Creating a Client-Centric Experience

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Long-standing traditions can evolve over time. Especially when calls for evolution come from paying clients. For example, Bland Garvey, a 54-year-old CPA firm, added a wealth advisory arm in 2005. While the move was major, John Garvey Jr. calls it the best business decision in the firm’s five decades. And not just because business boomed.

Aside from attracting more prospects, the move transformed the relationship advisors at Bland Garvey developed with clients. More transactional in years prior, John noticed his bond with clients deepening as his scope of work broadened.

John’s work in wealth advisory was something existing clients specifically requested. Even before the switch to wealth management, John prioritized his relationship with clients. From the office setup to the structure of initial client conversations, every decision at Bland Garvey is made with clients’ best interests at heart.

In this episode, John talks with Steve about Bland Garvey’s decision to add wealth advisory services, why John’s service model and team approach are important, how the office is designed to enhance the client experience, John’s perspective on client evolution, and why an investment philosophy is essential to John’s performance as an advisor.


Key Takeaways

  • [01:11] – An introduction to John and Bland Garvey Wealth Advisors.
  • [03:53] – What prompted Bland Garvey to add wealth advisory services.
  • [06:25] – Why John and Bland Garvey focus on the client-advisor relationship.
  • [08:34] – How the structure of John’s meetings helps clients open up.
  • [12:25] – Why John’s relationship with clients feels less transactional.
  • [14:21] – How upgrading Bland Garvey’s office space transformed the client experience.
  • [18:03] – The strategic logistics behind John’s initial client meetings.
  • [21:52] – How client needs have evolved over the years.
  • [24:24] – Why having an investment philosophy is invaluable.
  • [26:22] – Why Bland Garvey has a team approach.
  • [30:21] – How frequently John meets with clients.
  • [35:13] – What John wishes he could have done differently.



[06:11] – “It’s probably been the single best business decision we’ve made in the history of the firm and that’s to add the wealth advisory work.” ~ John Garvey Jr.

[22:08] – “I would challenge the idea that the client’s needs have evolved. I think the clients’ needs have remained fairly consistent, we just better understand what they need and we’re now better prepared to offer them what they need. And sometimes they don’t even know what they need and it’s our job to have this conversation to go beyond the investments.” ~ John Garvey Jr.

[33:09] – “When the ‘you-know-what’ hits the fan, we try and be proactive. We’re not alarmists either, we don’t overdo the communication every time there’s a blip in the market because we want the clients to sense our confidence. If we give the impression that we’re panicking, it gives them permission to panic.” ~ John Garvey Jr.



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