Not Following Up Is the Second Most Common Reason Advisors Get Fired
If you tell a client you will do something and then you don’t do it, you will sooner or later lose that client. Your dependability will be questioned.
Think how many times over the last six months people have told you they would do something and then failed to do it. If you do that same thing twice, even over a year or two, you will be deemed at first blush to be undependable.
That is a giant step toward being viewed as not trustworthy.
A lack of trustworthiness will kill a relationship every time. Even an unreturned phone call will create chaos.
When you don’t follow up, you are doing far more damage to yourself than you are to your client or prospect.
As bizarre as it may sound, I have seen many cases of an Advisor not calling a prospect after a promising first meeting. All went well, the person is apparently interested in opening an account and the Advisor fails to take action.
Is this because of a fear of failure? Is this because the Advisor forgot to call? Is his because the Advisor doesn’t want to be seen as pushy? Whatever the reason, both opportunity and reputation take a hit.
If a person asks you to follow up, you are not being pushy by following up. If asking you to follow up was a way to gracefully get out of a commitment, you’ll know soon enough. In the meantime, keep trying.
Learn to become politely persistent.
The same mindset prevails with dealing with clients. If they have asked you to follow up, follow up. They may not be as responsive as you like, but persist nonetheless. Clients have a different timetable than Advisors. You think about clients all the time. Clients don’t think about Financial Advisors all the time.
For the record, a voicemail does not count as follow up. Neither does an email, in most cases. Follow up is speaking on the phone or in person. Care enough to do it right. Your effort will be duly noted.
To promise to do something without doing it is to overpromise. To overpromise is to underperform. Underperforming Advisors go nowhere.
My simple suggestion is this: if you say you will do something, do it.
If you tell a client you will call him that day, call him that day. If you cannot call him that day, call him to tell him you can’t call him. Next time you are tempted to tell someone you will call her that day, tell her you will call her that week. Cut yourself some slack.
Never forget that clients want someone they can trust. Don’t give the perception that you can’t always be trusted. Coffee cup rings on the tray tables and trash in the seat pockets may very well cause fliers to wonder about the dependability of the plane’s engines. When it comes to trust, perception trumps reality.