Keeping Clients = Communicating With Them

“The two words ‘information’ and ‘communication’ are often used interchangeably, but they signify quite different things. Information is giving out; communication is getting through.”

Sydney J. Harris, Journalist

When I look at most studies on the attitudes of the affluent investors, something striking jumps out at me.  Usually, one of the top items clients say they value most is communication with their advisor.   However, clients want more than just data from you – they want you to help them cut through the noise and remain focused on their goals. I once had a mentor that told me “say things the way your client needs to hear it, not the way you want to say it”.  To do that, you need to know what’s on their minds and how they are thinking so you can target your communications to the things that matter most to them.

Try these ideas:

1. Create a client advisory board from your top clients or the clients that you want to replicate. Let them speak their minds. This will also help you create a client profileSeek out your favorite wholesaler, peer or coach if you need help putting one together.

2. Send out a client satisfaction survey. You can’t be sure your clients are happy – and what specifically they’re happy or unhappy about – unless you ask them.  Let them know you want the real “ugly look.”

3. Redouble your efforts around client meetings. Help them understand what’s going on in the markets,  more importantly, discuss how it affects them.   Communicate why it’s important to continually evaluate long- and short-term goals.  Communicate the benefits our your mutual relationship often.

4. Don’t just focus on investments. What about cash reserves for the next two years, insurance needs, or will updates?  Most advisors never review their client’s 1040, do you?

It’s these kinds of efforts that will go a long way in retaining clients – and you might get a nice referral out of it, too.

Do you communicate or provide information?

John Anderson

John Anderson

John Anderson is the creator and lead author of Practically Speaking blog and Managing Director of Practice Management Solutions for the SEI Advisor Network.

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