The best definition of stress I have ever heard is this: Stress is the difference between expectation and reality. This is highly relevant in the financial services industry, affecting client retention. In this post, we will elaborate on this and discuss what advisors can do to improve retention.
Let’s assume that after a great deal of time and effort, you finally land an appointment with a very important prospective client. You figure it will take 30 minutes to drive to his or her location, and wanting to make a good impression, you do not want to be late. Leaving on time, you encounter a very long, very slow train. After 15 minutes waiting in line with other motorists, you realize you will be at least 10 minutes late. How would you feel at that moment? Would you be relaxed or anxious? Would you be worried or unconcerned? Your response likely depends on your personal temperament and your expectation of the client’s reaction. Now let’s look at things from the client’s perspective.
Clients: Bob & Joan
Potential clients Bob and Joan found you via an internet search and scheduled an appointment to discuss a recent inheritance. After a few meetings, they decide to hire you. Six months into the relationship, things seem to be going fine. At the one-year mark, you suspect something may be wrong. When you inquire, they respond with, “We’re fine. There’s nothing bothering us.” You take them at face value and 90 days later, they inform you of their decision to go with a different advisor. You are stunned and bewildered. What happened? How did things go from fine to the point where they left you?