The Power of the Client Presentations – Delivering Brand, Trust and Authority

I have built my business, career and personal life on the ability to present.  Being able to put across difficult concepts in a simple fashion that motivates and energises people into action.  I did a quick 45-minute strategy smash-out at Class Connect in September and gave it my absolute best for all the advisers there.  However at the end of the day, the audience were advisers, accountants and administrators and not SMSF members with skin in the game.

What do I mean by that?

Well I am blessed to have the opportunity of travelling around the country and speak to clients of Family SMSF Advisers.  To existing and prospective members of an SMSF.  The great thing about talking to individuals, all who have super in one way, shape or form, is that your words, ideas and strategies directly impact them.  This is why, to me, client presentations are so powerful.  They build a channel of trusted communication between the adviser and the client.  It sets a tone for the relationship, provides thought leadership and if a strategy hits the mark, it will get the client motivated.  And a motivated client is one that we all want, they listen, learn and are excited to refashion their state of affairs into something better.

At the moment I am travelling across Australia, literally speaking to “mums and dads”.  It is a great way to find out what is important to them and test strategies, ideas and see what works and what doesn’t.  Last week I was up in Port Lincoln for Naomi Durdin of Eyre Accounting and the thing that hit home was “bloodline SMSF’s” and to a lesser extent “Family SMSF’s”.  For those that don’t know, Port Lincoln is a beautiful farming and fishing community an hour’s flight away from Adelaide on Eyre Peninsula.  It is known for its tuna and I am sure many of you remember the gold medal won by Dean Lukin in the 1984 Oympics.  Dean was a tuna fisherman from Port Lincoln.

As with many regional communities there are a lot of SMSF’s in Port Lincoln and a lot of farms in SMSF’s thanks to stamp duty concessions offered by the South Australia government.  Some of the funds are sizable and the one thing that really hit home was keeping the super wealth in the family.  Now when I first started doing client presentations in the 1990’s SMSF balances were very light, from $100,000 to $200,000 so estate planning was not really an issue, it was really for retirement planning.  Even in the 2000’s up to 2007, SMSF member balances were not that significant.  However, with the $1M transitional non-concessional contribution offered by the Howard-Costello government prior to tax-free super post age 60, SMSF member balances grew and today it is not unusual to find a 70 year-old member with more than $1M in their personal super balance in their SMSF.  Some have much higher balances.  The Assistant Commissioner of Taxation – Superannuation was at Class Connect and stated that seven SMSF’s had balances of more than $100M.

The BIG thing is bloodline protection.  Over the past two years I have asked more than 3,000 SMSF Trustees whether they wanted to keep their superannuation within their bloodline and more than 98% stated emphatically – in the affirmative.  You can imagine with a family farm in the SMSF how much more important a bloodline strategy is, one that is safe, secure and certain.

The other strategy getting traction is Family SMSF’s.  As parents who established the SMSF get old, succession planning starts to become an important issue.  Who takes over the Fund if I have dementia?  What happens if both senior members die together?  Is Mum comfortable running the Fund if Dad passes away.  So the idea of bringing the next generation and the generation after that with the up coming six member rule is gaining traction, where it means most, in client SMSF’s.

Apart from the positive strategies that are gaining attention there is also the “fire in the belly” when discussing the proposal by the Opposition of removing refundable franking credits in SMSF’s.  It’s unjust, unfair and disgusting are some of the comments.  It is certainly getting SMSF Trustees talking.  And that brings up the Family SMSF strategy of the younger generations using them to shelter contributions tax while paying the older generation for their tax benefit.  Or switching investment strategies so the Fund is not so heavily reliant on franking credits.  All viable strategies but the only way for clients to know is to get in front of them and tell them.

It’s funny when you start you never know where clients may find inspiration.  Naomi told me that one of the attendees, who was not a client of Eyre Accounting, was looking at buying some property to put in the Fund so that their family could expand their bee production business.  A great idea if executed compliantly and effectively but who would have ever thought.  And that is the message here.  The clients grab and mould what they hear and see and apply it to their own family, financial and business circumstances.  Now that is a great thing to behold and as a guardian of the knowledge there is no better use and with a client presentation, no better way of delivering the message, opportunity and business momentum.

To put it simply, a business that has regular client strategy presentations is one that is growing, building a brand and delivering something extra to clients and intriguing prospective clients.  It’s a strategy for success.

Now if you are interested in getting me to come to your business and present, then feel free to contact me directly – grant@ilovesmsf.com or on my tour around Australia if you would like me to come an pop into your office for a cup of tea and strategise, contact Phil Manhire – phil@ilovesmsf.com.

And a final word from Naomi Durdin of Eyre Accounting:

“The feedback we have had from the Family SMSF Seminars with Grant has been exceptional. The local bankers and lawyers who attended the morning distribution seminar were inspired by the opportunities that the strategies provided for themselves and their clients. Our clients who attended the evening seminar were excited at what could be achieved and how it could impact their families now and in the future. We have had numerous enquiries following the seminar and can’t wait to start utilising the strategies and making real positive changes to our clients’ lives.”