November 15, 2018
Whenever you own a business, there is a highly stressed importance on obtaining clients. You go out and prospect, conduct various marketing events, network and meet as many people as possible. You find people who are interested and you showcase your services to them. If you’re a financial planning firm, you might develop the perfect financial plan for your new customer and send them on their way. However, I think we often forget the importance of maintaining our relationships after the customer has bought our product or service. Whenever you strengthen your relationship with your clients, it increases their loyalty to your services and increases referrals. As a result, this helps and grows the business that you have worked so hard to develop.
Now, I also want to talk about the importance of strengthening relationships between your clients. Whenever your clients feel connected with each other, they will definitely feel more connected to you. How should you go about connecting your clients? I have a few pieces of advice for you!
Firstly, think matchmaker. How could your clients benefit one another? There is a possibility of them becoming business partners, friends, and even golf partners. Approaching this idea could be as easy as saying to your client, “I am planning a fundraising event for a cause that you and another one of my clients, Becky Jones, care strongly about and I think you two should connect regarding ideas!”
Another way to connect your clients is through intimate events that are frequent, preferably every month. The events could range from small dinner parties to golf outings. Also, local events such as running races, yoga events, or wine tastings are a great way to gather your clients. Consistent events will bring your clients together and develop strong relationships.
Have other strategies to grow and strengthen customer relationships? Let us know in the comments below!
March 8, 2018
Whenever you think of building relationships so that people can trust you, and so that your relationships grow, do you think of business? If you don’t, you should. Relationships are something we do want to grow in our businesses. Especially if you’re a financial advisor and you want your clients to trust you. Why are they important? Think of all the referrals you’ve received last year from your best clients. Some of those were probably your biggest sales. Now, try to quantify that number. Once you realize the importance of how you make your clients “feel” as you build those relationships, that in return could be helping your business grow.
We’ve discussed the benefits of building business relationships, now let’s focus on how we should go about doing so. When you first attract a possible client, here are a few things that will go through their head: Can I trust this advisor? Will they understand my unique situation? And, will this advisor’s advice be unbiased? The goal for you is to triumph all of these questions. Do so by being transparent in your process, empathize with their situation, and trust them back.
Following these guidelines will not only increase trust with your potential clients, but also develop those business relationships. In return, both the client and you, as a business professional, are better off.
December 28, 2017
As 2017 comes to an end, it is the perfect time to look back on annual reports and evaluate your progress. Although it is important to look back on your performance, it’s also just as important to plan for the upcoming year. The new year can be intimidating, especially when competition is heavy. While planning your marketing for the new year you should make sure that it is: strategic, measurable, attainable, and cost effective. There are various ways to develop your marketing plans on a budget but one of the best ways is to provide a “personal touch” and connection that most clients don’t expect, but certainly value. This means going above and beyond for the customer by showing extra care and doing things out of the ordinary that the customer doesn’t expect. Here are 5 methods in approaching a “personal side” of marketing:
- Have someone in charge of marketing. This doesn’t mean you need to develop a whole marketing department. Is there someone in your office that you consider a “people’s person” or someone who likes to put events together? Assign them to the marketing tasks. The tasks could vary from arranging seminars and events to updating the website and blogs. Rather it’s having a marketing consultant, an intern, or someone from your office, having someone assigned to the job will ensure that it gets done.
- Arrange a reverse seminar. Instead of you presenting to your client, have them present to you. This will put the “spotlight” on the client and will allow for them to feel engaged.
- Conduct an annual event. We all know of a few companies in our areas that are associated with certain charity events. That’s the goal for your firm. Having an annual event, especially involving charity, will not only help out your community but will also provide advertising opportunities.
- Pick up your phone and call! Sounds like something you should already know, but it’s one of the more effective (and free) ways to market. Instead of sending an email, give your client a call. Have the call be from the financial advisor or attorney that is working with the client. Discuss with them any business updates and ask if they have any questions. This also allows for the client to develop a relationship with the firm and feel like they are a part of the process, instead of being left in the dark. Make sure to personalize each call and switch up the subject.
- Go above and beyond with the simple things. This means whenever a client is in the office, make a fresh cup of coffee and add a snack with it. Have a welcome sign whenever the client is entering the office. Provide a welcome package, make parking arrangements, give a map, etc. Go the extra mile so that the client feels truly appreciated. And this will not only help your “personal side” marketing, but will also provide word-of-mouth marketing. The clients will tell their families, friends, and coworkers about this.
Have more ways on providing a “personal side” to marketing? Tell us by leaving a comment below:
November 16, 2017
Customers want to be remembered. When you recognize a customer, something about them, welcome them back to your website, etc., that will leave a lasting impression with them. Customer retention and new customer acquisitions are some of the most important things to keep your business thriving and relevant.
