We understand the challenge for new advisors – the primary driver of any good marketing strategy is client referrals and introductions – but new advisors don’t have many clients. The secret - don’t let a lack of clients mar your thinking about the importance of word-of-mouth within your business – whether you have five clients or five hundred.
And remember - the key component of word–of-mouth isn’t investment returns. It’s high-level personal service and getting to know clients beyond their financials. By getting personal with clients, you strengthen these relationships while at the same time meeting their friends and colleagues.
When this occurs in social settings, which is often the case, relationship management and relationship marketing are functioning in tandem. It doesn’t get any better than that.
The following example was shared by a participant in one of our live events:
“I went with one of my top clients, husband and wife, to a social function. My intention was for the husband to introduce me to his associate. He gave me a little background on his associate, so when he introduced me I was able to develop rapport by getting him talking about his son’s tennis. He introduced me to his wife in the midst of talking about their son’s tennis—a conversation she was eager to join as a proud mother.
Not a word was mentioned about business until his wife finally asked how I knew Bob (the client). My response was simply, ‘I help Bob and Mary oversee their family’s financial affairs.’ That grabbed her attention, so I added, ‘Just keeping them protected post-financial crisis.’ She looked at her husband, and suggested that we meet.”
This scenario, as simple as it might appear, contains the following seven “Elite Advisor” relationship-marketing insights, which are illustrative of the “perfect storm” the financial crisis has created for Elite Advisors to prospect within social circles. The conversation from beginning to end (insights 5–7) took no longer than 10 minutes, and it involved both spouses. Cell phone numbers were exchanged, a time, date and place for meeting were established, and everyone switched gears back to the festivities at hand.
The scenario may appear ideal, but it’s something Elite Advisors live almost every day. It may appear simple, but it’s far from easy to pull off. It requires a high level of skill and work.
Stephen Boswell and Kevin Nichols are thought-leaders and coaches with The Oechsli Institute, a firm that specializes in research and training for the financial services industry. @StephenBoswell @KevinANichols www.oechsli.com