Providing Value to Your Clients: It’s the Planning, Not the Plan

There’s a popular saying in the financial planning profession: “The value is in the planning, not the plan.” It sounds a little strange at first, but it’s completely true. And it’s a truth that’s important to remember, especially when you’re building your practice and figuring out how to serve your clients well.

Planning is a critical skill, and there’s always room for improvement. When you exercise your planning skills to grow your business, set specific goals, or organize your company, you naturally become a better financial planner for your clients. And when you engage your clients in the planning process, you give them the opportunity to hone those crucial skills as well, setting them up for a future of sound financial management.  

How planning benefits clients

Oftentimes, working with clients involves giving them a plan, like a budget or a path to retirement. Your clients trust you to provide them with smart, comprehensive financial plans. But as important as those well-defined plans are, they’re not the most valuable thing you can offer to your clients.

The best thing you can give your clients is the planning experience itself. That means including them as much as possible in your process, using your expertise to help them improve their own planning skills. As a planner, you can set an excellent example of how to look ahead, react to situations, and make adjustments when things don’t go the way you thought they would. 

When you work with your client to help them define their priorities and set goals for the future, you give them countless intangible benefits: decision-making, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. Encouraging your clients to build these skills is an excellent way to help them simplify their financial lives.

How planning benefits you

Planning isn’t just valuable to your clients – it also provides you with essential benefits. When you make goals for yourself and work on growing your practice, you’re developing critical financial planning skills. 

When you invest in planning for yourself, it gives you a chance to look forward and work toward what you want. And continuing to plan throughout your career also gives you the chance to look back and see how far you’ve come

One of the best things you can do for yourself as a professional is to review your career every now and then. You’ll see how you’ve grown, how your goals have evolved, and how you’ve been able to adapt when things didn’t go the way you planned. Planning (and reflecting on those plans) gives you experience and perspective, which are priceless to you and your clients.  

Planning builds crucial skills

Planning allows you to exercise your brain and grow the skill set you need to serve your clients. It helps you define your goals, understand how to reach them, and react effectively to new situations. Guiding your clients through the planning process gives them the chance to exercise those same brain muscles and become better at making decisions about their money. 

Help your clients practice their planning skills

Financial planning is about far more than just helping your clients develop a roadmap for the future. As a CFP®, you can give your clients tangible things, like a budget, a five-year business plan, or a path to home ownership. But the opportunities you give your clients to hone their own planning skills are even more valuable.

When you involve your clients in the planning process, you help them learn to think ahead, evaluate possibilities, choose specific actions, and practice adapting when things change unexpectedly. And by doing that, you’re giving your clients the skills they need to manage their money well.

Do you think planning is valuable to yourself and your clients? Add your thoughts in the comments!

One of the best ways to hone your planning skills is to learn from an expert. With Amplified Planning’s training program, CORE, you get the chance to watch experienced professionals work with real clients. You’ll get behind-the-scenes commentary of each recorded session and receive deliverables you can use in your own practice. Plus, you can earn CFP® certification credits. Find out more about CORE and see if it’s right for you!