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.
Result: the practice evaluates this information regularly—sorting who is a customer, and who is a long-term client.
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.
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
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?
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.
‘Why yes, I played with their kids--we spent a lot of time running around each other’s back yards.’ ‘Oh...