In today’s highly competitive business environment, satisfying your clients has taken center stage. Apart from providing them with the financial products and services that best meet their needs, you also must make sure they like doing business with you, will not be easily persuaded to sign up with the next advisor who comes along, and will recommend you highly to their family and friends. A happy client, it turns out, holds the key to a thriving business.
Several NAIFA members identified what you can do to wow your clients – and hold on to them for life:
Make birthday CALLS instead of sending birthday cards. Cards are easy to send, but there is no interaction with the recipient. A phone call yields much better results. The client knows you care and, think about it: Who else other than your close family members and maybe your best friend calls you on your birthday?
This nice personal gesture also yields results for you, the advisor, because the client will often say to his family and friends if they happen to be having a birthday dinner: “Guess who called me for my birthday?” This places you on a favorable basis in front of his family and friends.
– Gregory Gagne, ChFC
Affinity Investment Group
Help your clients organize their financial documents. Years back, when I came into the business, life insurance companies recommended that distributing policy wallets or company-purchased baby spoons to new parents was a good idea for building a loyal, appreciative customer base. We also also advised to offer company-subsidized road atlases that customers could use in their vehicles for trips. The idea was that these “gifts” might serve as a means of pleasing our clients and holding on to them.
Frankly, this process had me thinking if I had truly provided anything to my customers which made them feel appreciated. Around 10 years ago, I began focusing my efforts on providing my clients with a usable paper guide to better financial organization.
I had discovered over my career that many people, regardless of their income, had difficulty in getting their financial lives arranged and in order. A good organizer does not have to be anything elaborate or unique. I feel its genuine value comes from the sincere efforts I bring in helping people better prepare for their own financial future.
I let my customers know that there are five key concepts of good financial organization:
Know what you have.
Make a contact list of people who are important in your financial life.
Prepare an inventory of what you have.
Make sure your information remains current.
Keep a back-up strategy.
My customers appreciate the genuine value I offer in helping to provide stability to their financial lives. Any help with financial organization is a step toward creating more loyal customers.
– Ike Trotter, CLU, ChFC
Ike Trotter Agency
Use a customer relationship management tool. CRM software helps you track how often you interact with your clients and ensures that no client feels neglected. My assistant uses a CRM tool every quarter to generate a list of clients I need to contact, just to make sure no one slips through the cracks.
– Adam Solano
Lakeside Financial Group
Show your clients that you are really listening to them. I believe the key to pleasing a client is to demonstrate you’re truly listening to him. I ask questions that will encourage people to share details about who they are and what they love. I enjoy hearing about important memories and accomplishments. Then, I’m always on the lookout for an opportunity to capture and return that information in a tangible way.
Give them gifts that truly make a difference. I like to give my clients small gifts that are uniquely personal. Some examples include sending sweater tights to a client who shared with me the fact that she hates the cold weather even though she lives in the northern Midwest, sending an ACT Vocabulary Prep Book to a client’s high school-age son who relocated from England, and delivering a case of difficult-to-locate diet cream soda to a retired client. All of these items were inexpensive but each demonstrated I had not just been making small talk to get to a sale.
– Laurie Adams, CFP, CLU, LUTCF