Posts Tagged 'Retention'

Rapid Response! Phone calls or email?

Both actually.

Email to all involved.

Phone calls to top 10 today, next 10 tommorrow or have staff call them today.

Just check in!

Clients Want The Bad News Too…

 

As trusted advisors, we work very hard at doing the best work we can possibly do for our client. 

As the relationship progresses, we learn about our client’s needs, wants, desires, habits, beliefs and behaviors.

Eventually we know whether the client will be successful in their endeavors or if they will fail no matter what we do.

Imagine being a doctor and not delivering the bad news to your patient!  Do you think the relationship will be better if you spare the prognosis?

Is this fair to our clients?

I like to tell the following story –  “Thank goodness I am like the cardiologist and not the oncologist.  Most or many of the oncologist’s patients don’t make it long-term. For the cardiologist, most patients do make it.  The oncologist says that you have X time left.  It is very sad.  The cardiologist says, I am not worried about you right now, but, if the current behavior continues, I am very worried about you in 15-20 years.  You need to exercise, eat right, drink less, lose some weight and drop some of these dangerous behaviors.  If you do, you should be fine.”

Clients need to hear the bad news.  They get it and more often than not, if you are the trusted advisor, they will alter their behavior.  Why?

Because they want to succeed!  That is why they hired you in the first place.

Guide – Clients want to hear the bad news along with the good.  This allows them the opportunity to take corrective action.

Action Item – Tell them the story of the cardiologist and the oncologist.  Share the potentially bad news.  Be the trusted advisor.

Please leave comments to share with others by clicking the comment link below the title of this article.

Show Your Colors – Give a Flag

We will soon enter a new Holiday season.  No, not the winter holiday season, but it is the superfecta of  patriotic holidays –

  • May 15th – Armed Services Day
  • May 31st – Memorial Day
  • June 14th – Flag Day
  • July 4th – Independence Day

So what can you do to honor these holidays and help your clients celebrate?

Well perhaps you could fly the flag? or….

Give a flag!

A United States flag represents the spirit of this season.  Most clients want to fly a flag if  they own one (and if they remember to do it!). Some own a flag but it’s old, some have lost the one they had, some have been meaning to buy a new one, and some just appreciate the reminder.

I recommend the United States Flag Store at http://www.united-states-flag.com/nylprinflag.html

Look around the site and spend whatever is comfortable.  Nice printed flags start from $3.00,  hand sewn flags can cost up to several hundred dollars.  The flags come wrapped and ready to mail.  Just put them in an envelope, add a hand written note, and mail them off.

Here is one sample note –

Dear xxxxx,

In celebration of the upcoming patriotic season of

  • May 15th – Armed Services Day
  • May 31st – Memorial Day
  • June 14th – Flag Day
  • July 4th – Independence Day

Please enjoy this flag and flying it during these special American holidays.

Best wishes from Eliot, Kathy and staff.

Make sure you buy one for your office and fly it proudly on these days.

Guide – Gifting an American Flag instills a special feeling in your recipients.

Action Item – Order and give your best clients a new flag for the upcoming patriotic season.

© 2010 The Advisors Center, LLC – All Rights Reserved

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Client Event Idea – Shredding Day/Week

 

How can we add value to our client and center of influence relationships, help them, and do good works?

Make Thursday, April 22, 2010, Client Shredding Day!

Oh, by the way,  This also happens to be Earth Day.

Here are some of the benefits:

  • Clients properly dispose of  papers with personally identifiable information
  • Reduces the risk of identity theft
  • Encourages clients to tell their friends
  • Encourages your COIs to tell their clients
  • The shredding truck charges by the hour, not by volume
  • Promote it in the community as a “Green Event”
  • It is not very expensive
  • Partner with the shredding company – You are promoting them too
  • Create a press release for the event and get it in the newspapers
  • Make it a “Community Shred”
  • Leverage “Earth Day”
  • It should be easy to find sponsorship that may defray some of the cost
  • Invite local law enforcement to take part
  • Invite other community organizations to join you
  • Drive traffic to your website
  • Drive traffic to you

You get the idea.  An event that is easy to leverage!

Guide – Great client events can be fun, easy and not too expensive.

Action Item – Hold a Shredding Day in Your community on Thursday, April 22, celebrating the end of tax season and Earth Day.

© 2010 The Advisors Center, LLC – All Rights Reserved

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Stop the Madness – Fire a Client

 

The two biggest stumbling blocks to high productivity (being in the zone) are stress and lack of confidence.

So I will ask, Do you have a client that calls and when you hear their name or see it on the caller ID, you immediately feel nausea or a pit in your gut?  If you are like most advisors, the answer is YES!

This client is likely a good source of revenue, but a high source of anxiety and energy drain.  You want to like him or her and try to please them, but each time that darn phone rings or that email comes in, you feel sick.

