Blogs

Month: March 2020

How Are Your Clients Measuring You?

How Are Your Clients Measuring You?



We keep hearing about living in “unprecedented times.” It’s become a catchphrase overnight as we adjust to a new environment. But it’s an accurate statement. It’s a challenge to stay connected from your home. And right now it’s more important than ever.

Whether your clients realize it or not, your value to them has never been greater. Now is the time to exceed expectations. But first, you need to understand how your clients are measuring you. The main thing? In a down market, we don’t want to be measured by the same parameters used in an up market.

In an up market, it’s easy to define bad. We have a certain rate of return, we see our assets go up, and we see a modest decrease in terms of the fee structure. That difference measures our value as we build the portfolio.

In a down market, and especially in today’s climate, we bring so much more value than just performance. We need to redefine how we are measured to include:

  • Timely reviews
  • Explanation of type of holdings
  • Types of retirement solutions, and how they’ve
    performed

But our most valuable service right now comes from calming fears and anxiety. From previous down markets we’ve learned that we can’t afford to let someone else define our value. We must define it for them.

Think about the last major market correction from 10-12 years ago. How has your client’s behavior changed? If it hasn’t changed, we need to provide enough value now to encourage a change going forward. And to do that, we need to evaluate our business model, our education and how we, and our clients, view their retirement income outcome.

Let’s use a new measuring stick when it comes to how we are measured by our clients. We offer more than just a financial portfolio. We offer clients the opportunity to be active participants in their finances, with an expert guide to help them stay the course.

Transformational Tactic

Provide value by offering reassurance and education. Redefine how you are measured during uncertain times.

Recognize the opportunity to transform your business by taking our free course.

Posted by hpp
What Does it Mean When Your Clients Go Quiet

What Does it Mean When Your Clients Go Quiet



It’s a weird time.

With all the recent market volatility and social distancing, it’s hard to know how to reassure your clients. And every client is different. You’re probably hearing from your more vocal clients. And they are most likely demanding your attention first. The squeaky wheel … you know the rest.

But what about those wheels that aren’t squeaking? You also
have clients with concerns that aren’t reaching out. At least, they aren’t
reaching out to you.

Be careful of the quiet people. Have you ever heard
that phrase? In today’s climate, that’s good advice. With market volatility, it’s
easy to focus in on the people who are calling us to calm them down. We take
the necessary time to talk them through the market’s ups and downs and focus in
on the long-term. And that’s an important part of our job. But we
also need to talk with the people who are not calling us. Often, these clients
are introverts.

Introverts tend to rely on their own research. And because
they’ve taken the time to research, they tend to be more confident. But, even
though they’ve done the research, they will seek out other people’s opinions to
shape their own. That’s significant for us as financial planners. They may very
well be seeking out other financial professionals for ideas during these rocky
times.

So regardless of your client base, whether they’re calling
you or not, you need to systematically reach out to all your clients.

The ones who are calling you, and, most importantly, the
ones who are not.

Transformational Tactic

Develop a consistent, scalable message. And use it to reach out to all your clients. Especially those who may be calling somebody else.

Recognize the opportunity to transform your business by taking our free course.

Posted by hpp
Think Like a Navy Seal

Think Like a Navy Seal

What makes the best be the best? Dedication? Determination?
A little bit of good luck?

For the last few weeks, I’ve been traveling – seeking out
industry experts to help me learn and grow. My travels brought me to Coronado,
California, to attend the Society of Financial Service Professionals (SFSP)
Institute.

In addition to a famous hotel and some incredibly good
Mexican food, Coronado is also home to the Navy base where they train the Navy
Seals. My meeting was literally footsteps away, and I couldn’t help but see the
commonality between our two worlds. The individuals training to be Seals are in
excellent physical shape. Even though they are the best the Navy has, they are
determined to continue to improve. Nothing but perfection will satisfy them.

At the Institute, I saw professionals with the same dedication
and determination. They were spending significant time and energy sharpening
the saw — getting better at their craft and understanding all the changes
happening in the retirement income planning space. They were continuing their
education and learning about the massive demographic shifts in the United
States. These shifts shouldn’t be a surprise, although the size of them is
pretty staggering.

According to LIMRA, today we have about 71 retired baby
boomers for each active financial planner. By 2025, it will be 163 per planner.
Did you follow that? In five short years, if every boomer had a financial
planner, the ratio of clients to planners would be double. That’s a lot of
people who need your advice!

