to create a relationship with them when they don't meet your minimums and it may not be profitable for you to do that? That's where I think going in with a financial planning fee or a financial coaching offering are really great ways to establish that relationship. 

In a coaching offering, that could be at a lower dollar amount, where they just get to ask you questions about debt consolidation or saving for a home – some of the things that are on the minds of a next-gen investor. That doesn't require necessarily a full-on financial plan or they may not be able to afford a full-on financial plan. Offering that kind of coaching service I think is a really great opportunity. 

Second, those who are maybe planning their family, starting a family, or buying a home want to figure out how they begin to build wealth and accumulate wealth even though they've got these debts, so to speak, with a mortgage and things like that – kids are expensive. 

How do you do that? That's where having a financial plan that you put together with them and say, look, I'll do a financial plan for you, why don't you come back to me in a year or two and let's kind of catch up and see where you're at. You're essentially creating a drip campaign with them and getting paid to start that drip campaign by putting together a financial plan and then having them come back to you in a couple of years. They're still on your mailing list, they were still getting information from you. You're still establishing that deeper relationship with them, but you're not doing it in a way that's not necessarily profitable to your firm. 

Din: Thank you, John. Anyone who picks up this article in the magazine will see your piece and all the different steps and rationale behind putting together a good service offering. But for anybody who's inspired, if you could offer them one quick tip – how could they get started or what should they be thinking of if they want to start new service offerings? What kind of advice would you provide for them just to get that ball rolling? 

O’Connell: I would say take a look at your current client base. If your current client base is moving more and more towards their distribution years, have a conversation with your top six clients. Say to them, listen, if I had this kind of offering, would you think that your children, your grandchildren or maybe your extended family would be interested in something like that? I think that's a really great place to start. You'll be surprised how many of your top clients might pay for the service for their kids. 

And that's what we find more often than not – some of your higher net worth clients will say, you know what, I believe in financial advice, I want my children to have that, even if they're not necessarily going to pay for it. 

So, offering that and then having that conversation, I think you'll be very surprised about how many of your top clients will say yes. And now you've already created your pipeline without having to market a thing. 

Din: John, thank you so much for contributing to Action Magazine and lending your expertise. I look forward to having more of your insights for the Action community in the near future. 

O’Connell: Thank you so much, Suleman. I really appreciate it. 

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