You won't find this idea in a book, even though I wrote about it in my latest book "Guerrilla Marketing For Financial Advisors". You won't find this idea at a seminar, course or workshop.
Not even online or any website. In fact, you won't get this information from top financial advisor performers, but you will find the idea where you work. It will change the way you think. It will change your business strategies. It will make you take a close look at what your doing right and what you need to improve on. The idea will help you grow, develop and build your practice to heights you thought weren't possible. It will make you understand your business better, even more than hiring a consultant. It is a marketing idea which is investing time energy and imagination into your business. This one idea may change your business in 2020 and beyond. Once you start to apply the idea over and over, your clients will see tremendous value in you.
If I was asked to give only one idea to build and scale a financial advisory practice, this would be the idea.
Create a board of directors with your top clients and centers of influence. Ask them for feedback and ideas on every aspect of your business from advice to marketing, client appreciation, and client communication. Invite from six to ten of your top clients in one meeting for an hour and get valuable feedback on your image, identity, business, and marketing. Two things will happen at the meeting. First, your ideal clients will give you valuable feedback on the future direction of you and your practice. Valuable feedback on marketing, communications, and value-added processes that only they will see value in. Second, you will teach them how to refer and give you favorable introductions. Imagine doing follow up calls and getting referrals? That is exactly what happened when I did this with my ideal clients. Not only did they refer names to me, they asked me to join events where I might meet more people like them.
Your network of professionals luncheon
Hold a second meeting for your top centers of influence or referral sources. Hold these meetings three to four times a year and buy your "network of professionals" lunch for giving you valuable feedback on all areas of your business. It will cost you less than $200 and a few hours of your time. Each time you are creating formal feedback for your business. The most amazing thing happens when you tell people you are working on your business. When you do the follow-up phone call, your clients already have someone in mind you should talk to. Within 30 days you get referrals to more like-minded people and gain additional top clients. This is how you clone your best clients.
It is gutsy to ask for feedback from your clients since they have given you all their trust. At the core of trust is your client’s desire to help you and your business. For example, if I have never experienced being one of your clients for a period of time, how can I give you long-term valuable feedback on what you are doing, how you communicate with people and how your business is perceived? It is this valuable feedback from your top clients and centers of influence that is going to give you the edge over your competitors.
Create an agenda
Plan to spend an hour discussing your business and items you are working on. When I first did this, I asked my clients about a golf appreciation day I had planned. I wanted to hire a golf pro, offer lessons and hand out golf balls and prizes to say thanks to my top clients. At the feedback meeting, most of my clients liked the idea, especially the golfers. But one of my clients made an interesting comment. He said, “Not everybody golfs, so for the clients that don’t golf, why don’t you get a hanging basket of spring flowers, drop by to have a coffee and say thanks.” My response was to thank him for the great idea. The following week, I picked up some hanging baskets of flowers and dropped by my top clients to say thanks. A week later a top prospect comes into our office to see us. We asked how they came across us. The client said, “We went to visit our friends down the street and asked where they got the nice hanging basket, and they raved about you and your firm, so here we are.” They became one of our ideal clients through our ideal clients.
Grow your practice, by asking for feedback
Try it once and you will get feedback on your business, as well as referrals. Once advisors discover how powerful this idea is, and how easy it is to do, they will want to create groups of client feedback forums. They will deliver more value to their clients and attend events with clients and get favorable introductions. They will get referrals from the Network of professionals and all they did was start with feedback.