Focus on Phoning & Follow-Up

Recently, I held clinics for two Northwestern Mutual Greater Chicago offices, sharing my methods for client contacting and follow-up. The conference room was filled with financial representatives and staff, looking for new ideas to engage clients.

 
My secret is warm-hearted communication paired with technology.
 
When I reach people, I’m human—interested in their lives, focused on their needs. More importantly, I’m sensitive to their timelines. In other words, I treat each person as if their lives matter.
 
Follow-up can be infuriating. People have so much on their plates, they don't always respond to calls and emails. I simplify this painful issue, creating new habits to make sure no one falls through the cracks. Clients receive service. We learn more about each relationship.

Result: the practice evaluates this information regularly—sorting who is a customer, and who is a long-term client.

 
At the end of the presentation, an advisor...
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IRL or Virtual: Why do you need a Client Relations Expert?

How we share information has evolved. Much of our life is conducted online, especially now. We research products. We follow sports, read the news and play games. We laugh at cat videos. Streaming services bring entertainment to us everywhere. The virtual is a tool and a companion.

 

So, what happens IRL? IRL = In Real Life, in text and social media posts.

What, exactly, requires face-to-face time? Friendship. Family. Romance. The ones we trust are those we see, in person, a lot.

 

Building Trust, Putting in the Time

In financial planning, how do you balance the personal and the virtual? Your clients work with you when they trust you. Your connection to them offers something crafted to their needs. You build that trust in person. And maintain it In Person.

 
You may disagree with this: social media, websites, and online services enhance, but they do not build. A human voice, a handshake, sitting across a table sharing ideas… these things build connections.
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So Many Names, So Much To Do

See that long list of one-time clients in your files? Those people trusted you once already. You know them fairly well. These relationships have potential to grow.

Don't Leave Opportunity on the Table

Nearly everyone has more planning to do – financial plans aren’t a one-and-done event. And, goals evolve. You know that.

How often do you remind your clients of this important fact? Did you tell them last time you chatted, that you intend to have on-going conversations to help them stay on track, to re-calibrate the plan when necessary?

You invested time to create trust

  • You met each prospect, you listened carefully and engaged them, uncovered a few needs, answered their questions. Your potential client believed you, felt safe enough to share personal information and moved ahead with a plan of action. Terrific!
  • You walked them through the process of qualifying for insurance, guided them as they set up a plan for retirement savings and their children’s education. You...
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What Does a Client Relations Manager Do for You?

What is more powerful? You telling someone about how terrific you are at your work? Or someone with no agenda, telling a friend or colleague your practice has changed their life for the better? Even more, it’s made them enjoy creating security and wealth?

There is power in it, when a person --who is not you-- says your name. There is power in your name when it appears in a message from someone else.
 
Your Client Relations Manager is a consistent voice, dropping your name into clients’ and prospects’ daily awareness.
 
The appointment is the big goal: put a meeting on the calendar. The secondary goal builds energy—it answers the questions: Who helps me stay on track with my budget? Who gives me trustworthy advice? Who raises topics I hadn’t considered, and guides me through complex financial events?
 
Get the Magic Formula
Your name, said by another, in a friendly, timely manner… That is the magic. You become the Go-To for your...
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Cold Calling Orphan Clients

I bring reluctant and orphan clients back into an active planning relationship. All of the advisors I work with can tell stories about how I charmed someone into a conversation.

My favorite one involves a business owner who happened to live in my hometown. I called him to say his accounts, which had been reassigned to a financial planner I work with, could use an update. As he objected that he did not need to speak to an advisor, and he was very busy, I investigated his file in the CRM system.

His home address was around the block from my childhood home.

When he finished his initial objection, rather than asking him to please schedule a short phone introduction with his new advisor, I asked him, ‘Jim, I just noticed your address. Do Nancy and Bob still live next door to you on Elm Street?’ He said, ‘Do you know them?’ …

‘Why yes, I played with their kids--we spent a lot of time running around each other’s back yards.’ ‘Oh...

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