Posts Tagged ‘Financial Planning’
Wednesday, March 13th, 2013
by Shauna Trainor, The Covenant Group
March 13, 2013
To advance prospects through the marketing pipeline and eventually guide them to the sales process, salespeople in any industry need to keep their targets “warm.” Do you have a strategy for how you ensure you are at the top of prospects’ minds? What have you done to guarantee that they associate your name with a particular service or product? Maintaining contact is only half of the sales process — you also need to constantly evolve what you are offering the prospect, adapting the package as you learn more about him or her.Communication is a two-fold process. First, you must collaborate with the marketing function in your organization to determine the best schedule for contacting prospects. Decide if it is more effective to send monthly newsletters, periodically call your prospects to check in, host educational seminars, or a mix of all these tactics and more.
Next, you must analyze these conversations and your prospects’ responses to identify his or her goals, using that feedback to tailor the way you communicate in future interactions. When you finally get to the stage of asking for a prospects business, the strategy that you present will be the condensed version of the months or years of interactions.
Take what you learn to heat up the sales cycle
In the financial services world, this is known as goal-based financial planning, but the model is applicable in a variety of industries. There is no set model for meeting clients’ needs, so salespeople need to take the suite of products or services that their companies offer and then put those into the context of the prospects’ needs. Do not attempt to force a prospect into a pre-fabricated profile.
Start conversations with your prospects that encompass their needs and desires. Ask questions or present materials that are thought-provoking and will inspire them to reflect on what it is they really want. Do not be satisfied with vague answers — press for responses (and provide more educational material if needed) that will give you insight into what products or services you can recommend. View your prospects’ stated goals as the framework to which you will market, and eventually, around which you will build their individual service strategies.
Prospects and clients alike look for reflections of their past feedback in the service you deliver now and in the future. Prove to them that you are listening by using their comments and asserted needs to create a goals-based solution.
Shauna Trainor is The Covenant Group’s Marketing Manager. She focuses on The Covenant Group’s own marketing strategy and also helps entrepreneurs through financial advisor training to leverage social media and other technology to spread the word about their services and practices and build relationships.
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Tags: Attempt, Business Strategy, Conversations, Covenant Group, Desires, Educational Seminars, Feedback, Financial Planning, Financial Services World, Guarantee, Marketing Function, Marketing Organization, Newsletters, Pipeline, Profile, Prospects, Salespeople, Shauna, Targets, Vague Answers
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Thursday, January 31st, 2013
Foreword by Dan Richards, ClientInsights.ca
Earlier in January, I exchanged emails with Katherine Vessenes, a lawyer and author of Building your multi-million dollar practice, who for many years has been a high profile consultant to successful American advisors and their firms.
About two years ago, she decided to return to her roots and began building a financial planning practice in Providence, Rhode Island. In a recent article she described how in 18 months she went from zero to 100 clients, each of whom pays an annual planning fee of $1200 or more.
The article outlines nine keys to her success, but four stood out for me:
1. Find the right niche – Vessenes chose to concentrate on young professionals and academics at the local university. While they had great future potential, the fact that they were early in their earning career meant they were currently underserved and typically there was no advisor in place to displace. And I was struck by the point about the “water cooler effect” when your clients are in the same building and interact frequently.
2. Focus on hot buttons – Even underserved investors need an impetus for action. By offering educational seminars focusing on tax saving strategies, she was able to attract potential clients out to hear her talks, each of which offered concrete advice and specific strategies. Of note, everyone who said they’d like more information was called within two days.
3. Streamline your process – Vessenes talks about the PMS approach as key to her success, in which 80% of her time is spent in front of clients, concentrating on Prospecting, Marketing and Securing Client Relationships. Something that makes this possible is a highly systematized, consistent, process-driven approach to dealing with clients.
4. Go above and beyond – It’s a cliché for advisors to talk about going above and beyond with clients, but Vessenes makes this a core part of her practice. Despite not asking for referrals, one-third of new clients have come from introductions. The key is to look for tangible ways to add value – whether it be by having a staff member spend two days calling every financial institution in the state looking for the best rate on a loan or seeking out a lawyer with deep expertise to help a same-sex couple adopting a child.
