Boost Retention and Profits by Wowing Your Customers
An ongoing appreciation program can help you retain existing clients by exceeding their service expectations. Incorporating even small improvements to your client-engagement tactics can build and cultivate a mutually beneficial partnership, which will have a positive impact on your bottom line.
Boost Retention and Profits by Wowing Your Customers By Mike Morrow, CFP
An ongoing appreciation program can help you retain existing clients by exceeding their service expectations.
As financial advisors, our time, money and resources are best spent focusing on existing customers. The power of graduating clients up the four levels of an advisor-client relationship is a process of developing a relationship with a prospect in hopes of securing him as a client, turning that client into a loyal client and then having that client become your advocate. Your aim is to have close to 100 of your clients’ assets, revenue and insurance sales and to keep them as clients for as long as possible.
This system is a far more effective use of our time than constantly looking for prospects, referrals and new clients. I realized early in my career that I would rather have 100 percent of the assets, revenue and insurance sales of 250 people than 25 percent of the assets, revenue and insurance sales of 1,000 people. Building my practice around this philosophy has provided me with a successful career with less stress, and it benefits my clients as well.
Incorporating even small improvements to your client-engagement tactics can build and cultivate a mutually beneficial partnership, which will have a positive impact on your bottom line. The degree to which you foster client relationships will affect your level of success.
From the first meeting, you need to make sure that your clients know they are valued. Whether people feel acknowledged and/or appreciated can influence their behavior as well as their decisions. Clients who are engaged feel valued.
Everyone enjoys being surprised with a gift to celebrate a birthday, retirement, wedding or graduation. There are various steps you can take to help you score big with your clients. Here are a few:
Send a book. You can send a book about personal finances to help your client better understand the financial-planning process. Or considering the fact that most clients will have outside interests, send them a book about one of their hobbies.
Create personalized stationery. Create personalized note cards, sticky notes, letterheads, envelopes or pens that have your clients’ names and send them to them. Clients can use these year-round, and each time they do, they’ll think of you.
Deliver a solid oak policy box. Add a nameplate on the front of the box that says, "Especially for (client’s name)."
Give your client a framed, autographed photo. Framed, autographed photos of professional athletes and musicians make incredible gifts. Consider a nameplate that reads, "Especially for (client) from (your firm)."
Give them a historic newspaper or magazine. Find one from the day your client was born and send it as an authentic reminder of their special day. This collector’s item is truly a one-of-a-kind gift.
Create "retirement business cards." This unique marketing tool has the client’s contact information and a brief (humorous) note about his schedule as a retiree. The cards will also read, "Compliments of (your firm or your name)."
Make a charitable donation: Find out if your client has a favorite worthy cause, and make a donation to that cause. Then send your client a card letting him know that a donation was made in his name.
Give them annual custom calendars. Create a laminated, one-year-view calendar with a thought-provoking financial concept, personalized with your company name and logo.
Provide tickets. Invite your clients to join you for an upcoming event, or give them a pair of tickets to a sporting event, concert, comedy show, play or ballet.
Implementing these strategies will have a direct and positive effect on your business. If you maintain an ongoing appreciation program, you will retain existing clients by exceeding their service expectations and boosting loyalty. Remember that cultivating the advisor-client relationship is at the core of what you do as a financial advisor and is the best way to serve your clients. You achieve this simply by staying in touch with your clients and showing them you appreciate their business.
Mike Morrow, CFP, is a financial advisor, speaker, author and commentator. He is the author of "The Loyalty Edge" and has been pioneering his clients to their financial goals for more than 25 years, focusing on client engagement and fostering client loyalty. Please visit: www.ideasforadvisors.com. To book him for your next event, contact him email@example.com.
This article appeared in Advisor Today.