The biggest secret to sustainable business growth? Turning customers into loyal fans. This shift of mindset and priorities can help you break free from the never-ending hamster wheel of prospecting by refocusing that energy on retaining your existing client relationships. Even the most minor improvements in these retention efforts can have a profound, exponential impact on your business satisfaction and bottom line.
Understand that not everyone will be a fit
The first step to building a rewarding business full of fans is to know where to focus your time and resources. No one can or should be all things to all people. In a past issue, we explored the philosophy of “customer centricity,” including criteria beyond just net worth to identify your best clients. With that in mind, use these seven tips to turn your ideal clients into a legion of raving fans!
1. Create a “wow” experience
Every interaction creates an impression on your clients, from how you answer the phones to the experience in your lobby. Be intentional to “wow” your clients by consistently finding ways to make them more comfortable by coming across as friendly, relatable, professional, competent and empathetic. For more on this topic, read our past article “Specialization and Wow!”
Know that clients are evaluating their advisor’s performance more than their portfolios’. From personality, reputation and trust to service and timely communication, aim to return calls within two hours and know that most people want a response from the person they contacted (not an assistant).
3. Proactive communications
There is not a one-size-fits-all formula for effectively communicating with your clients. Make it a part of your onboarding process to determine preferences for type and frequency of communications (email, phone, in person). Then, deliver a step above their expectations to provide proactive, meaningful value without becoming annoying.
4. Life integration
Beyond just discussing products and services, know where your clients are today, where they want to go in the future and their plans for legacy. What are their hopes, dreams and ambitions? What do they want and need their money to do for them? Your services should critically address and integrate into each of these areas as well as incorporate all the key people involved in a meaningful way.
5. Get social
Facebook and LinkedIn are tremendous tools to achieve this life integration when used as a listening tool, rather than just platforms to push information. From identifying the addition of a new pet or grandchild to a new job promotion or transfer, reach out to your clients with a thoughtful, personal gesture to acknowledge these life milestones.
6. Above and beyond
Always look for new ways to go “above and beyond” for your clients. We have an advisor with clients all over the country who actually invite him to stay in their homes overnight when he travels for their reviews! This level of friendship creates not only long-term raving fans of his business but also a deeper, personal understanding of their lives for him to continue to deliver the best service possible.
7. Track Everything
If you do not have a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, you are at a distinct disadvantage. Redtail being the most common in our industry, this tool should not only track critical contact and financial data but also include all of the distinct personal preferences you gather from your interactions. From alma mater to favorite drink, the more you know (and remember!), the more opportunities you have to deliver a “wow” personal experience that your clients will remember and likely share with others.
Recommended Reading Resources
For more on these fan-building techniques, check out these great reads for more insight:
- The Ultimate Question 2.0 by Fred Reichheld
- Customer Satisfaction Is Worthless, Customer Loyalty is Priceless: How to Make Customers Love You Keep Them Coming Back and Tell Everyone They Know by Jeffrey Gitomer
- Raving Fans: A Revolutionary Approach to Customer Service by Ken Blanchard
- Customer Centricity: Focus on the Right Customers for Strategic Advantage by Peter Fader
- Swim with the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive: Outsell, Outmanage, Outmotivate, and Outnegotiate Your Competition by Harvey Mackay.
For additional practice management resources to grow your business, contact your wholesaler to discuss how we can be of help!