You’re not logged in!
You’ll need to log in to get access to all of the premium content on this site.
You’ll need to log in to get access to all of the premium content on this site.
If you’d like to invest more time understanding how to exceed your clients expectations and add Ideal Clients as a result, you can do so by becoming a free member of The Mark of Mastery™ community.
You’ll get full access to all the Financial Advisor resources available at no charge to members including the free course The Only Game In Town: 10 Game-Changing Strategies for Financial Advisors, which includes an entire lesson about client retention called 6 Fundamental Laws for Becoming Indispensable.
That lesson, along with the free workbook provided, will give you more ideas about how to master client retention.
Let’s talk about Client Retention for Financial Advisors, how serving clients well means never having to prospect again. Here’s some things you might want to know about what allows our methodology to yield such transformational results.
In 1999, I had a flash of the blinding obvious. I might not need a license to deliver what my clients most wanted from an Advisor. For many of the best clients, the things they want most and are willing to pay the most for require no licensing and no industry experience to deliver, but once I fully accepted that, my progress moved into high gear. No longer was I limited to what I felt was important for clients or what my supervisory firm was steering me to offer them. I took off all the restraints and drop all my preconceived notions.
I made it my job to figure out what my clients wanted most from me even when many times they didn’t quite know how to describe it themselves. I remained exclusively focus on what would help my clients achieve the financial goals they shared with me but when I took my blinders off I realize that what was in the way of them achieving their goals was not a lack of better financial products and services. The right solutions turned out to be things like helping them stop obsessing over things they cannot control like the market or the economy or world events and saving them time which could better be use to go out and earn more money or just go out and live a great life.
I recall the first time that I realized my client who was in this case a business owner spend much of her free time worrying about and helping her adult children and her siblings and her parents. She was just helping all these other people organize their finances. She had hired me but she was helping others with their finances. She help them coordinate with banks to refinance their mortgages. She help them reduce debt. She help them select options within their retirement plans at work and much, much more. I look at this: This is an opportunity for me to step in and add value by freeing her up to go do the things that are most important in her life.
I’m going to list 6 transformational rules that change everything for the better. Now, many Financial Advisors say “Duh!” when they read this list but still they seem to give these things lower priority than say selling the next hot product or service.
(1) Client’s value their time above all else so when I reviewed every single client action item required for them to remain on-track to their goals, I ask myself this question. How could I creatively orchestrate what needed to be done to involve my client as little as possible or even better?
How can I remove this action item completely from their list of to-dos? That got my client’s attention. Simply by letting them know that my objective was to save them time and make their life a little easier by reducing or eliminating items that are currently on their list of action items. As soon as I started doing these, my client for the first time began describing me to others as indispensable too.
(2) Clients appreciate convenience so I assessed everything in my business to this standard. Is this system or process setup to be super convenient to my client or do we do things this way because it’s more convenient for us?
Clients notice the shift and we are often pleasantly surprise with the changes in the procedure and began complimenting me and of course my team members with much appreciation for the new and improved processes.
(3) Many clients feel that there’s nobody other than themselves who’s really protecting their financial assets and their financial strategy. Meaning their vision of their ideal financial future. I’ll always remember the breakthrough moment when one of my clients admitted to me. “I want someone on my team who has nothing to sell. What I really want is someone to protect my assets and my financial vision. Someone with no conflicts whatsoever and who’s watchful and will agree to provide overall oversight and protection. I want someone who I feel has my back.”
I could tell that she said these things out frustrations so that I’d agree that nobody like that actually exists. Much to every client’s surprised I stepped up and did what none of the other professionals in their life are willing to do. I said, “I’ll make it my job to protect you.” And then, I developed detailed checklist to deliver on that promise.
(4) It blew my mind to realize that when they’re being totally honest they don’t believe any of the financial people in their lives really pay close enough attention to their situation to catch it when things inevitably off-track. Clients learned to be cautious and to invest their own time doing it themselves. They believe that no one will ever care about their money as much as they do. They just can’t trust anyone else to do it.
One of my clients stopped me mid-meeting and candidly shared, “What I want most is someone who will be willing and able to pay very close attention to my financial situation and proactively recommend all the necessary course corrections required whenever I drift off-track from my objectives.”
They could’ve not been clear, I now have my marching orders. I understood what she wanted so again, I surprised all my top clients by stepping up and doing no other financial professional in their life was willing to do. I made it a point to say to each of them.
