It’s time for a semi-painless relationship check-up.  How deep have you gone with your top clients and COIs? Admittedly, it may be more painful for some than others.  But no pain, no gain, right? 

Here are three steps to making certain you’re building loyalty and penetrating COIs.  You might want to make a quick spreadsheet to help you in this exercise.  The first column is the client or COI’s name, the next columns are as follows:

 

1 – Spouse Check-up

Clients – When’s the last time you’ve seen the spouse of your top 25 clients?  We’re not asking rhetorically – when was the last time you saw this person? Even advisors who are very good in this department often find a few spouses that need contact.  It could be as simple as a quick call to say, “It’s been a while.  How have you been?  Is there anything on your mind financially?”

COIs – When is the last time you’ve seen the spouse of your top alliance partners? (With the CPA or attorney, you cheeky devil)  Do you even know their name?  Make an effort to engage them – it helps.  Tell the CPA or attorney you’d like to go to dinner as couples or invite both husband and wife to your next client event. 

 

2 – Social Check-up

Clients – When’s the last time you’ve gotten social with each of your top clients?  Not just asking – how are things?  We mean non-business lunches, hosting them at a client event, or inviting them along to something when you have an extra ticket.  If getting social is a challenge for you, consider setting a target of two social interactions per week with top clients.  With structure comes results. 

COIs – Many advisors are too business-like with CPAs.  The fact that you do good business is a hygiene factor in these relationships – it’s expected.  Effective COI relationships are built on strong personal relationships.  These are built one interaction at a time.  If you’ve yet to engage a particular COI on a social level, call and tell them, “We’ve talked a lot of business, but I’d like to get to know you better as a person.  Let’s grab dinner.”  If they don’t bite, they’re probably not alliance material.

 

3 – Social Media Check-up

Clients – Are you connected with clients on social networking sites?  It’s a great relationship builder.  We’ve heard many instances of advisors finding out information about clients on social networking sites that they never found out in conversations.  Go through your top 25 and double check – are you connected?

COIs – Ditto COIs.  If they have an account, connect with them.  You might even suggest a contact-sharing lunch.  You bring a list of key LinkedIn connections and they do as well.  You’re both well connected – perhaps you can help each other. If they don’t have an account, maybe you can help them.  You don’t have to be a social media mastermind to help them set up an account and get the basics of how it works.

That’s it.  Not too painful, right?  Share your results with us – we love to hear from you.