Most advisors rely upon networking to grow their client base and increase their earnings. While there are many different ways to network, one thing we have always known is that the best sources of new business are current and former clients. This is because you already have their attention, so you can tap into the potential for repeat business and referrals.
When you consider your investment of time an energy, it’s easier and faster to sell to existing clients than it is to hunt for new ones. That’s why our marketing efforts focus so closely upon customer retention.
Stop chasing! In the sales field, we often hear of an old strategy called ABC: Always Be Closing. Advisors who subscribe to this method direct all of their energy toward wooing new clients and pushing for new sales. And of course, there is nothing wrong with wanting to draw new clientele. But when you focus solely on new clients, you might find that you’re working three times harder than you really need to!
There is a better way. Today, we know that exclusively using the ABC method can often cost advisors too much time and money. Instead, you should find that directing a portion of your marketing efforts toward client retention will accomplish the same goals – but with less effort.
Communicating with your past customers, continuing to educate them, and making yourself available to answer their questions is the key to client retention. When you reach out to past clients, you accomplish several goals at once:
- You maintain their focus on you and your services
- You continue to inspire confidence and build trust
- You remind them to call you when they need your help
- You inspire them to refer their friends and family to you
How do we do it? Clearly, you want to communicate regularly with your current and past clients, and you need to do it in a way that is convenient for them. After all, you want to offer them valuable information, without becoming too intrusive. The best forum for this type of communication is online, and our process is simple:
- Write blogs that answer your audience’s questions or provide them with important information
- Invite your past and present clients to read your blogs, by sending them an email
- Post links to your blog on social media sites such as Facebook or LinkedIn
Online communication is the most efficient and appealing way to communicate these days. By sending regular emails to your client base, or interacting with them on social media, you are basically doing the modern equivalent of “staying in touch”. And since we all prefer to do business with someone we know, yours is the first name on their minds when they need financial planning services. Better yet, you are also the first name on their minds when a family member or friend asks for a recommendation!
The beauty of this process is that it’s so simple. Keep in mind that you really don’t have to reinvent the wheel! Human beings are social creatures, and we prefer to do business with people we like and trust. Work on maintaining a rapport with current or past clients, and they will become an important source of repeat business and referrals.