Even if you have no interest in building a business based on annual planning fees or in dealing with smaller clients, Katherine Vessenes’ experience offers important lessons. Here’s her full article, outlining nine lessons on what it takes to attract clients today.
How We Brought on 100 Clients in Just 18 Months
By Katherine Vessenes, JD, CFP®, RFC
We just celebrated a great day—102 of our target market clients engaged us in just 18 months! No one was more surprised than me. Here is how we did it:
1. We stuck to the PMS model: If you have read our book, Building the Multimillion Dollar Practice, then you know there is only one way to get your business to the Million dollar mark and beyond—advisors need to spend their time focusing on three things: Prospecting, Meeting with Clients and Securing the Relationship (PMS). Everything else is delegated. I have a fantastic team and these numbers would not be possible without a great deal of dedicated support. I spend about 80 to 90% of my time in front of clients.
2. We treat the business like manufacturing: I got some great advice from a million dollar advisor a decade ago. After meeting with three to four new clients per day (and leaving absolutely exhausted), she reminded me: This is an assembly line. We took that advice and added another piece to it: it is a very high touch assembly line. We have very defined processes and systems. These include a set meeting schedule and we don’t deviate from it. These processes are designed to provide a level of service to clients that they can’t get anyplace else. We always do the same thing in a first meeting, second meeting, etc. That makes it much easier for staff to prepare because we are not reinventing the wheel at every point in the process. Also we are constantly looking for ways to make our processes more efficient and more effective.
3. We found the perfect niche: young, educated clients who like us and we like them. When we started our practice in Providence, Rhode Island, we started focusing on young professors at Brown University. We had experimented with a number of other niches and found this one really clicked for us. There were a lot of reasons this niche worked: they appreciated my education and law degree; they were underserved; they didn’t have deep relationships with other advisors; and then there was the water cooler effect. I found niches work much better when the members are housed in the same building and see each other every day. They must run out of things to talk about over lunch, because sooner or later they bring up finances and our name.
4. Marketing through educational events. Initially our marketing focused on educational events. We found it was important to have a topic that was not only of interest to our target market, but also had a high pain factor. It is not my style to do teaser presentation. So I make sure each of these events has great content—content they can use to make their lives better. Even if attendees didn’t want to come in and meet us later, I wanted them to have a great time and a good impression of us—because the next time we did an event, they could still be a good cheerleader for us. These meetings allow the future client to get to know us in a non-threatening setting and see if our philosophy will fix their pain.
5. Call backs after the event. You can have the best marketing event in the world, but if you are not good at converting event attendees into appointments, then your system will never work. We have a proven system for following up with attendees. First, we never call folks who said they weren’t interested in coming in. In fact, we don’t even put them on our ezine list. For the ones who are interested and requested a call back, we call them within two days of the event and also send them a follow up email. The email just reminds them there is no cost or obligation with the initial meeting, just a chance to answer their questions and get to know them. I don’t want them to feel any pressure. I found the greater the time lapse between the educational event and the call back, the harder it is to secure the meeting—so it is important to do these as quickly as possible. We usually make these calls in the evenings or Saturday mornings.
6. The Pareto effective in reverse. Of course you know of the 80/20 rule: where 80% of your income comes from 20% of your clients. Unfortunately, since we were just starting out, we couldn’t afford to be that picky. There was one place where I drew the line, though: there were certain clients I just didn’t want to take on—I knew they would be difficult, time consuming, hard to please, or put a lot of extra stress on our systems. Another way to think about this is about 80% of your problems and stress come from 20% of your clients. As a result, we fire about 20%–I try hard to assess in our first meeting if the prospect is a good fit for us and if we can keep them happy. If not, then we take a pass on them.
