September 27, 2018
Referrals, referrals, referrals. We constantly hear how important they are and how it’s one of the best ways to obtain new clients. But, how exactly do we achieve as many referrals as possible? What can we do to differentiate ourselves to ensure that we’re receiving those referrals? One thing I want to discuss is the importance of providing exceptional customer service. If you switch your focus from trying to obtain referrals from every client you see to focusing on providing the best experience possible, your referrals will come naturally. In fact, just one happy client could result in 9 referrals for your firm. Whenever a client feels that a financial advisor is making a genuine effort to understand the client and provides valuable recommendations, they’re more likely to spread the word about you. Therefore, a positive experience is a must when trying to obtain referrals. With that being said, I’d love to provide some basic tips on ways to enhance the customer experience that will result in more referrals for your firm.
Don’t forget the little things about your clients. Is today your client’s daughter’s birthday? Send a birthday card! Keeping the little things in mind will make the client feel special and cultivate a healthy, engaged relationship.
Consistency. Don’t tell the client you will follow up constantly and only do it once. If there is a mistake on your part, don’t continue making the same mistake. Consistency is key when working with clients.
Don’t be intimidated to ask. Of course, providing excellent customer service will be the first option for obtaining referrals. However, don’t ever be afraid to ask for it. If you have worked with your client for quite some time now, feel free to mention something like “If you’ve enjoyed my service and you’re happy with the outcome, don’t hesitate to tell a friend.”
At the end of the day, ensuring a positive customer experience will result in more referrals for your firm.
August 30, 2018
In today’s society, one of the best ways a company can be successful is to provide great customer service. But, is that really enough? Working in customer service goes deeper than just ensuring it is “good.” We want to make sure that we deliver a value to the customer through our services or products. Some of the best companies worldwide have developed a culture within the organization around the value they deliver to their clients; companies such as Apple, Ritz-Carlton, Disney, Amazon, and the list goes on and on. So, how should companies go about creating a culture focused on delivering value to clients?
- Customer knowledge. As you build your book of business, really get to know your customers and especially their expectations of you. A lot of the times we deliver our services but forget to check if they align with the expectations from our customers.
- Create a customer service strategy. Often different segments of an organization aren’t aware of the company’s strategy or their understanding of it doesn’t align with the company’s. Therefore, creating a customer service strategy focused on delivering value to customers and spreading it throughout the whole organization will allow for consistency.
- Listen to your employees. The employees are on the frontline of daily customer interaction. Therefore, they may have customer insights that could be valuable for your customer knowledge. It will also provide a framework of ways to develop your customer service strategy.
- Loyalty. Don’t say you’re going to contact a customer in a week and then never contact them. Follow through with your promises and check up on customers regularly. What this does is it creates loyalty which means that you have provided a level of customer service that has exceeded expectations.
Not only will these actions steps result in higher customer satisfaction, but it will also greatly differentiate your business from companies who simply “deliver” their services or products.
May 10, 2018
In today’s world, there are financial advisors left and right. As the businesses grow so will the need for clients. One thing that most financial advisors and planners are constantly curious about is: how do you attract a wealthier clientele? In other words, your ideal client. There’s a lot that goes into attracting prospects. Today, I’d like to focus on the marketing aspect of it and provide you with four tips you can use to find your ideal client.
- Be the best at what you do. What are you doing differently than other financial advisors? What’s your track record? How are you sharing this with your prospects? In order to attract a wealthier clientele, it’s important for you to become the best at your service so that the client will feel confident with the assets they’re going to trust you with.
- What’s your story? I know I mention this often in my blogs but I can’t stress enough the importance of having a unique story for you as an individual and your company. You need make sure your story is providing value to the customer. Remember, people will pay for your story.
- Marketing communication must be 50% emotions 50% logic. Going off my #2 advice, how you communicate the value that you can provide to your clients is important. An example of combining emotions and logic into marketing communication would be: “Through my daily financial practices, I have been able to change people’s lives by helping 5,000 clients.”
- Ensure you are visible to your ideal clients. I know this seems obvious, but sometimes we get so caught up in our marketing efforts that we forget about our ideal clientele. Attend networking events, whether they’re virtual or live, be a speaker on webinars and events, and write articles and books. All of these ideas will not only make you more visible but will also build your credibility!
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.
February 8, 2018
Cold calling has been around for longer than we can imagine. Yet, it’s still very alive today even with having a 2% success rate, which is mostly for the highly skilled sales professionals. Why doesn’t cold calling work nowadays? Firstly, it’s simply annoying for the consumers to receive, especially since they are busier now more than ever before. With ever increasing technology, consumers can easily research anything online. Therefore, they’re most likely not to engage or listen during the phone call. For that reason, we must redefine modern cold calling. Have you ever been persuaded to choose something simply because someone you know told you to? Let’s be honest, we all have! So why don’t we do the same when we’re reaching out to potential clients? Think of how different your cold calling conversation would go if you said: “Hi, my name is Jodie Binning, I’m the owner of Three Point Marketing. One of my clients mentioned that you need a little bit of help in growing your marketing and developing your website.” By hearing “one of my clients mentioned,” the consumer instantly develops trust. Instead of randomly cold calling, find connections and turn them into “warm calls.” I’ll leave you with a couple of tips to ensure your call is successful:
- Create a list of all connections. And use them. Doesn’t matter how big or small you feel each connection is.
- Practice. Practice. Practice. Do you think actors ever film a scene without practicing their script? Absolutely not. Write out what you would like to say in your call and the call is half done for you.
- Listen. One of the main issues in the modern age is that we talk before we listen. When you actively listen, the customer feels that you care. You also want to ensure that you’re asking strategic follow up questions.
- Ask for a meeting at the right time. After you’ve used your practiced conversation, listened to the customer’s needs, and know that you can help them: ask for the meeting.
And just like that, you’ll turn your modern cold call into a connection!
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!