If you have really great clients, then congratulations!
Sure, every client by definition is good, as they allow us to do what we do. But I know in the Financial Advisor business not all clients are created equal. Some are simply better than others. Some follow your advice more. Some give you more referrals than others, and of course, some have big accounts that pay you more over time.
It is these clients that you have to make sure you keep happy, as you definitely DO NOT EVER want to lose a great client.
Unfortunately, many advisors do lose great clients, and usually it’s for one or more really simple reasons.
Evidence of just that comes to us from a Vanguard-Spectrem survey of some 3,000 investors with net worth from $100,000 to $25 million. The survey asked these investors to rank the main causes for switching financial advisors.
Here are the top three reasons in descending order.
3) Not Proactively Contacting Me
The survey found that 93% of high-net worth clients said they preferred it when their advisors called them, and not when they had to reach out and call an advisor.
Lesson Learned: Don’t ignore your clients. Set up a regularly scheduled communication, be it via phone or preferably in person, at least once a quarter if not once per month. If the client wants more contact, then offer it. If he wants less contact, respect that.
2) No Good Ideas/Advice
Your best clients want you best advice. That could mean good investment ideas, but it also could mean ideas on things like what’s happening with Washington tax policy, estate planning, insurance, long-term care and legacy planning, just to name a few. If you are not able to provide good ideas and good advice, you may lose out to an advisor that can.
Lesson Learned: Be prepared, be knowledgeable, and know what’s happening with the equity, bond, commodity and currency markets. I know that’s not the easiest thing to do, and that’s why I created my daily publication, The 7:00’s Report, which is designed to provide you with what you really need to know about the markets, each trading day before 7:00 a.m., and that you can read in only 7 minutes.
1) Not Returning Phone Calls or Emails in a Timely Manner
I know this sounds simple, but a failure to return a phone call or an email in a prompt manner will cause your great client to be a former client.
In the survey, 67% of high-net-worth clients said that a failure to return phone calls in a timely manner was the top reason they left their advisor. Another 53% said a failure to return emails factored into their decision. That tells us that there were some advisors who lost a great client because they didn’t promptly return both phone calls and emails.
Lesson Learned: Whatever you do, NEVER NEGLECT your great clients. If they call you, call them back. If they email you, email them back. Treat them like you would like to be treated—with respect enough to get back to them promptly.
A failure to get back to clients who have questions and/or concerns, or who just want to check up on how you’re handling their money, is simply inexcusable.
If you make this mistake, then you deserve to lose a client.
So, don’t make this simple mistake. Instead, make time for your great clients—and then watch the assets, along with the referrals, roll in.