The Elements Ironstone Blog

Current news and trending topics for sales and financial industry professionals


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Treat Your Clients Fairly, But Not Equally—It’s OK!

In Ironstone’s Fundamental 4™, Operational Effectiveness, we take a challenging look into creating a service matrix that serves as your reference on how you will serve each client fairly, but not necessarily equally.  Developing the proper client segmentation is vital in creating, growing and evolving your firm and then applying that segmentation to a service matrix.    To make a service matrix effective, you must determine the type of services you offer and client contact frequency to promote clear communication to clients and prospects.

Determining the best way to align client services within your matrix

A service matrix should be based upon the characteristics of your firm, needs and goals of your firm’s processes combined with the uniqueness of each client and prospect.  Your clients are not created equal in terms of their needs and desires.  Your job is to determine the specific needs of groups within your client database, use the levers in your control to grow revenue and provide first-class service and sales effort.

You owe each client your best effort – not every service

In our blog, “Understanding Purposeful Meaning In Your Client Service Matrix,” https://aeschlapia.wordpress.com/2012/04/10/understanding-purposeful-meaning-in-your-client-service-matrix/ we outlined the principles inside a service matrix.

 
A client service matrix serves several purposes:
• Encourages clients and prospects to use your firm for all of their financial planning needs
• Clarifies what service levels each client can expect
• Aligns advisor time and resources
• Provides a way to thank your most loyal clients

A service matrix will allow your firm to deliver services to different client segments through the use of multiple channels and aide you in delivering outstanding service by defining what activities you will perform based on the profitability of each relationship.  Position your firm to use your service matrix as a central tool in servicing clients and to show differentiation from your competition.

Using your matrix as an external and internal tool for success

 A service matrix serves as an external and internal managerial tool.  Use your matrix internally to:

  • Determine if proper staffing is in place to provide desired results and services
  • Plan, develop and implement tactics for future growth
  • Schedule service items that will be provided to your clients/prospects
  • Generate reminders to all team members

Utilizing your matrix will ensure all services within the matrix are being provided and will allow you to support proactive client/prospect service and ensure you are delivering on the promises you made.

Employing a service matrix is a useful tool when you evaluate the strategic changes in your firm’s service operation.  By paying close attention to the challenges associated with each classification, overall firm performance will improve.

The end result, your firm will be more strategic, efficient and likely more profitable.

“In business, words are words, explanations are explanations, promises are promises,

 but only performance is reality.”   Harold Geneen

We are curious!!  Does your firm utilize a service matrix?  Tell us about it!

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

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

Coming up next, learn about the human element and hiring and onboarding!

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Stay Competitive By Adopting A Higher Value Business Model For Your Firm

In our first blog series focusing on strategic planning and your firm’s business model (https://aeschlapia.wordpress.com/2012/02/06/how-to-define-your-business-model-and-set-the-objectives-that-will-bring-it-to-life/) we reviewed types of business models including solo, silo and ensemble firms and how strong ownership mentality helps drive success and creates focus to leverage services offered to your clients.

We also identified that your business model explains the flow of money within your firm along with identifying the services that your clients find valuable with a focus on what the largest income generator for your firm is.

Your business model has been and needs to continue to evolve for a variety of reasons including industry commoditization and increased competition.  In order to stay competitive and set yourself apart from your competitors, adopting a higher value business model will be a vital part of your firm’s success.

The structure of your business must change in order to support your new business model If not you will experience:

  • declining revenue growth
  • deteriorating client satisfaction
  • increased levels of stress on your team
  • erosion of market share
  • loss of credibility

As you change your business model, you will need to solve complex wealth management problems and build stronger relationships with your clients, all of which will require added resources.  Clients are desperately seeking advisors that they can rely on.  Provide a business model that enables them to:

  • Trust that their advisor will act in their best interest at all times
  • Know their advisor is there when needed
  • Know that fees have been minimized
  • Retain control of their assets
  • Provide meaningful educational opportunities

Providing this type of business model is important, but do not forget to share your business model with your clients and prospects.  After all, you need to educate and demonstrate what makes you different from the rest!

Include the following items while you review and refine you business model:

  • Key Partners
  • Key Activities
  • Value Proposition
  • Customer Relationships
  • Customer Segments
  • Revenue Streams
  • Channels for Reaching Clients
  • Key Resources
  • Cost Structure

Ironstone can assist you in developing an up-to-date business model that meets the needs of your clients. We specialize in identifying gaps in your existing plan and will collaborate with you to develop solutions that are parallel in achieving the results your desire.

Contact us for assistance in starting and improving your Business Model.  We want to hear from you!   Share your best ideas here!  What challenges do you face in setting yourself apart from your competitors? 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:  Business Development-Branding