The Current State

Though “discovery” is generally associated with the upfront onboarding of a new client, leading advisors view discovery as a continuous process that integrates with ongoing advice, planning, and management.      


The big opportunities for development here are related to adopting more of a “continuous discovery” mindset and finding the most productive process to support it:

  • Migrating to a more real-time collaborative planning (or “co-planning”) model.
  • Adopting profiling tools that can be run quickly and repeatedly to keep up with changes in client preferences.
  • Having a personal library of client understanding tools and exercises that can be introduced across time to explore new aspects of the client’s financial life.

Our Research

See the overall benchmark results for the Integration with Advice & Planning activity area:


Download Activity Area Benchmarks


Resources to Help You Succeed


Development Opportunities

Real-time, collaborative planning (co-planning) can enhance client understanding while increasing the productivity of time-spend with clients (as well as the advisor’s own productivity).



Get up to speed on co-planning and learn from two practitioners who advocate co-planning as one means for enhancing client discovery & understanding:

Taking the time to explore life transitions with clients (current and anticipated) can be a powerful, on-going entry-point into deeper discovery with clients.

Learn more about embedding a “transitions focus” in your advice and planning process:

  • Read article (Mitch Anthony & Steve Sandusky; Journal of Financial Planning)
  • Read article (Susan Bradley; Investment News)

High Performing advisors have a continuous discovery mindset.  There are always opportunities to learn new and meaningful things about clients – how proactive are you?

Rethink your approach to client discovery & understanding -- jump to resource centers: