Four Client Retention Strategies to Try Out
As in so many other industries, your business model as a financial advisor is to open new accounts and gather new assets on a continual basis. However, in order to succeed you need to combine this approach with a plan that ensures your clients will stick with you for the long term. You need to allocate time to both looking after existing clients as well as time to prospect. If you don’t, your current clients will feel discontented; they may start to look elsewhere, and they certainly won’t recommend you to others.
To reiterate the importance of client retention Lee Resource Inc. report that gaining a new client costs five times more than keeping an existing one. And Bain and Co suggest that just a five percent increase in client retention can increase your profitability by 75%. So it makes sense to take client retention seriously.
If you haven’t already done so, get a client retention plan in place and include the following:
#1 – Keep clients focused on their goal.
Don’t maintain a steely silence when the markets slide, get on the phone and reassure your clients that this is simply a small hiccup on the road and that inevitably their investments will go up and down along the way. When things get tough your clients need the benefit of your experience. They need you to reassure them that they are still on track to achieve their goals. Use analogies and stories to reduce their unease.
#2 – Keep in touch with clients.
Don’t just call clients when you have some news to relate. Call them regularly for a chat, for an informal catch-up – just to see how they are doing and to remind them you are still fully focused on managing their affairs. Ask your clients if anything has changed in their lives since you last spoke – you’ll come across as caring and you might gain some valuable new insights. Your long-term goal should be more than just an advisor to clients – aim to be your client’s friend and confidant. Once this happens you will be on stable ground – since people don’t tend to fire their friends.
#3 – Don’t let clients down.
If you say you are going to call, then call. If you are unreliable clients will get the message loud and clear that they are not a priority for you, and they will start to look around for an advisor who can show them more courtesy and care. Never make it difficult to contact you by providing a variety of ways to get hold of you. Furthermore, return calls promptly.
#4 – Survey your clients regularly.
Ask clients how they rate your service. Could there be anything that you should be doing differently to improve your service offering? Don’t be put off asking them questions in case you might not like the answers. The only way you will improve your relationship with clients and move forward is to hear the truth – from the horse’s mouth, as it were.
Carry out an informal survey regularly: Ask about how you communicate, whether there are other services you could provide, or anything else you’d like to know. Two-way communication is the fuel for relationship success, so if you want to improve your service keep asking and act on the information you receive.
Your existing clients are precious commodities, so treat them as such if you want to grow your business. Care about them and let them know they play an important role in your life and business. Never treat valuable clients like second-class citizens – treat them royally, just as you do the people you are prospecting to. Otherwise you will spend lots of time chasing lots of leads on a path to nowhere.
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