7. We stopped asking for referrals. For those who have been reading my articles for years, you are probably wondering if I have lost my mind. Yes I have written a lot on this topic, but I decided to try something both easier and more effective: I stopped asking for referrals. Instead, we just give a WOW level of service that is not available from other firms. The strategy definitely worked. We started getting referrals the by the third month we were in business. Now over a 1/3 of our new clients come from happy, existing clients.
8. Focus on saving taxes now and in the future. Most of our clients had no idea that they were going to be paying more in taxes in the future. Although the recent legislation is waking a few more up, we spend time showing clients the importance of planning for tax-free distribution strategies in retirement. Once again this sets us apart from other firms, but it also allows me to sleep better at night knowing clients will be better off in retirement if some of their income is tax-free.
9. The WOW experience. I believe part of the key to getting more referrals is to provide your existing clients with a WOW experience they can’t get elsewhere. Here are a few of the things we have done in the last year, that we don’t see many other advisors doing:
a. Young professional had a chance to buy into his practice—but I didn’t like the loan they were offering. Solution: one of our team members spent two days calling every bank and credit union in Rhode Island to see if we could find him a better rate. We found him a great HELOC at a local credit union, which not only allowed him to save in interest, but to deduct the payments. Results—thousands of dollars in savings every year.
b. Young lesbian couple wanted to adopt. We reviewed all the financial planning issues for same-sex couples and found there were a lot of gaps in their financial plan. Then I put my Chief of Staff on the phone to find an experienced attorney in Massachusetts who did adoptions for same-sex couples. The trick was finding an attorney who was experienced with same-sex adoptions. Result: very happy satisfied clients who have sent me a lot of referrals.
c. Female Korean professional wanted a life insurance policy where the death benefit could go to her parents in Korea, and she could use the cash value for tax-free revenue in retirement. Unfortunately, OLD FOGY Assurance Company didn’t like the arrangement because our client didn’t have a Green Card. They wanted her to set up a US trust for the benefit of her parents. It would have cost our client $2,000 to $3,000. Solution: we went back to the insurance company and lobbied on her behalf. They relented and allowed her parents to be the direct beneficiaries. Results: happy client was saved thousands in legal bills and sent us about 8 new clients in the last year.
In short, we found clients are hungry for the advisor who is willing to go above and beyond and provide service and solutions that they can’t get elsewhere.
Katherine Vessenes, JD, CFP®, RFC, is the president of Vestment Advisors, the country’s leading consultancy for building the Multi-Million Dollar Practice, according to Kaplan Press. The author of three books, Katherine is a sought after industry speaker, leader and author. She also has her own financial planning practice where she implements the advice she gives other financial advisors. You may reach her at Katherine@vestmentadvisors.com or 952−401−1045.
© Katherine Vessenes, 2013. May be reprinted only with permission
Copyright © ClientInsights.ca
Tags: Academics, Career, Client Relationships, Concrete Advice, Driven Approach, Educational Seminars, Financial Planning, Hot Buttons, Impetus, Investors, Katherine Vessenes, Lawyer, Local University, Niche, Providence Rhode Island, Recent Article, Roots, Underserved, Water Cooler, Young Professionals
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Wednesday, December 5th, 2012
I got a text from one of the reps in my first branch office last night letting me know you passed away. I have not heard from him in years – funny he should think of me when he heard the news.
You were such a big influence on my career. While I was going through training in financial planning, learning about analyzing cash flow and managing investments and planning estates, you taught me about taking care of people. While I was learning modern portfolio theory and the tax code, you taught me the importance of goals and service.
You taught me that stinkin’ thinkin’ will lead to a hardening of the attitudes. I still work on my cynical side, because I learned through your cassette tapes (remember them?) that it is your attitude and not your aptitude that will determine your altitude.
In my early days as a manager, I repeated your messages at so many staff meetings that my reps teased me about it. And, apparently, still remember me for it. Not a bad legacy now that I think about it.
Though we never met, you were a powerful influence on my life and career. Part of how I got to where I am is because of you. Thank you.
So long, my friend. And maybe someday I will still get to see you at the top.
