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ByAllAccounts: Client service, retention are two top priorities of most successful advisors

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Client service and client retention are the two top priorities of more than 6 in 10 highly successful financial advisors, new research reveals.

ByAllAccounts, Boston, Mass., published this finding in an online survey of 390-plus financial advisors. The study examines the traits and characteristics of successful financial advisors, including their views on defining success, personal strengths and values, top priorities, areas of focus and how they spend their time.

The survey reveals that client retention (65.6%) and client service (60.9%) are the top two priorities of successful advisors. These results, as was the case in a ByAllAccounts survey last year, topped assets under management (59.4%), which is the third highest priority of successful advisors. Significantly smaller percentages of respondents say that client acquisition (35.9%), providing holistic wealth management (21.9%) and increasing revenues (17.2%) are their top priorities.

When asked which characteristics they want clients and/or peers to describe their firm 64.1% of respondents cite "trustworthiness," 57.8% say "honest" and 54.7% peg "best in class."

More than 8 in 10 successful advisors, the survey states, target client prospects by investable income. Forty percent of these advisors target clients by life stage (retired, widowed, divorced, etc.)  and 20% target prospects by occupation.

Nearly all of the survey respondents (96.9%) measure success by client satisfaction, more than two times as many as the next most common metric, assets under management, used by 41.5%. A comparably high percentage (96.8%) of the fastest growing advisors list understanding the needs of clients as their top personal strength.

Eight in ten advisors (80.6%) say they spend most of their time on client management, communication and service, while only 18.3% spend most their time on back-office operations, processes and reporting.

The report observes that the top 30% of firms with $100 million-plus in assets under management grew their assets by more than 16% during the past two years. 

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