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15 Reasons Why Clients Leave Their Agents or Advisors

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(Related: Now Is the Time to Talk to Your Friends Worldwide)

Everyone loses clients. Since it’s a pretty safe bet everyone buys insurance or invests, it’s logical to assume they left to go someplace else. Your best prospects are someone else’s best clients. Unlike the business world, clients don’t put their agents or advisors on probation. They vote with their feet. Why?

1. They feel unloved. Lack of communication is a major reason why clients leave agents and advisors. They don’t get contacted unless they reach out first. They think they are “just another number.”

Beforehand: You need to have a regular schedule of contact. Use your CRM. When you call, remind them about the last time you called.

2. They think the grass is greener elsewhere. Someone else prospects them, promising them lots of attention. There’s a whole team that will be looking after them.

Beforehand: Let them know they are an important client. Meet face to face at least once a year. Explain the firm’s capabilities.

3. Trading up. A competitor positions themselves as working with HNW and UHNW clients. They claim your firm is “mass market,” offering cookie cutter solutions.

Beforehand: Talk about years in business, number of accounts at the firm and awards the firm has won.

4. They die. The assets are inherited by their surviving spouse. They either don’t know you or don’t like you. They move the assets away.

Beforehand: Get to know their spouse, treating them as an equal.

5. The heirs get the money. As above, the client dies. Heirs show up. You don’t know them and vice versa. They have no connection. They move the assets and insurance proceeds to their own agent or advisor.

Beforehand: Try to get the client top introduce you to the next generation.

6. An advisor marries into the family. Their sister-in-law is in the business. Moving all their business is seen as the loyal thing to do.

Beforehand: Let them know it’s OK to work with more than one financial professional.

7. There’s a disagreement. An unresolved problem. Maybe it’s a “not my department” situation. They claim they didn’t understand what they bought.

Beforehand: Look for signs of dissatisfaction. Get them talking. Be open minded.

8. Someone else is cheaper. They are price conscious, seeing you as only as an order taker. Your service is a commodity in their eyes.

Beforehand: Let them know everything you do for them. Be transparent about what they are paying. Something might be cheaper elsewhere, but might not come with all the extras.

9. They want to go it alone. You do a great job. So good, they think it’s easy. Anyone can do it. Even them. They move their business to an online competitor.

Beforehand: Let them know what you are doing for them in the background, even if your conclusion is “you don’t need to do anything.”

10. Negative news about the firm. The firm has big legal problems. Something was done that wasn’t in the best interest of their clients. It’s headline news. The client assumes everyone was in on it.

Beforehand: This is the moment you lean on the relationship between you and the client. Those problems were someplace else. It’s a big organization.

11. They want confidentiality. They assume you talk about your clients. You don’t, but they know friends see them going into your building. They move the account to the next town, where nobody knows them.

Beforehand: Explain you don’t tell anyone the two of you work together.

12. They think you are doing a poor job. It’s about performance. If the market went down, they assume you knew ahead of time and didn’t tell them. They think they can always find someone to blame.

Beforehand: Look at performance over the length odf the relationship, not just the last month.

13. They want a full-service relationship. They think of you as “their insurance agent” or “their bond guy.” They don’t know you are licensed for other products. Someone else positions themselves as a one stop shop.

Beforehand: Explain the considerable capabilities of your firm.

14. They think the firm doesn’t want them. They heard the firm is moving upmarket. Smaller accounts go to a customer service desk. They won’t have an agent or advisor who knows their name.

Beforehand: Explain you can do business with the clients you choose. You want a long-term relationship.

15. Advisor or agent leaves. They were a reassigned account. The relationship is with the agent, not the firm. They follow them to the new firm.

Beforehand: As soon as you inherit the account, drive out and meet them face to face. Let them know they will be an important client. Give them your full attention.

Everyone loses clients. You can take steps to lessen the likelihood.

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