How Financial Advisors Use FORM to Grow AUM

Financial Advisor Client Management – The FORM Technique


  • FORM is a financial advisor technique to build rapport, trust and understanding of each client's goals and priorities.
  • The FORM client account management technique creates a conversation sequence that naturally transitions to investment strategies, tax planning, estate planning, retirement planning and more.
  • Customer FORM data delivers the most value when it is combined with household data and used to create a Client Account Plan.
Johnny Grow Revenue Growth Consulting

Generic Customer Relationship Management systems capture firmographic and demographic data. That's a start but woefully incomplete for bankers and financial advisors. That's why the best CRM for financial advisors applies more personalized techniques such as FORM.

FORM is an acronym for Family, Occupation, Recreation and Monetary. It's a method to capture data in the Contact CRM record that can be applied to grow the customer relationship and AUM.

Financial Services Process Guide

Occasionally I see financial advisors refer to the "M" as Money, Messaging or Motivation. But regardless, FORM is an engagement technique to build rapport and understand what's most important to your client. Here's a look at each topic.

  • Family
    Client goals are often influenced or directed by their family situation. Starting the discussion with family generally puts the client at ease and surfaces possible needs such as college funds for children or generational wealth transfer planning. The financial advisor should inquire about immediate family, ages of the children, special needs and the client’s view of how much financial or other help should be considered.
  • Occupation
    Understanding the client's job, career aspirations and earnings potential is needed for financial or retirement planning.
  • Recreation
    Knowing what clients do to relieve stress or for fun is also helpful for retirement or portfolio planning. This conversation often starts with sports and hobbies but may lead to near term goals such as purchasing a vacation home or post career goals such as volunteering, philanthropies or starting a lifestyle business.
  • Monetary
    Discussion of the prior topics create a comfort level and an on ramp to the money discussion. Now you can ask direct questions about financial goals without coming across as impersonal or invasive. The conversation sequence will provide a natural transition to their investment strategies, tax planning, estate planning, retirement planning and more.

See how to use CRM software and the Financial Services FORM (Family Occupation Recreation Monetary) model to build rapport and trust with banking, wealth management and insurance clients.

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Every client has a story to tell. It the financial advisor's role to prompt them to tell that story and in the process build rapport and trust. Clients want to feel like their financial advisors know them intimately.

When you learn what motivates you client, you can more effectively sell yourself, your ideas or your products.

From Data to Action

Capturing client data is a start but making the data actionable is the payback. That's why FORM data should be integrated with the Household record and the Client Account Plan.

Customer Insights Integration to CRM

Householding extends client data to include their family or extended relationships. Aggregating related party data and rolling up financial or other accounts to the client, household, and extended household delivers a more comprehensive view. This information is used to better manage financial products, accounts and holdings, and deliver more relevant and personalized financial product recommendations.

The Account Plan is the execution part of Financial Services Strategic Account Management.

The Strategic Account Plan is a forecast that aligns financial products with client objectives. It identifies potential upsell and cross-sell opportunities over an extended horizon to help each client achieve his or her evolving priorities.

Financial Services Strategic Account Planning

It's like a long-term sale opportunity roadmap. Each pro forma sale opportunity should include supporting actions such as the client pain to resolve, the financial product to achieve a goal, an offering for the client to consider the product, metrics to show account planning progress and scheduled actions.