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Practice Management > Marketing and Communications > Client Retention

Golden marketing rules

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Yes, it’s true that intuition and creative know-how are prime ingredients for marketing success. However, savvy agents would do well to commit to memory the following marketing tenets that can help them create repeated marketing success.

  • 80% of your business comes from 20% of your clients. Study your first-tier clients to identify common patterns and characteristics. Then use that intelligence to effectively “clone” those best clients by focusing on prospects that exhibit similar needs, perspectives and behaviors.
  • You only have one opportunity to make a first impression. Prospects will be most receptive if you offer a product that meets their specific needs. Segment your clients to determine which segments most often purchase a given product or service. Then segment prospects to provide each individual with a product/service offering that addresses his or her specific circumstances and preferences.
  • Cross-selling forges multiple links that reinforce client relationships. Research shows that client retention rates correlate directly to the number of products the client uses. The average retention rate is: 14% for clients who use just one product/service from a given firm; 56% for those who use two products; and 83% for those using three or more products from the same firm. Therefore, you can cement client relationships and enhance account profitability by developing focused cross-sell programs that target vulnerable single-product households.
  • It costs five times more to sell to a prospect than to a client. One of the most fundamental business maxims is a cardinal rule in financial services: Nobody does business with strangers. You and your firm invest significant marketing resources to convert a stranger to a valued client. You can further leverage that investment by using your client information to facilitate the development and launch of effective client retention programs that build stronger relationships.

This article is adapted from a new book, The Professional’s Guide to Financial Services Marketing: Bite-Sized Insights for Creating Effective Approaches (Wiley Publishing), by Jay Nagdeman. For more information, visit