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Practice Management > Building Your Business

Enhancing the Level of Service

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Valet parking and an office big enough to display a large tank of saltwater fish might impress your clients and prospects, but they aren’t practical for many advisors.

Here are some small changes nearly all advisors can make to ensure clients get the most memorable positive experiences possible.

Be Flexible. These days, it’s important to think about when your clients can meet with you and work around those hours. Chris Holman of ClientWISE in Tarrytown, New York, tells of an advisor who begins meeting with clients at 5:30 AM, so that they can stop in to see him on their way to work.

Offer Relaxation. Mitch Kramer of Fluent Financial in Dallas keeps classical music playing and offers non-business related literature, such as travel and architecture magazines, in his waiting area, so that clients are not reading about negative economic news before seeing him. That way, the clients’ defenses aren’t raised before they meet.

Follow Up. A letter sent to a client following a first meeting might be satisfactory, but a handwritten “Thank You” note from an advisor will make a much greater impact on a client.

Give Comfort. Make sure the chairs in you conference room are ergonomically correct, so that clients are physically comfortable and can sit for long periods of time.

Take Pride. In many Asian cultures, the presentation of a business card is an event. The card is given face up toward the person receiving it, while the giver has a forefinger and thumb on each of the top two corners of the card. This is a sign of a personal, special exchange between the two people. Try that more formal, and respectful, approach the next time, suggests Holman, instead of flinging your card across a desk or letting a client take one on their own from a business card display.

Show Respect. Ray Sclafani of ClientWISE stresses the importance of good communication while in a client meeting. “Pay attention to when people need a coffee break or a bathroom break, especially for the older clients,” he notes. Chris P. Jordan of LEXCO Wealth Management in Tarrytown, New York. agrees. “Be professional from the moment the client walks in,” he says. “Have an agenda written for every meeting and let the client know how long the meeting will be.”


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