So you’re hopefully having a good run of success! You’ve secured a number of new clients and have completed a full financial planning exercise with them. However it’s not yet time to relax and assume that your ongoing fee, trail commission or retainer is going to roll in now into the future!
Research from the US has shown that across all industries, businesses lose between 20% and 60% of new customers within the first 100 days of getting them on-board. While I definitely think the figure is lower for financial advisers due to the very personal nature of the client experience, why might financial advisers lose clients at an early stage? Well it could be for any number of reasons,
- Their heads could be turned by a competitor with a seemingly better proposition
- They may have been somewhat underwhelmed by your whole planning and advice process
- They may be unclear about the value that you offer
- They may still have lingering doubts as to whether you are the partner they want to work with into the future
So what can you do to show the client that they’ve definitely made the right choice in working with you?
Recognise the trust challenge
This is probably the key element for you. Your relationship with the client is still at a very early stage and you have to remember that they have entrusted you with a really important part of their life – their financial future. Even having gone through a very rigorous financial planning process, hopefully with the benefit of future cashflow planning through Voyant etc., the client may still harbour doubts about you.
So recognise these doubts and proactively deal with them. The first step is to check in with the client early after the plan is fully completed and implemented. I suggest about 6-8 weeks after the whole initial engagement phase is completed. The purpose of this is to remind the client that you weren’t there for a quick product sale and that instead you’re with them on their journey through life – their financial life.
Has the client had any 2nd thoughts? Had they forgotten anything during the planning phase? The answer may well be no to both of these, but the main reason for asking is that you’re showing the client that you care.
Do something a little unexpected!
Think about something that you can do that will add a really nice personal touch to your relationship. This could be something as simple as a nice handwritten note to the client after the initial engagement, thanking them for choosing you and mentioning how excited you are about helping them to achieve their lifestyle and financial objectives over the next 20/30/40 years.
Or maybe you could invite them to an intimate client lunch with a carefully chosen group of key clients. Could you secure a fund manager or economist to guide a discussion over lunch? If this is unexpected, this could really wow them!
A lower cost version of this could be a client conference call with a guest speaker on it. Ring the new client and invite them personally, suggesting why it might be useful for them.
At the end of the day, it’s all about making every effort to lock down that newly gained but possibly still fragile trust. But there are other benefits too…
Remember those referrals that you were hoping the client might pass on to you? Well if they were warm about giving you referrals before, these interventions may well turn up the heat in the client’s mind and set them on the path to recommending your services.
And what about those other financial assets that the client might be managing elsewhere? This proactivity by you just might be the catalyst for the client pointing them in your direction to manage!