Are you taking stock of last year’s many accomplishments? Retirement expert Ben Rizzuto talks about why you may want to share them with clients as well.
In an industry where numbers often take center stage, everyday client service wins may go unnoticed. But to quote Sherlock Holmes, “To a great mind, nothing is little.” The same goes for a great advisor, and what better time than the beginning of a new year to remind your clients of all the things – big and small – you do for them?
This may seem like a challenge because you have an imperfect understanding of your myriad talents. Start by making a list of the services you provide, on both the financial and personal fronts. Don’t just think about it – WRITE IT OUT.
Make that list a part of your annual or periodic reviews. You already review investment performance with your clients; why not review what you did and what you and your clients accomplished together? Your list may include items such as:
- Ongoing investment monitoring and rebalancing 401(k) and investment accounts
- Coordinating required minimum distributions
- Budgeting, debt and credit score review
- Working with clients’ trusted advisors (tax, legal, insurance, etc.)
- Tax planning and harvesting
- Beneficiary updates
- Education planning
- Elder care support
- Business succession planning
- Retirement income generation
- Providing consistent, honest and transparent communications
Remember, if you’re going to include this sort of “things I do you for you” review in meetings, you’ll need to make sure you are doing those things consistently. Nothing is worse than a client saying “Hey, wait! You didn’t do that for me.” Make good on the “honest and transparent” item on your list by thinking hard about what you’re able to include for each individual client, and make note of where you may want to focus more attention in the coming year. Plus, this gives your clients an opportunity to provide you with candid feedback.
What Can You Do With This Information?
First of all, pat yourself on the back for the hard work you put in last year and over your entire career. Like getting a pristine report card in school, it feels good to see your achievements printed out in reassuring black and white. But more importantly, your clients may turn out to be not just grateful, but excited to see all the time and effort you’ve put in on their behalf.
As we all work to retire the referral in favor of a more organic client-acquisition process, this is a prime opportunity to plant the seeds of future anecdotes to be shared with friends, family and colleagues. The Internet has taught us that most people are more motivated to leave a negative review than a positive one. In other words, it’s not that clients don’t appreciate all the times you came through for them – it’s just that they may not remember them.
Your clients have come to expect that you’ll knock it out of the park – they’d be looking elsewhere if you didn’t. It’s more than OK to remind them of the value you were more than happy to provide, and will continue to do in the future.
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