Consider this.  The amount of life force this relationship takes from you and your staff is equal to 7-10 great clients you enjoy.  These wonderful relationships, not to mention family and staff, are suffering as a result.

There IS a solution.  Fire them.  Let them go.  Say goodbye.

Yes, you hate to let the revenue go or admit failure, but fear not, it is for the best.

So how do you do it?  You don’t want to hurt anyone’s feeling or ruin the relationship with a referral source.  But be assured,  the client knows it too.  So here goes…

Depending on how you feel (yes, feel), this can be done by letter or over the phone. 

Here is a sample conversation:

“Joe, I realize that you have found our relationship to be less than satisfactory, which both I and my staff have sensed from your comments and behavior.  I believe that you would be better served by another advisor.  We will cooperate and aid in any manner we can in the transferring of your relationship.  I have appreciated our work together and this decision was not reached without careful consideration.  This is not something I wish to discuss further.  You will need to speak to (insert staff person’s name) to give your instructions where you would like your accounts and/or file sent.  Please hold on and I will turn you over to them now”

Push the hold button and BREATH.  You did it.  Cherish the moment and remember the feeling of stopping the madness.

Guide – The stress of one bad client is equal to the energy it takes to support 10 normal relationships.

Action item – You are a good person.  Free yourself from the oppression and fire this client.  You know who they are.  You will be better off.

© 2010 The Advisors Center, LLC – All Rights Reserved

Holiday Gifting – Some ideas

So you want to do some giving but you are not sure what to give and who to give too.

Here are some ideas for consideration.

The theme is to let people know they are appreciated and you are thinking of them.

It is also very important not to offend.

First  we need some grouping-vendors, Clients and those who sent referrals during the year or really helped you out in some way.

Vendors – These are the easiest as these are the folks who usually send you something. Consider a gift that they can share with their family.  It makes it a little more personal for them.  We normally give chocolate. You can give any kind and plenty of it.  We give very large jars of Hershey’s and our vendors usually pick theirs up so we can save on shipping and we get to say “Hi.”

Clients – Now you may consider segmentation, but everyone gets a holiday card.  We sign every one!  Each year we have been sending classical music CD’s and helping build our clients collections.  Note that we do not send holiday music as not all our clients celebrate the same holidays.  We gift wrap every one along with a note card describing the composer or the piece.

Referrers – This gift is a fun gift and meant to make a statement.  Each person who sends a referral during the year (that becomes a client) receives a 6-gallon tin of gourmet popcorn.  I love to send this gift for several reasons: first, most people like popcorn (even those on diets), second, is that it is big and usually makes a mess (easy to clean up though), so they think of you for a while, and finally, the tin is a keeper.  It can be used for many things and we suggest they use it to store holiday decorations for next year as they put this year’s away.  We know of some who have 6-7 cans of ornaments alone!

Holiday giving is both fun and rewarding.  Do it because you want to, not because you feel you should.  Try to give within the spirit of your holiday.  Remember that it is as much fun to give as it is to receive.

Drop me an email or a comment if you would like the names of our gift providers or specific gifts.

Thanks and Happy Holidays to all.

Guide – Holiday giving is fun and rewarding.

Action item – Give within your means and remember that not all people celebrate they way you do so give thoughtfully. 

© 2009 The Advisors Center, LLC – All Rights Reserved

Did It Get Done?

 

This is a follow-up to last week’s Guide on financial metrics and developing your business model and plan.

This week I am writing about activity tracking. 

Plan it; delegate it; do it, track it. Was it completed?  Is there any follow-up? 

Your business integrity is paramount and one of the ways to destroy that integrity is by not completing what you promised to do.

You need a system for that, usually called a “Customer Relationship Management” system or CRM.

Your CRM might be a yellow pad, Post-it® Notes (I have seen that one!), log book, file folders or index cards.

Your CRM might be Microsoft Outlook.

I would suggest you need a multi-user server or internet-based system dedicated to contact management.

Popular examples include Act!, Microsoft CRM, Goldmine, Salesforce.com, Sage, and Sugar CRM.

These powerful tools allow you to delegate and track tasks and opportunities, send group email, share calendars and address books, plus much more.

Most of these CRM’s offer the opportunity for customization, and most of them have consultants in your area that do this stuff full-time.

If you cannot quickly (In 10 minutes or less) and easily (It only takes one person) identify a group of clients and send them a letter or email based on specific criteria, you need to rethink your CRM system.

Even if you have a system, it is ineffective if it is not being fully utilized.  It is not doing the job.

Remember that if you forget to do something, your client will remember that you forgot!

Guide – Your business needs a way to make sure you deliver on everything you promise.

Action Item – Find a true CRM system and a consultant to help you.  Start with your trade association and those nice little block ads in the back of your magazines.  Those folks are usually pretty good!

© 2009 The Advisors Center, LLC – All Rights Reserved

 

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