The following is based on one of The Covenant Group’s clients. All of the names and telling details have been changed to preserve client privacy. When I first met Corey, he had all the tools to be a great financial advisor. All he needed was a different approach to building his clientele.
He was a natural hunter who loved the thrill of the chase. The problem was that his constant quest for new clients left him with little time to serve his clients. The sale of a financial product creates a bonded relationship. Corey has a fiduciary responsibility to serve his clients. The conflict between his quest for new clients and his responsibility to his clientele was wearing him down.
Corey explained his problem as follows: “All my effort goes into getting clients. I want to be there for my clients and give them the service they deserve, but I just don’t have the time.”
The economics of most advisory practices are not structured to deliver quality service to existing clients. Advisors feel they can’t afford to provide a high level of ongoing service to their clientele.
Like many advisors, Corey could not figure out how to serve his clients profitably. He had to think differently about client service. Rather than seeing client service as an obligation and a cost of doing business, he needed to look at it as an opportunity.
One of the most effective techniques for making new sales is the Periodic Review with existing clients. When you conduct a review with a client, it gives you an opportunity to cross-sell additional products and services and to get introductions, recommendations and referrals. It is the perfect way to integrate marketing, sales and service. You deepen your relationship with existing clients through meeting with them to address service issues, providing them with additional solutions to their problems and gaining access to their network.
An advisor we work with has 60 A clients. Last year, he conducted a Periodic Review with each of these clients. The reviews resulted in 16 sales of additional products and new commission income of $70,000. In addition, he made another 10 sales from introductions, recommendations, and referrals and earned another $52,000.
Corey thought that made sense for his A clients but not for his other 400 clients. For most advisors, this represents a bigger challenge than serving their best clients.
“Corey, the most effective way to meet the needs of your 400 clients is to prepare a Marketing, Sales and Service Calendar, which identifies the marketing, sales and service activities you will perform over the next year. Some are one-on-one with clients, while the others take place in a group. Client appreciation events are one example. Ask clients to bring friends.”
We worked to segment his clientele and develop a strategy for integrating marketing, sales and service. Corey realized that we live in an “experience economy.” By enriching the experience his clients have in working with him, he is now able to make each client relationship more profitable.
He has structured his practice to offer additional products to his clients and earn the right to introductions, recommendations and referrals.
This new approach allows him to experience the thrill of the hunt while serving his clients. His clients win and he wins.