Tags: Altitude, Aptitude, Attitude, Attitudes, Cash Flow, Cassette Tapes, Cynical Side, Financial Planning, Legacy, Managing Investments, Modern Portfolio Theory, Staff Meetings
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Tuesday, October 30th, 2012
by Stephen Wershing, The Client Driven Practice
The big day has arrived! My book on referral marketing, Stop Asking for Referrals, has now been released by McGraw Hill!
After working with financial advisor for 14 years (and being one for 25), I focused two years ago on researching everything I could find on the art of referral marketing. I found that a lot of great work has been done that shows us what really works, and how we can create referral marketing strategies that will bring in plenty of new clients. You have read many of those insights and ideas on this blog. I have been working with advisors all over the country implementing these strategies. And now you can learn them, too, and start building the practice you have always wanted. And now most of those ideas have been concentrated into this single action-oriented manual.
In this breakthrough book, you will learn:
- How and why clients refer
- How to engage your clients to teach you what they find most valuable
- How to prepare your clients for the opportunity to refer you
- How to be the advisor clients naturally think of when they meet a good prospect
- How to turn a bad referral into a great opportunity
- How to use LinkedIn to identify people your clients can refer
- How to have the “New Referral Conversation” with clients
- How to create a referral marketing strategy that works
It’s all here — what works in getting referrals and how to put it into action.
Stop! Asking for Referrals will give you the insight and strategies to solve your problems attracting referrals.
Bob Veres said the book “will almost certainly become the best book on marketing in the financial planning/independent RIA world.”
Michael Kitces said “reading this book will revolutionize how you think about growing your business.“
Julie Littlechild recommends it as something that will help you “unlock the untapped potential you have in your business today with an approach that is comfortable as it is effective.”
Sheryl Garrett raves “Kudos for this powerful, one-stop marketing resource!”
Get your copy today! The book is available on Amazon, at major booksellers, or right on my website here.
Copyright © Stephen Wershing
Tags: Asking For Referrals, Bad Referral, Blog, Bob Veres, Breakthrough Book, Business Today, Driven Practice, Financial Advisor, Financial Planning, Insight, Insights And Ideas, Julie Littlechild, Marketing Strategies, Marketing Strategy, Mcgraw Hill, Opportunity, Referral Marketing, Ria, Single Action
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Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012
by Stephen Wershing, The Client Driven Practice
Don’t make the mistake of saying what other advisors put on their websites.
At the Pershing INSITE 2012 conference, Michelle Gutierrez, a director at Pershing, referenced a Tower Group study that showed that 71% of a sample of investors get their first impression of you by visiting your website. Only then do they want to meet with you. (I cannot find a copy or summary of this study, so I can’t verify this statistic. If anyone has seen it, I would be grateful if you would put the link in the comments below.) So, if your message is not clearly on your homepage you are missing opportunities.
So many sites I see say the same thing: independent, objective, comprehensive, wealth management, financial planning. Does your website say that you build one-on-one relationships with clients, offering personalized attention and financial guidance? Then you are just like a national brokerage! Aren’t you?
If the client cannot quickly understand that you are really good at something in particular that the prospect needs, you may not get the chance to make her a client. You may have an amazing presentation that you make to prospects in an introductory meeting, but you have to get that appointment for it to work its magic. If your website looks pretty much like your competitors, and their in-person sales pitch is good, your prospect may sign on with them without ever talking to you.
Establishing your brand requires putting your value proposition, what makes you different, everywhere you have a marketing message. Whenever you have a chance to tell people what you do, verbally, in print, or on the web, you need to be reinforcing the description of your ideal client and that special solution or experience you deliver.
Copyright © The Client Driven Practice
Tags: Appointment, Brokerage, Driven Practice, Financial Guidance, Financial Planning, First Impression, Group Study, Insite, Investors, Magic, Mistake, Nbsp, Person Sales, Prospects, Relationships, Sales Pitch, Statistic, Tower Group, Value Proposition, Wealth Management
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Wednesday, May 9th, 2012
We all know the Facebook story ….
