When it comes to separating great financial advisors from decent financial advisors, returns aren’t always the most important factor. Sure, if you are losing client money, then you won’t be able to retain anyone. But the thing that matters most when it comes to maintaining and growing your book of business is client satisfaction.
If you create a great experience for your clients, then the relationship will be able to weather tough economic times. They won’t cut you loose because of one bad year. Instead, they’ll have faith in your skills and understand that markets are volatile—and that, ultimately, you’ll make that money back. When you focus more effort on taking care of the clients you already have, not only do you prevent defections, but you also attract more high-quality clients through word-of-mouth referrals.
Many advisors find themselves on the hamster wheel of churn. They experience unwanted ACATs, and, to compensate for losses, they need new clients. In pursuit of new clients, they neglect the ones they already have. Because of that neglect, they continue to lose clients, which forces them to continue searching for more new clients—which they will eventually neglect for lack of time.
Take care of the clients you already have. Happy clients are more likely to refer you to their friends and family—providing you with a steady stream of high quality leads.
Here are three ways to retain clients, and, as a result, create new relationships that will lead to more clients. Bonus: All three of these methods are low cost, since spending a fortune will negate the upside of new business.
Stay in touch.
Since most clients leave because they were dissatisfied with the service of an advisor, it is critical that you reach out on a regular basis and return phone calls like your business depends on it (because it does).
According to a study by Spectrum, the four most highly cited reasons that investors worth between $1 million and $5 million leave their financial advisors are:
- Not returning phone calls – 61 percent
- Not proactively reaching out – 53 percent
- Not providing good ideas and advice – 48 percent
- Not returning emails in a timely manner – 46 percent
Always make sure to manage the expectations of your clients, and keep your word. Let them know when they can expect to hear from you, and, if you schedule a meeting of some kind, make sure you honor it. Doing what you say you’ll do goes a very long way when it comes to retention, and it costs nearly nothing.
Create meaning in your marketing.
You won’t be able to make phone calls all day every day, so it is going to help to have some marketing to do some of the relationship building for you. There are a number of low-cost ways you can market to the people who matter most to your business.
For example, try to think about the things that matter most to your clients. What makes them tick? What are the passions that they plan on pursuing with the help of their wealth? Try to send them content that appeals to their passions. This can be as simple as tagging a client in an article about their favorite sports team—which is personal and free.
You can also use unique direct mail, like American Lifestyle or Start Healthy magazine. These products are turnkey and are easily approved by compliance. A branded magazine from ReminderMedia has no financial content, and is instead filled with engaging content the whole family can enjoy. Your clients will regard it as a gift rather than an advertisement. Once you compete the initial setup, it’s completely automated.
One of the best ways to retain clients is to provide some form of education. Seminars are often regarded as a popular way to win new clients, but very few advisors actually take the time to teach their current clients anything new.
When a high-net-worth client can think back over the years and recall everything they learned from you, you’re a lot more likely to retain that client.
You won’t need a massive marketing budget to utilize any of these methods. A little organization and a lot of consistency will go a long way in making sure you create clients for life, and bring more funds under management.