An onboarding process resulting in immediate referrals
By Maribeth Kuzmeski
Red Zone Marketing, Inc
When your prospects transitions into clients, they may perceive your firm as a very in-touch, responsive firm that is always communicating with them. But after the accounts are opened and the prospects officially become clients, the communication can fall off. Your new clients may feel like you just wanted to land them as clients, not really work with them over the long term.
What you need is a process of regular, new client communication in place. Develop it to not only stay in touch during the occasional quiet period, but to also strengthen the relationship. Doing so has resulted in a higher percentage of referrals from new clients when put into place within other firms. The communication process begins right after someone becomes a client and consists of a series of letters (or emails) that are sent out 7-10 days apart. Here are brief descriptions of the letters (or emails).
1. Team introduction letter: Send a letter that introduces (and in many cases re-introduces) each member of the team with their pictures. This letter is often saved by clients to remind them of who everyone is in the office.
2. Individual client orientation: Send a letter inviting the client to a one-on-one client orientation call or meeting with a staff person to go over online access, how to read their statements, review of expectations, discuss future meetings, etc.
3. Gift: Send a small gift — typically a book — thanking them for being a client. Give them a quick summary of the book. (If sent by email, send an Amazon gift certificate with a book suggestion.)
4. Client survey: Send a letter and survey asking them for feedback on how you are doing so far. It can be something simple like a report card that includes 10 questions asking your new client to grade you on a scale of A-F. The final question is: “Would you be willing to refer us to others?”
5. Soft referral request: Send out a letter with a soft request for referrals. The key is to let them know that you are interested in referrals and explain what it means to you. The period of time in the business relationship when you should receive the most referrals is the first six months. It is the time that there is something new to talk about, something exciting, and you are more top of mind. Take advantage of this propensity to refer by paying a little more attention to your clients during a typically quiet period.
I have found that this series of followups often leads to more communication with more new clients.