From a Harvard dorm room in 2004, in eight years Facebook has changed how much of the world communicates. In the process, it has created substantial wealth for its founders and early investors. While not yet public, purchases on private marketplaces put its value at $100 billion.
As CEO, Mark Zuckerberg obviously did many things right. But there is one particular aspect of his approach that was critical to Facebook’s success; and that advisors can learn from.
Better done than perfect:
On the walls at Facebook’s offices are painted four words:
“Better done than perfect”
As I think about some of my conversations with advisors, I’m struck by how often those words would help advisors break the logjam of perfectionism that prevents them from getting things done in their practice.
Some common examples:
- The advisor who spends dozens of hours fine tuning his financial planning process to get it exactly right before using it with his clients to the point that it never actually gets in front of clients
- The advisor who goes through draft after draft of his or her newsletter perfecting the words; but is only able to summon up the energy to do this once a year
- The advisor who invests immense amounts of time researching the best way to approach accountants reading articles, listening to presentations by consultants and talking to other advisors, but runs out of steam when it comes to making the plan happen
We’ve all been guilty of perfectionism spending an inordinate amount of time trying to get things exactly 100% right, when 90%, 80% or even 70% would be sufficient to get the job done.
Bear in mind this isn’t always the case. If I’m having heart surgery, the stakes are high enough that I want my surgeon to obsess about getting things 100% right. But when it comes to getting out a quarterly newsletter and many of the other things advisors do in their day, not so much.
Implementing the hacker way:
Earlier this year, filings to regulators included a letter from Zuckerberg to potential investors, in which he described Facebook’s core values. One of those values is something called “the hacker way.”
While hacking has come to have negative connotations involving taking down computer systems, Zuckerberg describes hacking as a mindset of experimentation. Doing things quickly and inexpensively as a vehicle to test the boundaries of what can be done, and then striving to constantly improve and perfect initiatives once in the field. In fact, some of Facebook’s most important features have emerged from that mindset of experimentation.
July 1 is two months away; not only does it represent the beginning of summer, it also marks the mid– point of the year, so you’ve got 60 days before 2012 is half way over.
If you haven’t achieved all of your goals for 2012 (and who among us has?), consider applying Mark Zuckerberg’s mantra of “Better done than perfect” in your business. Pick one initiative that you’ve run into roadblocks on because you haven’t had the time to execute it to a sufficiently high standard. Then think about whether taking a “just do it” approach might break the logjam and begin the process of iteration and improvement to get that initiative off the drawing boards; and into the marketplace and help move your business forward.
Tags: Accountants, Amount Of Time, Bear In Mind, Ceo Mark, Dorm Room, Facebook, Financial Advisors, Financial Planning, Founders, Heart Surgery, Immense Amounts, Logjam, Many Things, Mark Zuckerberg, Perfectionism, Private Marketplaces, Public Purchases, Quarterly Newsletter, Reading Articles, Substantial Wealth
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Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012
by Norm Trainor, The Covenant Group
Sometimes it can feel like you are just racing in place with your business — that the office is the one running you, rather than the other way around. Stopping for even a minute to catch your breath would mean falling behind the pack, yet you don’t have the energy to sprint to the finish line and pass competitors.
For financial advisors and other entrepreneurs, it is necessary to look beyond survival mode to how you can guarantee sustainable and strong growth for years to come.
Paul Boulanger, managing director for Accenture’s finance and enterprise performance consulting practice, told Business Finance magazine that not only do firms need to maintain low operating costs, they need to establish best practices that will ensure ongoing growth.
He notes that “Finance Masters” are those leading their organizations to success while maintaining cost savings. They have built governance structures that address business issues such as financial planning, analysis, setting targets and forecasting what is coming down the pipeline, Boulanger added. These masters are continually asking the question: “What can I do to grow and improve the business?”
Have you spent the majority of your time racing just to keep up with your business? Are you too focused on the day-to-day responsibility of managing the firm to see the direction it is taking?
To build your business, you need to grow it by acquiring and retaining the types of clients who will help you reach your professional goals. A financial advisor coach can help walk you through the steps of reorganizing (or creating for the first time) your business model and restructuring your approach to acquiring new clients.
