What have you done for me lately?
By Brian Lucius
Gradient Positioning Systems, LLC
What value are you adding to your client, customer and prospect base on an ongoing basis to stay top of mind for both future sales and ongoing referrals?
What have you done for me lately? These may not be the words that come out of your clients’ mouths, but trust me, it’s somewhere in the back of their minds. People are funny that way; myself included.
Today’s instant communication and limitless information feeds are practically rewiring us to demand instant gratification. Let’s say I wanted to start shopping for plasma TVs today. I would have several offers for free reports, weekly newsletters and sales incentives within 10 minutes.
Even though I bought my last three TVs at a major retailer, I am not a client of theirs; I am a customer. Even though I am satisfied with the product and the service I received from them, my main focus is, what are you offering today and what is your competition doing that may better my personal situation?
It’s all about me; it’s all about now. This major retailer has added no ongoing service that I perceive myself to need; therefore, I am open to new relationships and transactions. Your business may be the same. Oftentimes, sales people are shortsighted, assuming they have already sold to this client so they are on to the next. This major mistake will not only ensure you lose sales but also millions in referrals — literally.
What value are you adding to your client, customer and prospect base on an ongoing basis to stay top of mind for both future sales and ongoing referrals? The biggest difficulty advisors face is determining the return on investment on these campaign, as business rarely is a direct result of the action itself.
Let’s look at a few easy concepts you can plug in to stay top of mind with your database.
It still amazes me how many advisors are conducting monthly seminars, yet they don’t have their reservation service gathering email addresses.
Blast emails are one of the cheapest tools you can utilize to keep your name and value adds in front of current and potential clients. A weekly update doesn’t have to be long: an article you read, a client experience or problem you solved, or an upcoming event you are holding.
Take caution, however, and do not CC or BCC your entire database from your own email address. There are several services and CRMs in the market place today that will keep you in touch, compliant and out of SPAM trouble.
Sending out something quarterly to your top clients and prospects can prove to be very valuable. Maybe it’s a book you’ve read, a $5 gift card for coffee, or even some company branded pens or golf balls.
People love receiving gifts, and most people feel compelled to give back to someone who has given them something. Just remember to be a little more selective on the list, as this will endure more cost. Also, keep the call to action out of this one as it should truly be a gift. Monthly newsletters
Most advisors start the year ready to implement monthly newsletters, but ultimately are only able to implement these newsletters on a quarterly basis by the year’s end. Some companies offer pre-written monthly newsletters at no cost that you can customize and send out, or you can have them complete this task for a fee.
Although you are not able to choose the content when using these newsletter services, I encourage you not to attempt writing your own each month. You’ll invest too much time, and this will lead to getting behind schedule. The fact that the client is receiving something from you is far more important than the content within. Not that content is unimportant, but receiving great “unwritten” content is worse.
Client appreciation and concept events
We all know we should be conducting client appreciation events. Whether it’s a Valentine’s Day party, Halloween costume party, or the annual holiday party, people love attending. Keep your speech light at these events and let your best clients do the bragging on their experience with your firm.
Concept events may require a little more work. How sick did you get of the media talking up the debt ceiling, or any other topic that is hot on consumers’ minds? The reason they continue coverage of today’s current topics for weeks on end is simple: it draws viewers.
You need to be capitalizing on your relationship with your clients, as they would rather hear from their trusted advisor on strategies, current events and updates.
These events should be about 30 minutes: 20 minutes of presentation and 10 minutes of open questions. Simply letting your clients express their concerns among their peers will leave them not only appreciating the information you presented, but also the forum of people gathered together facing similar challenges and concerns.
Some of you picked up ideas from this article and some of you already may have heard this. Either way, the secret to success in this is action. Those of you who make this a focus will take clients, sales and referrals from those of you who don’t. Competition is advancing, and your firm is either looked at as an innovator or the one who has done nothing for them lately.