In our organization we had been doing Financial Plans for clients for the last 13 years.
We all know that it is a rare client who actually reads the Financial Plan document once it is given to him. So, we endeavour to explain the document to the client in a Financial Plan presentation meeting. This is the most challenging part of the process because you have to make the clients understand your analyses and how the investment strategy you have created will help meet their financial goals.
Initially, at the presentation meetings, I would print 2 copies of the plan document; one with the client and one with me as the presenter. I would take the client through every page of the document explaining each step of the process; how we have analysed his problem and how we have arrived at the solution. This would include explanations of calculations showcasing excel sheets and long explanations of how the analysis was done and conclusions arrived at.
It worked as a powerful sedative (sigh!)
We quickly realized that it was boring and importantly the client did not understand much.
Later we started making Power Point presentations which was marginally better because of the colourful slides but the narratives were the same and the boredom index did not improve much.
When we started doing Financial Plan presentations through Mindmaps the boredom quickly got converted into curiosity and interest.
This is because:
The Mindmap is colourful and has lot of images. The images help to simplify the technical jargon or emphasize on the meaning of certain words.
The central image is a family photo making it very personal for the client.
During the presentation, the Mind Map unfolds one branch at a time allowing the client to focus on one aspect of the plan at a time without getting distracted (Most paid softwares have this feature).
The connecting arrows make it easier for the client to understand how the assets and saving resources are used to achieve each financial goal.
Finally, when the complete Mindmap is unfolded he has a bird’s eye view of his entire Financial Plan on one page.
Also, the rule based use of colours and images make the Mindmap a mnemonic tool ensuring better rememberance.
For those who are technically inclined and want to see the excel sheet calculations or the cash flows, most Mindmap software have the feature to attach the relevant file to the branch and that is depicted by a clip icon. Click on the icon and the relevant excel sheet opens on the screen.
After presenting the plan we take a colour printout of the Mindmap, laminate it and present it to the client urging them to keep it in their cupboard where it can be easily seen. Even a casual glance at the Mindmap helps an immediate and quick recall of the entire Financial Plan.
The aim and purpose of using Mindmaps in this exercise is to ensure that the clients grasp at least the basic fundamentals of their own Financial Plan and whenever they look at the Mindmap that they have a quick recall of the same. This is important for the Financial Advisor because if the client understands the logic and the thought process behind the advice, it ensures better and faster compliance from the client.