Six factors that influence a prospectís decision to do business with you.
1. A culture of success
Successful prospects want to deal with successful, like-minded people. Such prospects gravitate toward top talent, and are willing to pay a premium to work with the best.
2. Personalized service
- ∑ Insist that your team show a professional, upbeat and positive attitude in all client interactions.
- ∑ Mention professional achievements, recognition and awards in your marketing materials.
- ∑ Highlight client accomplishments in your client newsletter. Take an interest in client achievements (whether business or personal), and congratulate them on their successes.
- ∑ Dress and behave consistently.
Offering personalized service will make your prospect feel as if he is part of a privileged family. This in turn will lead to client loyalty and more referrals.
- ∑ Take some time in the initial meeting to discover exactly what the prospect is looking for from a service perspective. Ask questions directly if you have to.
- ∑ As your relationship develops, record your clientís preferences, needs and expectations, and circulate them to all team members.
- ∑ Conduct annual service reviews to ensure your clientís expectations are being met. Identify key service suggestions from these reviews and incorporate them throughout your practice.
- ∑ Give bonuses to team members who consistently exceed client service expectations.
3. Tangible value
Clients should be able to point to tangible actions or services you performed over the year and feel comfortable with the price they paid.
- ∑ Set clear performance expectations by using a client-service agreement or policy. Show the client that you take these expectations seriously by committing to them in writing.
- ∑ Take time to explain your unique way of doing business early in the client relationship, and how this process works to achieve your clientís goals.
- ∑ Determine ways you can go above and beyond with each client. This could be to offer a free service (simplifying a clientís investment portfolio, for example); refer prospects to the clientís business; or invite your client to a thank-you lunch.
4. High-touch relationships
Top-tier clients demand frequent, high-quality communication to remain confident in your abilities to solve their financial challenges.
- ∑ Develop a detailed client communication plan for the next 12 months, aiming for 26 or 35 points of contact with each top-tier client.
- ∑ Deliver customized holdings reports and bulletins for individual clients. Donít accept boilerplate!
- ∑ Take the time to craft a professional, consistent look and feel to your newsletters (printed or email), website and brochures.
5. Special opportunities
Clients value an advisor who can provide special opportunities to them from time to time. Some of these opportunities should focus on new investment products or strategies; others should be lifestyle-related.
- ∑ Share your opinions on new investment and wealth management products. Tell clients what they should be interested in, and what they should avoid.
- ∑ Become an expert in a service or product area. Offer clients exclusive services or access to specialized knowledge that will enhance their financial positions.
- ∑ Tap into trends and current lifestyle issues affecting your clients. Point out books, websites and other resources on topics that clients might be interested in.
Prospects also prefer to work with professionals who have staying power. Your own ability to remain stable and steady plays a part in ensuring clients do the same.
- ∑ Hire team members who are willing to make a long-term investment in your business.
- ∑ Become an active citizen in your community. Join community associations and charitable causes.
- ∑ Be very cautious when moving firms. If you must, communicate to clients the reasons for your move, and assure them you wouldnít do it if the move werenít in their best interest.