In addition to ensuring you invest your clients’ funds so that they enjoy the maximum return, practice management includes maintaining relationships with clients and winning new clients.
You know as well as anyone that different clients have different needs that go beyond how to best grow their assets—their needs extend to your communication with them. Some will want frequent communication while others are satisfied with their quarterly report. Some will prefer an email of bullet points while others are best served with a Q&A over lunch.
Still, in spite of the wide variety of communication needs and preferences likely found among your clients, there are a few principles for communicating with clients that have universal utility when it comes to practice management for financial advisors.
1. Segment your business
You have undoubtedly been told to segment your book of business according to your clients’ financial needs, but have you added a data point that allows you to sort by their communication preferences?
Different generations tend to be partial to different communication methods. The same is true for different cultures and backgrounds. Even so, the pervasiveness of technologies like smart phones with the ability to send and receive text and video messages, and the popularity of social media and interest groups have blurred any clear distinctions (assuming they were clear begin with). It’s best to ask your clients how and how often they prefer you to communicate with them.
2. Remain consistent in your communication
Many independent financial advisors don’t have the means to hire staff dedicated to marketing their services let alone to maintaining client communications, so consistent outreach can be a challenge. Even so, consistency is important if you want to bolster your credibility, clients’ trust, and referral rate. Beyond a routine evaluation of their portfolio and the occasional email meant to calm investors’ nerves, you need to stay in touch with your clients.
Today, one of the best ways to reach out to clients is on social media. At a minimum, make sure you connect with each of your clients, comment on their posts, and routinely share aspects of your personal life with them. Sharing supports the continuous work of getting your followers to know, like, and trust you.
3. Make sure each outreach provides value
When you do reach out, whether it’s through social media, emails, a newsletter, or something else, make sure you are providing value. “Value” is restricted to business; in fact, it shouldn’t be restricted to business. If you had a friend who only talked about themselves every time you spoke, you’d probably start avoiding them. The same is true of your clients.
Anything that is educational, entertaining, or endearing is valuable. Sure, you can share financial knowledge, but mix it up a bit. Host a client event, share your support of a charitable organization, highlight members of your firm on your website, and post curated content your sphere will appreciate. You’ve got lots of options.
We help our clients connect with their circle of influence by providing them with a personally branded magazine. Interesting articles (all of which are non-investment related), beautiful pictures, delicious recipes—their recipients really enjoy it, and its branded to you. And we automatically mail it to your list every six weeks, so it keeps you in consistent contact with your recipients.
We’ve also got a Digital Marketing Platform complete with prewritten social posts that you can schedule weeks or months in advance and a biweekly email newsletter of hand-picked events local to your area.
4. Don’t forget about her
You know the statistic—about 70% of married women change advisors soon after the death of their husbands because they don’t have a relationship with them. If you don’t have a specific strategy to build a connection with the matriarchs of the families in your database, you are losing business. Period.
Erin Botsford, a Barron’s Top 100 producer and CEO of The Advisor Authority, shares her strategy for successfully connecting with and converting women in her Stay Paid podcast interview. Part psychology, part business savvy, her tactics close nearly 100% of her prospects at the first meeting.
You can also learn how to connect with female investors from Kristen Wojnar, a financial services consultant and writer with a strong focus on the women’s market. She coaches advisors on how to strengthen their relationships with affluent women clients and prospects—and she recommends our personally branded magazines as a way to connect with the values women rely upon when making financial decisions.
In the financial services space, a client’s trust is everything. Winning and keeping your clients’ trust is an ongoing job and one that depends heavily on your ability to remain in frequent and consistent communication with them. Keeping them updated on their investments is important, but it’s not enough.
You must find ways to connect on a personal level with your clients and their families whether it’s through your own diligence, using one of our or another company’s products, or other options such as client events. Your clients will reward your efforts with their loyalty and referrals.