5 Steps to Attracting and Retaining More Clients
Lack of success in this industry can be a result of many failings – from a lack of business acumen to ineffective soft skills. In this post we’ll look at some key areas many advisors might consider focusing on in order to attract and retain more clients.
#1. Asking for feedback
Too few advisors regularly ask for feedback on their service. By not asking for feedback they don’t know how their clients are feeling, and they don’t know if they need to improve – or in which areas.
Asking for feedback shouldn’t cause you any discomfort. If you’re asking in a sincere desire to know how to serve your clients better, they will see that you’re genuinely interested in their opinion and in their welfare. They’ll be happy to give you feedback, plus they’ll feel more secure about your relationship going forward.
#2. Articulating your value
In this competitive marketplace advisors who don’t stand out won’t find success. To prospects, financial advisors appear to sell the same products, speak the same language – and pretty much all look the same. If you don’t articulate the extra ‘something’ you can bring to the table you run the risk of being just another face in the crowd.
When you’re talking to a prospect, remember you’re not selling your process. You’re selling peace of mind. You exist so that your clients don’t have to spend their time worrying. You’re there to help them make good financial decisions, avoid serious mistakes and ensure they achieve their life’s financial goals.
Articulate your value using stories about people you’ve helped in the past. Did you recently help a couple achieve their dream retirement? Because of you, are they now 100% financially stable and able to spend their ‘golden years’ in comfort? If you’re talking to pre-retirees illustrate your worth by describing what you have done for others so they can understand the innate value of your services.
#3. Exceeding clients’ expectations
It’s your job not just to meet but to exceed your clients’ expectations – that’s if you want to retain them for the long term. Exceed their expectations by communicating often, whether it’s an email, phone call or handwritten note. Showing that you have them top of mind will inspire their loyalty and disincline them from going elsewhere.
#4. Focusing on a niche
It’s crucial to have a niche in this industry otherwise you’ll simply get lost in the ‘white noise’. Given this it’s surprising how few advisors get around to defining their target market.
If you haven’t identified your target market yet, this is one task you need to get on with right away.
Focus on serving a sector that resonates with you personally. Perhaps you previously worked in a certain industry e.g. IT? If so, it makes sense to consider working with people in this niche.
For starters it will help you make connections with prospects, plus you’ll be able to target your marketing to meet their specific needs. Over the longer term you’re more likely to be able to serve this group better because you have many things in common.
Another bonus is that you are sure to generate more referrals this way. Once you become established as the ‘go to’ advisor for people working in the IT sector, clients will refer their colleagues and friends.
#5. Developing a succession plan
A recent report suggests that just 13% of advisors managing under $50 million in assets have a formal succession plan. When clients ask what will happen to their investments should something happen to you, it’s essential you have a good answer ready.
Developing a succession plan is often left on the backburner but not having one seriously undermines your ability to show you care about your clients.
If you improve in these five key areas, you’re sure to see an uplift in business. However, this list certainly isn’t exhaustive – far from it. In a future post we’ll examine other essential areas that commonly require improvement in order to maintain and grow a healthy financial advisory practice.