In converting ideal prospects into clients, try using the You/Me/Us/We model to create an effective client attraction conversation that engages prospects in a dialogue and creates the opportunity for you to demonstrate you expertise and your services.
It is important to listen and understand the prospect’s needs and outline how you can achieve them together. Establishing trust is a key element in this process. Once established, you will be able to earn that person’s permission to move to the next point in the buying cycle.
First, focus on the other person. Before you get to the meeting, conduct background research to learn as much as you can. This will make asking relevant questions during the conversation more natural and lead to more revealing answers. As the dialogue continues, slowly transition to why you are there — the “Me” part of the conversation.
Proceed to the “Us” stage, giving examples of how you helped people in situations similar to the prospect’s. Finally, wrap up with the “We,” focusing on how, together, you and the prospect can work toward his or her goals.
Attracting new clients is paramount to growing your business and avoiding stagnation. With the You/Me/Us/We conversation, you may be more successful in acquiring ideal prospects and building long-lasting relationships with them as a financial advisor.
As founder, president and CEO of The Covenant Group, Norm Trainor is often seen as the face of the company and its’ leading financial advisor training programs. He has penned several best-selling books, articles and other works with entrepreneurs and financial advisors to show them how they can become more valuable to their clients, boost productivity and, ultimately, achieve the success they desire.
Tags: Accenture, Address Business, Boulanger, Business Finance Magazine, Business Issues, Business Model, Covenant Group, Enterprise Performance, Financial Advisors, Financial Planning, Finish Line, Governance Structures, Managing Director, Norm Trainor, Performance Consulting, Pipeline, Professional Goals, Prospects, Sprint, Survival Mode
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Wednesday, March 7th, 2012
Face it – what most of us do for clients is indistinguishable from what other advisors do for clients, at least from the clients’ perspective. Claiming that we provide great customer service, financial planning, or adherence to the fiduciary standard won’t work. So, how can you differentiate yourself? One effective way is to “productize” your offering. Document your process, define what problem it solves and for whom, and package it as a single deliverable.
Here are a few examples:
- RealLifeFinanceTM (GersteinFisher, New York, NY)
- Parent Care 360 (Andrew L. Comins, CLU, ChFC, MSFS)
- RetireSmart (Mass Mutual)
- Divorce Survival Kit (Carol Ann Wilson, CFDS)
- Rescue Your IRA (Brogan Financial, Knoxville, TN)
To productize your offering, first decide what issues it will address. Will it be oriented to risk management, college savings, retirement planning, a major life event like the loss of a loved one or a divorce, or some aspect of investment management? Identify what you will help clients work through and what the result will be at the end of the process.
Determine the outcomes and deliverables of your service. If it involves financial planning, decide what components of the plan will be fundamental. List what kinds of analysis you will perform. Decide what you will deliver and how it will look. Will it be a plan, ongoing reports, personalized page on a website, or a report? Will this be something that is delivered once during your relationship with the client, or is it an ongoing service? If it is ongoing, how frequently will you deliver it to the client?
Give everything a consistent look. The plan you deliver, any ongoing reports the client receives, the worksheets you use during the process, and the marketing material to promote the process should be named and design so that it is clear it all belongs to a cohesive system.
Once it is complete, give it a compelling name. If it is descriptive, a list can work well (our 10 point…, Our seven step…). If you can come up with something more like a brand name, consider trademarking. Whichever way you go, the point is to offer people something brief and memorable. If you have done it effectively, you can mention the name of your service to someone who is in your target market and they will ask you to tell them more about it. People will not remember everything about the description of your process or the steps involved in it, but they may remember the name. Once they have that in their memory, it gives them something quick and interesting to mention to other people.
Copyright © Stephen Wershing
Tags: Adherence, Carol Ann Wilson, Clu Chfc, Cohesive System, College Savings, Comins, Deliverable, Deliverables, Divorce, Financial Planning, Great Customer Service, Investment Management, Ira, Loss Of A Loved One, Management College, Msfs, New York Ny, Perspective, Retirement, Survival Kit
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Thursday, February 9th, 2012
Do you know how sometimes there are things that drive you absolutely crazy and you just have to make your opinion heard?
