When to Call Clients to Keep Your Relationship Strong
It can be tricky determining how often to contact your clients. While regular communication is key to maintaining a healthy relationship, calling clients every week or month probably isn’t feasible.
At the outset, aim to understand each client’s preferences and their expectations communication-wise and make sure it fits your business plan. Some clients will be more interested in the investment process per se and will want to hear your thoughts and recommendations on a more regular basis. You may also find that as time goes on and your clients learn to trust you, they will be more relaxed and require fewer calls.
However, there are certain times when calling your clients is the right thing to do regardless of any prior agreement. Here are some key occasions when you should pick up the phone and speak to clients.
#1. Call when markets are volatile
When the markets are volatile, you should always touch base with clients. If things have taken a downturn, your clients will know it because it will be all over the media. At these times, they need your reassurance that their investments are safe.
Don’t wait for clients to call you – call them first.
Tell them that when markets go down, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Investments will go up and down in value. Use the analogy of a beach ball being pushed further and further underwater – what happens when you let go? The same applies to the stock market.
Reiterate to clients that it’s not your job to make them rich; it’s to stop them from being poor. If they panic and jump ship, they will no longer be in the secure position of being able to fund their children’s education or save for retirement – instead they will be ‘hocking’ their future.
#2. Call to ask if anything has changed
It’s in your interest to keep on top of any changes in circumstances concerning your clients. So, book in a regular time to call and ask if anything has changed. You may find out they’ve changed their job or there’s been an illness in the family, for example. This information will help you make informed decisions regarding their investments going forward. It will also show clients you are being proactive when it comes to managing their finances. In fact, I urge you to get in the habit of asking, every time you call, “Has anything changed since the last time we spoke?”
#3. The Birthday call
A fun and effective way to help maintain your client relationships is by calling on their birthday. While you’re on the phone, tell them where the markets were on the day they were born. They’ll be flattered you’ve taken the time to find this out, while you’ll also be sending them a strong message that investing for the long term is the right thing to do.
#4. Call to get feedback
Treat your clients like VIPs and call them periodically to ask if they are still happy with your service. Ask them if there’s anything you should be doing or anything you could change or do better to make them happier. This courtesy call will reassure them that you value their opinion; that you’re thinking about them personally, and that you’re not too arrogant to ask for feedback.
If it turns out they do wish you did some things differently, it’s also your opportunity to put things right before dissatisfaction sets in.
#5. Call when you have nothing to sell
The most important thing to remember is that communication is crucial if you want to retain your clients’ confidence in you. A quick unscheduled call, simply for a brief chat, will put your clients at ease that you’re taking care of their assets and that you care about them. While you don’t want to call your clients to the point you are pestering them, it’s better to call too much than not enough.
However often you choose to call, always be consistent – if you promise to call then do so – never fall short of your clients’ expectations.
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