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.
Why it works: It demonstrates you care about them as a person. You think enough of them to remember personal details and not pay minimal attention because you are being polite. They feel important. Everyone wants to be an important client.
4. Call first. The market had a bad month. You know when account statements should be hitting their doorstep. Call them that day. If they opened them already, they likely have concerns. If they haven’t, they realize you are anticipating their concerns.
Why it works: You are likely an investor, too. Bearing in mind your investment objectives might be different, but you probably own some similar holdings. Expressing concern and walking them through the numbers communicates: “We are all in this together.”
Why These Strategies Make Sense
These strategies have virtually no dollar cost outlay on your part. Your only investment is time. If your client or some of their friends do online trading, buy no-load funds or use robo-advisors elsewhere, it’s highly unlikely anyone is giving them this level of customized attention. You are anticipating needs. You are acting, not reacting.
Your clients will probably hear friends complaining about their portfolios. Your client suffered damage, too. What do you think your client will tell their friends about their relationship with you?
— Check out 10 Unexpected Reasons Volatility Drives Clients Nuts on ThinkAdvisor.
Bryce Sanders is president of Perceptive Business Solutions Inc. He provides HNW client acquisition training for the financial services industry. His book, “Captivating the Wealthy Investor,” can be found on Amazon.