You aren’t the low-cost option. If clients want to buy stocks, ETFs or otherwise invest in the market, they have alternatives. Your involvement adds value. You know it, but how do you demonstrate that to your client? Here are four easy ways:
1. Early to bed, early to rise. In my sales manager days in San Francisco, I met an advisor who got in early, took the financial newspapers into a conference room and started reading. Why? Imagine you do the same. If you see a news story about a stock a client owns or the company that employs them, call them as early as you dare. Mention you saw this article. Explain why it’s relevant. Assume they already saw the article, but you wanted to double check. You’re done.
Why it works (1): Your client is likely pouring their morning coffee. If they are retired, they are probably still in their pajamas. They realize you are already dressed and behind your desk! This conversation shows you are looking out for their interests.
Why it works (2): My first branch manager told the story about a former client who was a senior executive at a major oil company. The guy would call his company press office and say: “Why haven’t you told me about this story! I heard it from my advisor at (firm) before I heard it from you!”
2. The article clipping. What’s old is new again. See a newspaper article that’s relevant to a client? Carefully cut the entire article out of the paper. Attach a note to this irregularly shaped clipping saying something like: “Thought you would find this interesting.” Mail it immediately. (Check with Compliance first. It’s a clipping, not a duplicate run off on a copier!)
Why it works: It’s an unusual shape. It gets attention. The recipient reads it. Clients think “Of all the people he could send this to, she chose me!” It shows you are keeping the client’s interests in mind and taking action.
3. Remembering details. Before you call a client, review notes from previous conversations. You are looking for personal details. Are they just back from vacation? Have their children just started in college? Have they had their first child? Start the conversation on a personal note. Allow enough time for them to tell you as many details as they want. Afterwards, you move into the business portion of the conversation.