Our business is just that, a business. Contrary to what many would have you believe, it is hard work. There are no “silver bullets,” and nothing comes easy. It should be run like a business and our clients should be treated as if they were the single most important aspect of that business (which they are).
Yet to this day very few advisors stay in touch with their clients on a consistent basis. This one single aspect of your practice can result in substantial year-over-year growth; however, few advisors implement a strategy to accomplish this goal. It never becomes an integral part of their day-to-day business operations.
I believe LIMRA did a study several years ago of financial clients and discovered that the client wanted to be contacted in some form by their advisors no less than 22 times a year. This is a staggering discovery considering most advisors don’t touch their clients more than three times a year. Most producers spend 90 percent of their time chasing the next sale. Before they know it, two years have gone by and there is no relationship any more.
This passive relationship results in losing business to other advisors and does nothing to enhance your professional identity in your community. Quite frankly, this tarnishes your image because you have treated the client disrespectfully. If they were important to you, you would be in touch with them.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Begin utilizing a systematic client resource management (CRM) system and reap the rewards. A CRM will give you the ability to send a monthly email newsletter to all your clients, provided they have an email address. Many CRMs have the capability of sending birthday and anniversary cards as well.
A good CRM will allow you to schedule important dates, such as semiannual client reviews, quarterly calls, follow-ups and invitations.
Let’s look at the numbers:
12 Number of monthly newsletters
4 Quarterly calls
2 Semiannual review
1 Anniversary or other special date (holiday)
+ 2 Invitations to public meetings
22 Number of annual touches to each A & B client
In this scenario, we have touched our clients 22 times with minimal effort, very low costs and a high-impact approach. Implementing a CRM process can be done with little effort, little or no expense, and will ultimately become part of how you do business.
Don’t let this opportunity continue to pass you by. Your clients depend on it and so does your business.
Russ Wagner is vice president, wholesale operations, at American Retirement Systems, Inc. in West Des Moines, Iowa.