So, how do you prepare to serve the market? Dedication.
Determination. We need to be in peak condition to be able to serve our market.
We must figure out how to increase efficiency and effectiveness. The challenge
will be to maintain our customized focus within a much larger client base.

With more and more Americans needing our help, we must be
able to focus on our advice and expertise and let automation and technology
work for us to make our client relationships more efficient. In a recent post,
I talked about the need for automation in marketing. That need is going to be
ever more present in the years to come. If you haven’t researched technology
vendors and platforms yet, there’s no time like the present. It’s the best chance
we have of becoming more repetitive in a scalable business model.

Transformational Tactic

Prepare now for the shift of the future. Establish a practice of repetitive goals, while maintaining a customized relationship with each client.

Recognize the opportunity to transform your business by taking our free course.

Posted by hpp
How to Duplicate Your Best Clients

How to Duplicate Your Best Clients

Websites. Commercials. Advertising. Mailing lists. All of
these are tools used to chase the elusive goal of having exactly the right
amount of exactly the right type of client. It’s a challenge every advisor
faces.

Few of us have enough clients to feel satisfied with our
business. And even if we get the number right, we then shift our focus to
duplicating the top 20% while delegating the bottom 20% to a successor. Every
business feels this pressure to add new sources of revenue in the form of new
clients.

So, what do we do about it? In the past, the answer has been
to throw tens of thousands of dollars into anything that sounds like it would
work. But there are limits to what we can do with traditional types of advertising,
namely:

  • Finding the right compliance partner
  • Describing complex services without sounding
    vague
  • Developing an effective marketing strategy
    quickly
  • Spending too much money for mediocre results

But it doesn’t have to be like that.

Success in marketing starts with a focus on the prospective client and their problem, not with our solution.

Think about the story you want to tell. Is the hero you, or
your client? If the answer is you, it’s time to adjust the marketing
message.  We aren’t marketing our process
— it doesn’t attract people. The message needs to be how we improve their lives
and make their family situation better. Knowing your audience is important. You
want your message to match their definition of success. It may seem difficult.
We think we must be innovative, different and unique to attract clients. We
don’t.

Crafting the Right
Message

It’s actually easier than you think. We know what our
prospective clients want. But we aren’t giving them specifics on why they should
want to work with us. Here are some examples of general statements about
potential pitfalls:

  • You might run out of money during retirement
  • Healthcare might be too expensive and drain your
    resources
  • Inflation can rob you of being able to buy
    things during retirement

Experience has shown that these types of statements don’t
motivate people to meet with us. In fact, I’d argue that they scare people
away. Be honest. Would they motivate you?

Instead, we need to think about the emotional and deeper
meaning of why clients choose to invest, and what factors contribute to picking
a firm. To figure that out, we need to look to the past.

Past Success Leads to
Future Success

Consider your five favorite clients. Make a list. What makes
them your favorite clients? I’m sure the money they bring to your firm is a
factor. But more than that, there is probably positive engagement – you enjoy
working with them. And they trust your judgment when it comes to their
finances. It’s a perfect situation. These are the people you want to duplicate.

There’s no big mystery to why these clients do business with
us. It’s simple. We transformed their lives. We provided solutions to their
problems and helped create a secure future.

Let’s conduct a little experiment. Pull your files for these
five clients. Then take out a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle.
On the left side, write down all the adjectives that described the client when
you were still trying to earn their business. (This is where the files come
in.) Most likely, your adjectives include words like worried, uninformed, lost,
lacking confidence or fearful.

On the right side of the paper, list adjectives that
describe how the client feels about their finances today. Words like safe,
secure, confident, comfortable, aware, in control and satisfied should be on
this list.

This transformation is your marketing message. Taking
clients from worried to secure. From uninformed to in control. From fearful to
confident. Think about a marketing message that focuses on changing their
lives. In short, the type of messaging that resonates with people. A message
that provides hope. And enables the prospective client to make a significant
change – one that affects every member of their family, including the next
generation — without using scare tactics.

Transformational Tactic

Look more closely at why your top clients chose you. Those reasons are the key to a marketing message that attracts the right prospects.

Recognize the opportunity to transform your business by taking our free course.

Posted by hpp