If you work just for money, you’ll never make it, but if you love what you’re doing and you always put the customer first, success will be yours. — Ray Kroc
There are two ways to grow advisory practices:
- Retain and deepen relationships with existing clients to acquire assets away, cross-sell, and earn access to their networks (e.g., the client’s other professional providers and centers of influence) for introductions.
- Consistently acquire new relationships and their assets, fulfill their other financial needs, and earn access to their networks for introductions.
Business growth can be limited by a lack of organization and structure in financial advisory practices such that there is little if any time for new client acquisition.
Separate yourself from the pack by serving your existing client base AND acquiring new clients with an efficient and effective structure and organization.
How do you have time for both servicing your existing client base and acquiring new clients, their assets, and fulfilling their other financial needs? Consider the following...
- Client retention and advocacy are functions of effective, structured, high-quality, and valued client service deliverables that earn business growth from existing clients and the acquisition of new clients.
You must efficiently manage your quality and have a proactive client service system to ensure you:
- Deliver the right levels of services to the right clients.
- Leave enough time to grow your business with new client acquisition approaches.
- Deliverservicelevelsconsistentwiththevalueofclients,theirneeds,andyourbusiness and its profitability.
Data clearly shows that clients that are merely satisfied are not satisfied enough to ensure loyalty no less advocacy.
- A “very” satisfied customer is a loyal customer. “Customers who rate you 5 on a scale from 1 to 5 are six times more likely to buy from you again, compared to those only giving you a score of 4.8.”
- The “zone of affection” is where clients are very or close to very satisfied and whose loyalty is highest. The higher the satisfaction, the higher the loyalty and the closer to advocacy. If clients are less than very satisfied, they fall into the “zone of indifference” or the “zone of defection” where they are at risk of leaving you.
To succeed with client retention and growth, clients and centers of influence must be completely satisfied. It is primarily those who are completely satisfied with you and your exceptional service that will be pleased to advocate for you and be a potential source of introductions.
Being completely satisfied requires the development and implementation of the “Six Core Client Facing Processes”:
- Intake Process
- Financial Planning Process
- Risk Management Process
- Investment Planning Process
- Client Service Process
- Client Planning and Review Meeting Process
Improve client loyalty and retention, deepen client relationships, grow assets and introductions, and reduce costs with a structured and organized client loyalty process!
Client loyalty and the supporting processes represent a summary of the many deliverables you provide as an advisor. The sum of those deliverables are intended to be presented formally to your clients as your “promise” to them of your services, i.e., your “Client Service Promise.” These promises/deliverables include perhaps 50, 60, 70 or more elements you provide to develop relationships, loyalty and advocacy as well as differentiating you as a financial advisor.
The “promise” or deliverables are outlined in the areas of:
- Extended Services
- Internal Notation
Deliverables vary by client tier based on the client’s value and importance to the business. It is critical that clients fully understand your deliverables and accept them as of value to them.
There is a progression of service expectations or a growth of service expectations over time.
It’s never enough because that which pleased, even delighted, a client yesterday becomes a basic expectation today. Client’s requirements, wants, and needs change over time. In essence, “delighting” the client and solidifying his or her loyalty takes more and more effort over time. What may have been a unique service 5 or 10 years ago over time can become a “normal” expectation and then become “expected.” Therefore, to delight and retain the loyal client takes more and more effort and continually growing levels of service over time.
Related: How to Identify Profitable Clients