3 ways advisors can avoid the summer blues
By Larry Klein
For some professionals, summertime means your business will dive as the vacation season starts. Your summer business dries up and you sit around waiting, living off savings until Labor Day. This is not a good strategy, as it's possible to have a very profitable summer. By the way, from the best numbers we have been able to gather, only 11 percent of the people in a particular area are on vacation at the same time. So the “lack of summer business” is more in your mind than in reality.
Most every financial services professional fails to do additional business with existing clients, or at least not as much business as they should. They constantly look for new clients. Big mistake. Here are three ways to use the summer to reignite relationships:
Set a tax review with every client and prospect
They just got done with taxes in April, so it’s on their mind. Strike while the iron is hot. Here’s the letter you send:
Dear Bob, Although you want your accountant to give you ideas for tax savings, he takes your information and simply drops it into the right boxes on your tax return and sends you off to overpay for another year. I do something different. I look to the future to see how you can pay less tax this year and every year. From June to August, I set these tax return review appointments and I’ll do my best to give you money saving ideas so that you keep more and give the IRS less. There is no cost, and I can often provide ideas that can slash taxes as much as 50 percent. My assistant, Stuart, will call you next week to set a time for you. This is a complimentary service of our firm, ABC Financial Consulting. (If you do not know how to interpret opportunities in a tax return, message me through ProducersWeb and I will send you a tutorial).
Set a ton of summer referral meetings
Forget meeting with any CPAs during tax time. They are buried until June 1, filing all of the returns on which they got extensions. You can use this opportunity to meet several accountants during the summer. Each time you look at a prospect or client tax return, flip to page two, which lists the name and contact information for their tax preparer. Ask them, “How do you like your accountant?” Would you mind if I let him know we got together? Starting May 15, you call each accountant: Hi, Bob. My name is Harold Benin and Mrs. Jenkins, one of your tax clients, spoke very highly of you. I have other clients like Mrs. Jenkins and maybe you can help them also. I’d like to learn more about your business and see if I have some people that may be appropriate clients for you. Can I buy you a sandwich on Friday?
You could turn the summer into a very profitable time by having lunch with another accountant every week.
Gather data on your clients and convert to business
Once annually (and summer is a good time), send your clients a questionnaire. (I am happy to send you a copy of my client questionnaire — just message me via ProducersWeb).
From the data you gather on this questionnaire, you:
1. Learn when they have funds coming due
2. Uncover what clubs they belong to so that you can inquire about speaking there
3. Gather referrals
4. Find out what publications they read for potential advertising to prospects with similar profiles