Posts Tagged ‘Paper Statements’
Tuesday, January 31st, 2012
If you are going to make changes in your business, why not start with the most important factor – your client relationship management processes.
Financial advisors, in general, do a pretty poor job of managing client relationships. That is both a problem and an opportunity. We will look at both in this article.
Your clients are the lifeblood of your business. At workshops I have delivered over the past 14 years, I have frequently made the comment, “you are not in the investment business, you are in the relationship management business”.
I recently changed that to “you are not in the investment business, you are in the client project management business”. I will discuss this in more detail in a future blog.
The problem with my original statement is that current methods of managing relationships are right out of sales school. We used to do a session where we asked participants about what they did to create WOW experiences for clients. The responses were generally pretty similar:
- Baking cookies in the office to create a pleasant aroma
- Sending Thanksgiving cards
- Phoning clients on their birthdays or anniversaries
As a typical Baby Boomer, I seek a very professional relationship with advisors I work with. I look for people who are competent and professional, who are pleasant to deal with and have a good sense of humor, who understand my preferences and priorities and who I feel are 100% committed to helping me achieve the best outcome.
Honestly, I could care less if your office smells like cookies and I definitely do not want to receive a birthday card and especially not one of those electronic versions with music and balloons. If you sent me a Thanksgiving card, I would ask to be taken off your list. I hate mail and get too many e-mail. I do not want to receive paper statements – they drive me crazy.
I want to know when we are going to meet and when I am going to hear from you for the next 12 to 24 months and expect that you will respect me enough to always be on time. I want every meeting to have an agenda and I don’t want to be baffled by numbers and BS. I never want to feel like I am being sold something. I want meetings to be efficient so that I can minimize the amount of time I spend on wealth management. If you invite me to a client appreciation event, I will not come unless I can bring one of my adult children but I might come if it is a sporting event. I want you to check in with me regularly to find out whether I am satisfied and I will respond honestly.
If we are working on retirement planning, I care that we are working collaboratively, based on my preferences and priorities and that we have a plan in place to grow through regular contributions and that you are keeping me accountable and recommending investments that provide me with the highest rate of return at an appropriate risk level. I care more about preserving wealth than building wealth. I want to manage my money based on a goals-based approach where each purpose is identified and a portfolio developed and performance reported for each. If we did a financial plan and we did not plan and implement the recommendations of the plan, I would be very frustrated and would seek another advisor.
I want to know that we are in a secular bear market so my expectations are realistic and I want detailed information about who is managing my money (you or investment managers), how they are qualified to manage it and how they are investing it. I do not simply want to focus on the results.
I want to use technology – technology to conduct meetings so I do not have to travel to your office to meet face-to-face. I am too busy for that. I want my personal affairs to very well organized. I’d prefer an online workspace where I can collaborate with my advisor, share documents and that links me to information about my wealth plan and investments – not just the numbers but how and why the investment manager is managing my money. (Shameless plug – Watch our Client Roadmap video to see how to do this)
I do want to feel like my advisor understands my interests and cares about me. I like things that are personal and that I feel are done for me based on my interests. Cards are too impersonal. I can see my advisor signing a bunch of them at a time and having them sent out. Personal support makes me feel special and will lead me to recommend my friends and colleagues.
How is poor relationship management by advisors an advantage? If people, in general, are frustrated with their relationship management programs with advisors, your business development efforts will be more productive if you have good practices that deliver results.
I’m really surprised that most advisors do not have a process for identifying their clients’ preferences and priorities. You can complete one that we developed by clicking on the link below:
Every client has unique preferences and priorities. If you are dealing with Depression or War Babies instead of Baby Boomers, you will get completely different responses and will need to use less technological solutions to obtain them. The important thing is to identify them and develop a plan based on them. The only way to get high levels of client satisfaction is to identify each client’s unique preferences and priorities and deliver programs based on them.
If you want to build a great business, you need to have great relationship management processes.
This is the second in a series of articles written by Bob Simpson, President of Synchronicity Performance Consultants. Future articles will address strategies and tactics to make positive changes to your business model so you can thrive in a world of change.
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 and was one of the first Canadian advisors to build a team.
You can follow Bob Simpson via:
Tags: Anniversaries, Baby Boomer, Birthday Card, Client Relationship Management, Client Relationships, E Mail, Electronic Versions, Financial Advisors, Good Sense Of Humor, Investment Business, Lifeblood, Management Processes, Managing Relationships, Paper Statements, Poor Job, Professional Relationship, Project Management Business, Sense Of Humor, Thanksgiving Card, Thanksgiving Cards
Posted in Advisor Collaboration, My Practice, Synchronicity | Comments Off