I’ll make it my job to pay attention. I’ll make sure that I proactively alert you whenever you’ve drifted off-track and I’ll be accountable for that, then I developed more checklists to be able to deliver on that promise too.
(5) The next revelation in retrospect is so obvious. It’s amazing that’s so few Advisors do anything to resolve it for their clients. One day, a top client mentioned in passing, “What I need is someone willing to coordinate all the financial people in my life and all the financial products in my life so that I know all their financial recommendations are well-coordinated and perfectly aligned with my overall strategy.”
He went on to point out the obvious which was that none of his well-paid financial professionals ever think to pick up the phone or coordinate with each other. His CPA for example never calls his Money Manager he told me and his Life Insurance agent never spoke to his Estate Planning Lawyer and even when their recommendations are obviously impacted each other. Boom! Another problem solved.
I stepped up and begin solving this obvious problem consistently for everyone of my Ideal Clients. I got their professionals on the phone and we solve their problems together and boy, did they ever notice and compliment me for pulling it all together for them.
(6) The final piece of the puzzle came when one of my very favourite client, an 80 year-old woman called me after talking to her life Insurance agent. She had a question about one of the policies that she had acquired from him but then she said, “I wish I could understand what everything costs. I wish everything was more transparent. I want to fully understand what every financial person and every financial product is going to cost me over say the next 12 months. I don’t want any hidden financial fees in my life.”
She trusted her life Insurance agent but she didn’t know how he was being compensated and he had implied that variable annuity was costing her nothing. Zero. That didn’t sound right to her so she called me. After getting over my own embarrassment for not listing all her financial products along with her external and internal hidden costs I apologized to her and I fixed the problem. I had already fully disclosed all that information for everything that I had personally recommended but not for all the other holdings that the clients owned. It just never occurred to me. Presto! Another piece of the puzzle was in place. I simply began reporting to all my clients every 12 months what they were paying in dollars and cents. Not in percentages, for every single financial product and for every financial person in their life.
No single idea. None of these ideas any of themselves resulted more client referrals than this particular one. The results impressed even me. Every single client told me that no financial professional had ever done this for them before. Many clients were surprised to learn what they were actually paying but every single client expressed appreciation to me for making it clear.
I was a little afraid that certain clients would be startled by what they were paying me and a few were. Which embarrassed me because I had explained what everything would costs at some point in the past certainly back at the beginning but now they were seeing it. All in one place. It was simple.
Let me just say, the overwhelming feedback was approving and flattering to me. I was flattered by their comments about my honesty and integrity and it was very impressive to them. In the end, everyone valued my honesty and transparency over any reaction to the cause which was brief kind of like pulling off a Band-Aid. I received many spontaneous unsolicited client referrals from this one practice. It made me realize how easy it really is to become indispensable to a client.
Potential clients would call me out of the blue and say, “You know, one of your clients told me that I just have to talk to you about some of my financial holdings because you’re the only person who’s ever been totally transparent about the on-going cost of everything.” I realized then, how confused people are about what they’re paying and I was acquiring lots of clients by solving that one simple problem.
Deploying these concepts in your business will require a little time, a little effort but the message that I want to leave you with is how simple these concepts really are. Think about it.
As the financial services industry becomes more and more automated and clients view financial services more and more as commodities. I want you to know that the Advisors we coach are actually increasing their fees to clients right now. Simply by eliminating these very human issues and concerns and by doing what only a human can do.
You still have to show up on time for meetings and double check everything to be sure there aren’t any errors on reports that you give to clients but in the end, following these 6 transformational rules will differentiate you as competent and worthy of trust.
These 6 rules will place you in a category of one in your community, and what Financial Advisor wouldn’t be willing to invest some time and effort if it meant in the end you’d be The Only Game in Town™.
If you’d like to invest more time understanding how to exceed your client’s expectations and increased unsolicited client referrals, you can do so by becoming a free member of The Mark Of Mastery™ community. You’ll get full access to all the Financial Advisor resources available at no charge to members including the free course –The Only Game in Town™: Ten Game-Changing Strategies For Financial Advisors, which includes an entire lesson about exceeding client expectations called “You Are Sitting On Acres Of Diamonds”.
That lesson, along with the free work book provided will give you more ideas about how to master client retention once and for all.
I’m Mark Little, and we look forward to you joining us in The Mark Of Mastery™ community.