After three years as an independent advisor, I can safely say that the business has never been healthier. Every new client I have received this year has been a referral from an existing client. I've mentioned this before but it bears repeating. Besides, I believe in giving credit where credit is due. Roy Diliberto once said that the best marketing strategy you can employ is satisfied clients. Your existing clients are the very best way to grow your business. This is another yet another reason you should do everything in your power to make their experience a positive one. Here are a few things on the list for consideration.
Being accessible is possibly one of the most important components of a successful advisory business. When clients feel they can reach you easily, their comfort level rises (and it's all about making the client comfortable). My clients have my cell phone number and understand they are free to call me if needed.
Don't talk down to them.....ever. Appreciate their intelligence even though they may not know as much about the financial markets as you do. You can learn something new from everyone you meet. I mean everyone.
I view each client relationship as an opportunity to provide as much education as they desire. Some clients want to understand how the markets work and some don't. I ask each to help guide me in this and periodically check to assure I am providing the right amount of detail for them.
The Right Match
Let's face it, not every client is a good match for a particular advisor. It really depends what the client is looking for and what you, as practitioner, provide. For example, I don't consider myself a broker and as such I don't recommend the hot stock of the day. If the client is looking for home runs, a strategic asset allocation, even with a tactical component, is probably not a good fit. The client will eventually become frustrated. Believe me, I know. This happened to me recently.
Whatever strategy to which you subscribe, let the client know it. Make sure they buy into what you are doing. If you fail to bring them into the loop, when things get tough--and at some point they certainly will--you will have to do a lot of explaining. The time to explain is up front, before the challenging times come.
Thanks for reading and have a great week!