Lesson 1 | Goal, Gap and Recommendations (3:00 minutes)

Once you and your client are both clear on their goals and have reconciled any potential revisions in their signed Affirmation Report, the next step is to put a process in place to achieve those goals. That process is called Goal Achievement.

There are three main components of the Goal Achievement process: Goal, Gap, and Recommendations. We talked about goals already, so let's talk about the Planning Gap. The Planning Gap is the difference between your client's current situation, where they are today, and the goals that they want to accomplish, where they want to be. Your objective is to identify and then close those gaps.

In some cases, Planning Gaps are really, really obvious, but we want you to separate that out from your recommendations so that the gap is always explicit. If the client doesn't have a will or hasn't updated it, the simple gap is you haven't updated your will in 20 years. So there's no will right now that reflects your values, attitudes, and preferences around your estate.

Or a gap could be that the client has saved for retirement, but they have a gap of a certain dollar amount. We have to say to them, you currently have this dollar amount. Based on your goals, you need this amount. The gap is, and you'll say the amount.

Until the gap is clearly stated, and it can seem obvious to you, but it is not always obvious to the client and they need to know what it is, and it also provides a real impetus for action to close the gap. I want to take care of that. So we always want to clearly state the gap.

The next is to present your recommendations. This is where you identify products and services that are necessary to begin closing the Planning Gap. You'll clearly identify and outline what needs to happen to bring your client's goal in alignment with their realistic situation. You can be very detailed and precise about your below the horizon recommendation.

So as a really simple example. Let's say the goal is Joe and Lynn would like to retire by age 65, which is 10 years from today. Planning Gap: you have two and a half million dollars saved for retirement. Based on your goals and vision, you require $4 million to retire. The Planning Gap is that you need to save $1.5 million in the next 10 years.

Recommendation: a retirement analysis has been completed. To have an additional $1.5 million in the next 10 years, your current monthly savings need to increase by X amount monthly and your current retirement account allocations need to change.

Action Task: take your top three goals and document the Goal, the Planning Gap and the Recommendations for each in your workbook.