The Ultimate Guide to Onboarding New Clients

The process of onboarding new clients is one of the most important parts of developing a strong client-advisor relationship. First impressions go a long way, and not having a solid onboarding process system can make or break the relationship from the moment it begins. Following a uniform process can help ensure that you’re staying organized and providing your new client with a high-quality experience from the get-go.

Before you get started, be sure to check out this ultimate guide to onboarding new clients.


The work you put in before the initial meeting with your client is what’s going to foster a positive relationship and take their trust in you to the next level. Preparedness goes a long way when it comes to handling someone’s finances. Take this time to send out a personal welcome letter/email thanking the client for expressing interest in your services. It doesn’t have to be long, just enough to help you set proper expectations and stand out in the crowded marketplace.


A typical onboarding process involves three basic steps, the first of these steps being the discovery meeting. This phase helps you understand exactly what the client’s needs are to develop a customized plan to fit those needs. During this discovery meeting, it’s important to include things such as risk assessment surveys and data aggregation. The whole point of the meeting is to get to know the client’s assets, knowledge, and goals. Without this step, you run the risk of having a mismatch between their risk tolerance and portfolio risk. Be sure to dive in deeper than the surface level to get to know your client’s expectations.


The account opening phase is where you will craft and personalize a new account.  New accounts require a lot of paperwork, time, and hours of organizing. A majority of the setup includes the not-so-fun side of being an advisor – collecting signatures on key documents, properly storing those documents for compliance purposes, and documenting basic personal information. Even though these tasks can be time-consuming, they’re essential in setting a client up for success during their time with you.

Step 3: Setup Phase

The setup phase is where you will formulate a plan for the client based on their long and short-term goals. This is why it’s vital to get a true understanding of your client’s needs during the discovery meeting. The setup phase may come with a lot of back-and-forth communication with the client in order to fill in any blanks that were missed or glossed over. Scheduling follow-up meetings, and sending frequent emails or text messages to update the client on any portfolio or allocation changes is vital in maintaining trust with the client during the onboarding process. 

Simplifying the Process

The onboarding process comes with lots of patience, research, and of course, paperwork and follow-up. With all of the other roles and responsibilities we as advisors take on throughout the day, it can be challenging to balance time for properly onboarding new clients. Thankfully, technology can help streamline these processes. 

There are essentially three major facets to every onboarding phase: getting the paperwork filled out, getting the paperwork back to the advisor or team, and then communicating to the client the status and progress of getting their accounts opened and funded. Benjamin works as your digital assistant making the onboarding process smooth and simple. Benjamin helps advisors follow through and decrease the time it takes to get paperwork and supplemental documents back from a client and submitted to a custodian. 

By assigning the task of onboarding to Benjamin, Benjamin will nudge the client to get the paperwork back and expedite answers to their questions during the process. This eliminates the time needed by a human within a firm to follow through on CRM tasks to follow up with prospects to get the paperwork back and is an engaging medium for clients to be reminded. 

If you’re interested in seeing how Benjamin can help your onboarding process, reach out to us here and we’ll get you started with a free demo. 

person looking at onboarding new clients