Three Ways to Hold on to Your Clients
The financial-services business is a balancing act. You must spend a good portion of your time marketing, selling and processing paperwork for new clients while also spending time on retaining your old clients. As you are mining the field for new clients, you should not forget your old ones. Use these ideas and take the initiative to keep the relationship fresh and alive.
Three Ways to Hold on to Your Clients By Toni Harris Taylor
Do client reviews, show up, and reach out and touch them.
The financial-services business is a balancing act. You must spend a good portion of your time marketing, selling and processing paperwork for new clients while also spending time on retaining your old clients. On many occasions, because our existing clients have expressed their love for us, we tend to take them for granted and think they will be with us forever. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. If we are not careful, we can spend so much time acquiring new clients that we forget to "love the one we are with."
Here are three methods you can use to hold on to your clients:
1. Perform client reviews. Your clients should expect and receive an annual review. It is imperative that you sit down with them and review and update their portfolios. If a client goes too long without a review, he will begin to think you wanted his business just for the initial commission. If you don’t review their portfolio, someone else will; so, be sure to set up a system to begin reaching out for their review at the nine-month time frame. This allows them to schedule the meeting with you in advance and gives you time to truly review their account and provide valuable advice, which helps to keep their trust in you.
2. Show up. One of the keys to my success when I was an advisor was that I always showed up. By this mean I mean that you should attend their special events. Many times, my clients invited me to their family gatherings, retirement parties, special events, kids’ events, weddings and funerals and I made it a point to attend. Your clients want to feel special and one way to make them feel as if they are your only client is to show up at their events. One of the benefits of attending these events is that they will most likely introduce you to their family and friends, who will soon begin to think: My advisor doesn’t care enough about me to show up at my events. These friends and family are likely to be your next referrals; so show up.
3. Reach out and touch them. When I was an advisor, I rolled over millions of dollars because the clients complained that had not heard from their advisor. By the time the old advisor finds out about the transfer, the client does not want to hear from him. So don’t let this happen to you. Make sure you "touch" your clients several times during the year. A phone call, a card, a regular email newsletter—all of these count as touches.
If a client goes too long without a review, he will begin to think you wanted his business just for the initial commission.
I also encourage you to use social media to touch them. I know that every compliance department has its own guidelines and you should follow them, but most allow you to connect with your clients. I specifically encourage my clients and audiences to use Facebook.
Before you shut me down, please hear me out. Facebook allows you to build real relationships with your clients (and their adult children), which you can’t do on Linked In. Let’s say you connect with your clients on Facebook. They see you, and more importantly, you see them. You comment (not just like) the pictures of their cute grandkids. You comment on how much fun they seem to be having on their vacation. You congratulate them on their anniversary. They know you have seen them and are more likely to reach out to you when they need you. Also, life events like illness, death, job promotions, job changes, and marriages are all triggers for you to pick up the phone and touch them. Staying connected is the best way to keep your clients.
Remember that as you are mining the field for new clients, you should not forget your old ones. They need love and attention. It is not enough for them to know that they can call you anytime. You must take the initiative to keep the relationship fresh and alive.
Toni Harris Taylor is a motivational speaker, marketing strategist and certified coach. She helps her audience and clients take drastic steps to achieve drastic results. You can reach her at www.toniharris.com.
This article appeared in Advisor Today.