Our top tips for using Pathfinder in front of your clients during a strategy discussion meeting | Optimo Pathfinder

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Our top tips for using Pathfinder in front of your clients during a strategy discussion meeting

What is a strategy presentation meeting?

A strategy presentation meeting typically happens after you have completed the fact find and before you start work on the SOA. It is a way to check in with your clients to make sure your advice is on the right track, while also keeping your clients engaged and reducing the chance of needing to re-do work later. It can include showing your clients their current financial position, confirming with them that you have understood their goals, sharing a proposed strategy (or range of strategies to choose from), or discussing adjustments you need to make to avoid cash shortfalls.

Benefits of strategy presentation meetings

Although having a strategy presentation meeting with your clients is an extra step, it has benefits that can make it worthwhile. Firstly, it helps reduce the chance of costly re-work because you can get feedback and incorporate changes at a point in your process when it’s easier to accommodate them. Secondly, it can help with client engagement because it gives you a chance to demonstrate to your clients that you have understood their goals and helps then gain a better understanding of your strategy so they can feel more confident about the next steps.

How Pathfinder can help your strategy presentation meetings

To ensure that these meetings are efficient, it’s good to minimise how much follow-up you need to do after the meeting. If you use Pathfinder during your client meetings, then you can run alternative scenarios to answer their questions on the spot, and since Pathfinder will do the comprehensive modelling to back it up, you will be confident you have all the data you need to go on to complete the SOA.

Using Pathfinder in front of clients takes some preparation and practice, so in this article we have some tips to help make this meeting a success.

Our top tips for using Pathfinder during strategy presentation meetings

Tip 1: Prepare a basic cash flows scenario and recommended scenario before the meeting

We think the best way to use Pathfinder during the client meeting is to prepare the scenarios beforehand, and then during the meeting only make small adjustments. This way, your clients don’t have to watch you do the data entry, and you can set up the case to solve well. So, before the meeting it’s a good idea to make sure you’ve understood their cash flows by doing a basic cashflows scenario and got results for at least one strategy that covers their goals. By doing this preparation, you’ll have one strategy ready to show your clients, and if they ask for adjustments, it will be easy to copy the scenario and adjust it. Furthermore, if you’re already familiar with the original scenario, then the results for the adjusted scenario will also be easier for you to interpret.

Tip 2: Manage scope

When using Pathfinder in front of your clients, it’s important to manage the scope of the changes so that you’ll be able to generate and review the new results within the allocated meeting time. Some examples of changes that are easy and feasible to make in Pathfinder while your clients wait are:

  • Adjusting asset or loan balances if they have updated information
  • Paying off a loan earlier
  • Increasing or decreasing their voluntary super contributions
  • Changing their salary to take a career break or work part-time
  • Buying a bigger home than they originally requested

If your clients have multiple questions, it’s best to ask them which ones are the highest priority, and then answer one question at a time, so it’s easier to keep track. Also, some questions might be too complex to fully answer during the meeting, so it can be a good idea to foreshadow this at the start, so they’re not surprised if you have to tell them this later in the meeting.

Tip 3: Have an approach to manage shortfalls

Sometimes, making an adjustment can result in a projected cash shortfall, so it’s good to know how to handle it when it happens. You’ll first see the shortfall reported in the ‘Solve events’ during the solve, and once you’ve got your results, it’s best to next review ‘Cash flows & action items’ step. Cash shortfalls are a clear way to show your clients that an option they wanted to explore isn’t feasible, and in Pathfinder you can also show them when the shortfall is projected to happen and how much it is projected to be so they can decide whether to discard the option, or work out what adjustments they are prepared to make to achieve their goals. By being able to show your clients the information they need, they will feel more confident about making a decision and implementing your advice.

The other side of this, of course, is that if you solve and don’t have any cash shortfalls, then you can also celebrate that the new strategy is projected to be feasible!

Tip 4: Get the Pathfinder custom interface add-on

Optimo Financial knows that it’s important for your business to have consistent branding, so we have an add-on that lets you customise Pathfinder by adding your logo and apply up to three custom colours to the interface. So, when you’re using Pathfinder to crunch the numbers during a meeting, your customers will see it as a seamless experience that’s consistent with branding in the rest of your service.

For more details, see our Customise the look of the Pathfinder interface on our help docs.

Get in touch!

Using Pathfinder in front of your clients can take some practice and preparation, but the investment will pay off, because you will have clients who feel more engaged with your strategy and a smoother SOA creation process.

To get started with Pathfinder, you can:


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