You might be wondering why remembering your customer, even if it’s the website that recognizes they have visited before, is so important. First of all, it makes the customer feel important. It shows that you are caring about them and the service they receive. Secondly, you’re creating a connection with your customer. If you’re meeting face to face, people like to feel as though they know the people that they are with. And thirdly, whether it is electronically or in person, it makes everything about the experience that much more personal.
So, here is what customers appreciate you knowing or doing:
- Personalization. Make the experience tailored to the specific customer and they will appreciate it more than you know.
- Names. If you remember the customer’s name it can make all the difference in the world.
- Simplifying. Simplify the process for websites, simple loyalty programs, great customer service, etc. The more you do the less the customer has to do and that’s what they want.
Do you have any great tips or stories on customer relations? Share below!
January 19, 2017
When looking for a little extra help for your business or you need a little boost you should always consider hiring interns. Many times employers may look to part time employees or temporary positions, but there will always be students looking for work experience. Why not consider hiring them? Here are five potential benefits of hiring an intern:
- A trial run. Who doesn’t like to see what they’re getting before they actually commit? When working with an intern you’ll get to see how they operate within the company culture and their work ethic. If they seem like a good investment for you business you can offer a more permanent position, and if not that’s fine too.
- A fresh perspective. It’s so important for you and your business to evolve and get a fresh set of ideas to change things up. That’s exactly what an intern can do. They’ll be coming from a much different background and can shine light onto new possibilities or areas of growth you might not have considered before. You never know what could be brought to the table.
- Catch up on work. An intern will be coming into this position hoping to gain real life experience and learn what the field of work is really all about. It’s your chance to finish up projects that have taken a backseat, catch up on reports, and really finish all the smaller things that need done but you always seem to run out of time for. Let them do real work and you’ll both benefit in the process.
- Enhance employee retention rates. Again, this fails back on the idea of getting to know the employee before you offer a full time position. If you know they are hard workers, team players and get along well within the company before you hire, chances are they will stick around.
- Gain a brand advocate. The students will spread your business throughout their campus and social media. Without a doubt the interns will take their experiences back to campus and talk to their friends and classmates. They will post on social media, their family will want to know about their experience and they will want to share with friends what they’ve been up to. Inevitably, your name will be passed around and you’ll get some free advertising.
September 29, 2016
The world we live in is quickly moving away from things like snail mail, and as millennials move into the workforce it can be easy for them to overlook things such as the power of a handwritten note. While a handwritten note might not be as common of a gesture to see, it will send a positive message to your potential employer.
Sending handwritten notes are important for much more than just after an interview, though. They can be sent to potential clients, donors, loyal customers, etc. Not everyone is going to send a note, so it will set you out from the rest of the competition, no matter the setting. It means much more to the recipient than you may realize. A note can, and should, even be sent for things like birthdays, anniversaries or other special events.
It doesn’t need to be long or extensive, something short and simple will do the trick. Thank whoever it is for the interview, service, etc. and mention who are you are. You will be remembered and it shows that you really care about the opportunity at hand.
June 7, 2016
When you work in a business or industry for long enough, you get comfortable. You know the ins and outs, you know the lingo and the importance of certain topics, and you know why you’re excited about your product or service. What’s important to remember is that when you are speaking for an audience they may not have the same familiarity as you do. Instead of jumping right in and telling them all about your fantastic products you need to pause for a minute and read the room. Your job is more than just explaining why your product or service is so much more impressive than your competitors and why it should ultimately be the consumers first choice. It’s also your job to educate and connect with the audience to explain to them why they should even care in the first place.
Draw the audience in. Simple as that. We are all familiar with movie trailers and cliff hangers and images that leave you wanting to know more, to better understand. That is your job here, you need to tell a story. Put an image in the audiences mind that they can relate to whether that’s a picture of the industry in which they work, problems that they face daily, their competitors, goals they may have, the environment in which they work…you get the idea. You’re grabbing their attention because you are describing them. You are showing them that you understand and care about their industry and share common interests and goals.
Explain why you products or services are important to them. Put yourself in the shoes of the audience and ask: why would I care about this? Why does it matter? In what ways will it affect my work or productivity? These are all important questions and if you don’t know the answers then you need to take a minute and think about it before you go to present.
Create relevance. Once you are able to understand the importance of the message for your audience, believe in it! You are now the deliverer of this message, so explain how it has impacted you and how you believe it can directly impact them. Connect with your message and it will inherently bring a sense of trust.