We all know the cliché: You never get a second chance to make a first impression.
News flash: You don’t even get a first chance. That’s because your current clients have already given your prospects their impression of you.
Ask advisors how to make a great first impression and they’ll all say the same things. Dress nicely. Warm handshake. Trustworthy smile. Impressive offices. Attractive website. Nope. Too late.
By the time your prospects meet you at your office or visit your website, they’ve already gotten a first impression of you. It’s what your current clients have to say about you.
And yet, most advisors neglect their current clients and put their focus and time on getting new ones.
Everybody knows that one solid referral from a trusting, happy client is worth a thousand half-hearted inquiries from people buzzing your website.
So where do most advisors put their marketing time and attention?
On getting more half-hearted inquiries from more total strangers buzzing their websites.
They spend serious money on clothing. They spend money on personal grooming. They spend money on having the right car and office space. They go to seminars to work on their handshakes and their elevator pitches.
And all the while, they’re neglecting the army of people who are out there creating first impressions of them – for better or worse.
The people least likely to become your clients are the ones who get a wishy-washy evaluation from people who are currently your clients … but may not be sticking around for much longer.
This is a long way of saying that if you don’t pay attention to your current client base, some other advisor will.
The advisor relationship is a lot like marriage. First comes courtship and trust building. Then comes commitment. But many marriages go stale for the same reason that relationships with financial advisors go stale—because the honeymoon ends when the seduction stops.
Therapist after therapist will tell you that the biggest threat to relationships isn’t money or kids. It’s neglect. And the cheapest, most effective and most enjoyable form of marital therapy is Date Night. Therapists often ask the husbands, “When was the last time you took your wife on a date?”
The husbands typically shrug. They look at marriage as a done deal. No further courtship necessary.