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Current news and trending topics for sales and financial industry professionals


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What Have They Done To Me?!! They Earned My Loyalty!

I am always surprised and humbled when I walk into a business and am greeted by my name, and particularly impressed when one of the team associates asks me about an event we spoke about during my last visit. WOW! That’s impressive! It’s refreshing, invigorating and makes me feel connected and engaged to the team of professionals I am working with.

What have they done to me!!?  They have earned my loyalty by:

  • Developing a relationship
  • Creating trust
  • Connecting and engaging

Do you bestow this feeling to your clients? How well do you know them? Building meaningful relationships for powerful and effective client interaction is paramount in establishing client loyalty and retention. Client loyalty lies in several factors, but today’s affluent investor is looking for an advisor that:

  • Creates trust
  • Adds value
  • Shares mutual values
  • Demonstrates high ethical behavior
  • Goes above and beyond

This is not to say that you don’t have to provide quality service each and every time, but without the above factors, no matter how great you are at your job, it probably won’t matter much.

Gathering Information

Start by creating a process that outlines each step of developing deeper client relationships.  Decide what information you want to gather and learn about your clients, then systematically collect, organize and store records for the most powerful and effective client interactions and campaigns.  Below is a list of some of the information you may want to start collecting and, of course, tailor the form to include additional information that is pertinent to your firm.

  • Hobbies-fitness, bicycling, arts/crafts, camping
  • Cuisine-American, Italian, Indian
  • Books/Authors– biography, mystery, health/fitness
  • Activities-golf, dancing, fishing
  • Birthday’s
  • Children’s Names
  • Pets

Download Ironstone’s Client Personal Interests Worksheet to start getting to know your clients!  Client Personal Interests Worksheet  

Use the information you collect to make contacts and conversation with clients throughout the year.  Clients like to do business with firms that express care and interest beyond the sale.  By cultivating relationships that clients can count on, you earn loyalty and trust.  Clients know that you have their best interests at heart.

Organize

You will need to include a system and process to organize the information you collect for each of your clients. Some options to consider:

  • CRM application
  • Individual files including a profile sheet
  • Note cards
  • Address book

Make sure that you and your team continue to learn about your clients on an on-going basis. The client profile sheet should be updated with your clients before, during and after the “sale”.

There is not a right or wrong way to store your client data – as long as it is organized, secure and readily available! Strive to set and attain goals that hold you and your team accountable for going above and beyond in getting to know your clients.  Set periodic checkpoints to evaluate your progress and make changes to improve your process as needed.

 We are curious! Do you collect client personal interest information?  How do you organize the information?

 Learn more about how Ironstone can impact the operational effectiveness of your firm!  Read more at www.ironstonehq.com

 

Follow us as we explore each of Ironstone’s Fundamental 4™!

  • Strategic Planning
  • Business Development
  • Operational Effectiveness
  • The Human Element

 Coming up next, Human Element & Team Development

  

• Email us at info@ironstonehq.com
• Call our office at 800-917-8020
• Connect with us:


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Existing Client Workflow – Don’t Just Manage Your Client Experience, Enhance it!

You Must Keep One Thing In The Front Of Your Mind,

“Relationship Building Is A Process”

In our blog about New Client Workflows (https://aeschlapia.wordpress.com/2012/04/24/workflows-how-they-enable-execution-of-your-business-strategy/), we explore the details that you need to consider while building the strategies to acquire and interact with new clients.  Existing clients need just as much time and attention in order to remain clients.

In general, a client experience is the knowledge and understanding that clients gain as a result of their interaction with your employees, brand, web site, customer applications, office space, point of sale, or any other touch points.  The following factors are the essential ways in which you have control over how good or how great your client experience is:

  1. Define Your Client Experience: This is a series of decisions about which services to automate, which to drive manually, when to schedule reviews, when to prompt client interactions or service reminders, and what information to store.  Establish processes unique to each channel since an in-person experience will differ considerably from an online experience.
  2. Collect Client Details: The ability to effectively extract relevant details about clients is one of the most potent advantages one can have during the sales process.  Our recent blog about Client Management Databases (https://aeschlapia.wordpress.com/2012/05/08/client-management-databases-use-them-to-your-full-advantage/) describes what information to capture in your CRM.  However, consider going beyond the norm.  Collect information that may be considered trivial or irrelevant (for instance, travel preferences) and use your CRM to process this data and recognize patterns in order to help develop personalized offers.  When meeting with clients and prospects, learn as much as possible through a truly meaningful interview by engaging in conversation that will not only strengthen and enhance your relationship, but allow you to find out how your practice can improve their experience.  Some topics to ask questions about, are:

 

  • Family and Relationships – issues with family members that may impact planning?
  • Lifestyle and Hobbies – What are you most passionate about?  In what ways do you participate?
  • Value and Concern -How do you define quality of life?
  • Career – Are you currently working?  How long do you plan to work?
  • Business Ownership – Describe how selling or retiring from your business will affect you.
  • Assets – What is your strategy for saving or setting aside money to invest?
  • Legacy – What causes/organizations/charities, etc. are you and your family passionate about?
  • Developing a Team – What are your best and worst experiences with an investment advisor or financial planner?
  • Service Expectations – What can our firm do in order to provide you with the ultimate client experience to gain your trust and loyalty?