Here’s one that is at the top of my list – “Firing” clients.
If you have followed my blog or have heard me speak at a conference, you know that I believe in client segmentation. In fact, I am one of the first business coaches or consultants to do segmentation with advisors. When I started this business in 1998, segmentation was a big part of my business. Clients used to send me sheets of paper containing a list of clients, assets and revenue and we would scan and convert these lists to an Excel file and sort them into A, B, C and D categories.
In 1985 when I was an advisor, our National Sales Manager did a presentation on segmentation and I sorted by client cards into books marked A, B, C and D and shifted my focus to the A and B clients and doubled my business over the next 12-months.
BUT, you should never “fire” a client! The growth of your business depends on the rate of satisfaction and the size of you client, personal and business networks – the higher your satisfaction rate, the stronger your business growth.
Your small clients have done nothing wrong. You chose to work with them. You made them a promise that you would help them with their investment or financial planning needs. They have paid you for the services you provided.
Today, we have a much more sophisticated way of segmenting clients. We now call our categories:
- Super Ideal
- Marginally Ideal
- Less Than Ideal
There are two types of clients who fall into the Less Than Ideal category – Good People and Bad People. Good People are pleasant to work with, profitable because they don’t take much time and are people who promote you to their friends and colleagues. Bad People are just the opposite – you cringe every time you see their name on call display, they upset your staff, they are rude and demanding and they constantly complain about your fees.
If the Good People are willing to accept a scaled back program and be 100% satisfied, then keep them. After all, if you can service three of this type of client in the same time as an Ideal Client and the total fees are the same, what’s the problem? If Good People are not willing to accept a scaled back program, they will decide to leave and it is their decision. The ideal solution, if you are in a large organization, is to pass these clients on to a new advisor who needs to build his client network. He will find gems within this list that you will never know about because you don’t give these people sufficient attention.
Bad People have to go. No matter what you do or how you do it, they will not be happy. Bad People represent less than 3% of your clients but cause 95% of your problems and stress. Have a face-to-face meeting with them and explain why you are suggesting that they find a new advisor. Pick up any transfer fees.
The Bottom Line:
Segmentation helps you to identify profitable vs. unprofitable clients and to structure service templates for each category to allow you manage client-by-client profitability.
Your success depends on the level of client satisfaction you are able to achieve. Stage client experiences that will lead your clients to give you a 9 or 10 score on The Ultimate Question – “How likely is it that you would recommend us to a friend or colleague?” People who score you 9 or 10, according to Fred Reichheld, a thought-leader in client loyalty and satisfaction and author of The Ultimate Question, are Promoters. Your goal should be to develop promoters within your client network. “Firing” clients (Good People) will take you in the opposite direction from achieving this goal.
If you “disengage” from unprofitable relationships, do it once in your career to free up capacity. Don’t do it annually as other coaches might suggest as it creates Detractors. BUT, make it a hard and fast rule to never again accept a less than ideal client.
Bob Simpson is President of Synchronicity Performance Consultants. Bob can be reached on his direct line at 905−502−0100, toll free at 866−646−6002 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
About Bob Simpson
Synchronicity Performance Consulting has been coaching financial advisors since 1998.
Bob Simpson, president and founder of Synchronicity has been involved, directly or indirectly in the financial services industry since 1981. He has been a very successful financial advisor with Nesbitt Thomson Inc., a major Canadian financial institution. Between 1981 and 1989, he built a business with more than $120 million in assets under management, was branch manager and SVP National Sales for Midland Walwyn and has been coaching financial advisors since 1998.
Tags: 12 Months, Assets, Blog, Business Clients, Business Coaches, Business Growth, Business Networks, Client Cards, Colleagues, Financial Planning, National Sales Manager, Satisfaction Rate, Segmentation, Top Of My List
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