 

  1. Narrow Your Client Focus: A well planned questionnaire to collect information will help you identify which target market your client/prospect should be cited in for future campaigns.  This will help you create your ideal customer profile and essentially your niche target market, as well as provide the structure you need to define your client segments and service matrix.
  2. Engage Your Team Members:  It is critical that all levels of the team are involved in this process in order to promote clarity and consistency.  Ask your team if they understand what is expected of them.  Review and refine all tasks in order to communicate transparent expectations that can be attained.  Beware of heavy restrictions and rules that might hinder the ability to create positive client outcomes.  Define specific innovation objectives and rewards for improving the customer experience. This will inspire an unrelenting commitment to exceeding client expectations.
  3. Engage Your Clients: Customer engagement materializes in a conversation that leads to a greater level of interest from both parties.  Be the voice of your client and ensure that you are addressing their emotional needs better than your competitor can.  Know your client’s alternatives to make sure you can deliver on the promise of being better.  This leads to the voluntary involvement of the client rather than a sale on the premise of desperation and lack of alternative options. Once you’ve engaged customers with personalized offers, it’s time to entice them.  This means the perfect combination of essential value, amenable feelings, and perfect timing.  Practice showing genuine interest through key points that you have learned, in order to show that you have a valued interest in your client beyond the transaction.  By adding a personal touch to your client conversations now and in the future, you are most likely to make your clients feel important and special.
  4. Measure Your Client Experience: The measurement stage is essential to any process.  It provides new insights on how to improve and provides empowerment as a result of the successes that are revealed. A good evaluation system is first and foremost regular.  It encourages internal feedback as well as elicits feedback from clients to ensure consistency.  It may even be beneficial to test a process with trusted clients before the official launch date.  Collect feedback through surveys, focus groups, visual tracking aids, and offer incentives for volunteering opinions.

Workflows ensure consistency and the delivery of promised value.  The practice can rest, assured that things aren’t falling through the cracks and there are no missed opportunities.  In essence, workflows aid in creating exceptional client experiences, which results in client retention and ultimately client referrals.  While clients can’t always tell you what will exceed their expectations, they notice it when it happens and they tell others about it.

Ironstone can assist you in developing the strategies and tactical questions to gain meaningful insights that will strengthen client relationships and assist you throughout the process.  By seizing control over the factors above, you will move from a buyer/seller relationship to sharing common interests with your clients and prospects.

Contact us for assistance in starting and improving your Existing Client Workflow.  We want to hear from you!   Share your best ideas here!

Follow us as we explore each of Ironstone’s Fundamental 4™!

  • Strategic Planning
  • Business Development
  • Operational Effectiveness
  • The Human Element

 

Stay In Touch With Us!


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Take The First Step Towards Greater Efficiency With Client Segmentation

 Client segmentation should be one of your first steps towards creating greater practice efficiency and profitability.   Yet we have found that advisors are skeptical about client segmentation due to the fear of losing clients.  Firms that have implemented client segmentation have found that segmentation aids in the retention of your ideal clients.

Client segmentation is about improving customer service for all of your clients.  Use it to deliver solutions more effectively by streamlining and automating the services you offer.  Aligning the right level of advisor support to the client’s specific needs results in increased client satisfaction and in turn may even result in more client referrals.

Start your segmentation process by defining client value.  Viewing each group with different needs and priorities will present you with the ability to serve each segment based upon their needs, not the firm’s profits. Advisors often discover that they can expand some client segments, when they know specifically what costs they will need to put against projected revenues.

Begin your segmentation process by following these steps:

  •     Define client value – Identify the drivers of value in your client relationship
  •     Quantify client value – Create a rating system to gauge each client
  •     Test your system
  •     Define Segments
  •     Track segmentation data
  •     Define & Update Processes

A firm’s defined segments may look something like this:

  •  A+=top 2% of your client database
  •  A=next 18%
  •  B=next 10%
  •  C=next 50%
  •  D=next 20%

To make segmentation truly effective, determine the type of services and frequency to promote clear communication to clients and prospects.

Trying to provide the same high level of service to everyone can make it difficult to focus on the more complex clients and on the inevitable changes that come with growth and business development.

Ironstone can assist you in developing a client segmentation plan,   identify gaps in your existing plan and collaborate with you to develop a solution to achieve the results you are looking for.

Contact us for assistance in starting and improving your client segmentation plan.  View our Segmentation Guide!  SegmentationGuide

We want to hear from you!   Share your best ideas here, we always love hearing from you!

Follow us as we explore each of Ironstone’s Fundamental 4™!

  • Strategic Planning
  • Business Development
  • Operational Effectiveness
  • The Human Element

You won’t want to miss our next in the series:  The Human Element-Hiring & Onboarding