As we prepare to enter a new calendar year, take time to plan when you will communicate with your clients. Here are three simple ways to do that.
1. Create a plan for the new year. Start with a calendar and pick the days you want to commemorate with clients. Most advisors and planners provide some type of holiday greeting at Thanksgiving or in December, but why not add something unique? Do you want to celebrate the first day of Spring or do something special for Independence Day? What about reaching out to veterans on November 11?
Check out TimeandDate.com for all the major national, state and religious holidays in 2019. Go through the list and identify the ones that you think would be meaningful to commemorate with clients.
Want to have a little more fun? Chase’s Calendar of Events lists everything from holidays to famous birthdays to milestones to special interest days like “National Gingerbread House Day.” You can also find a listing on NationalDayCalendar.com.
Make sure your CRM is set up to provide monthly lists of significant dates for your clients such as birthdays and anniversaries. Birthday cards and letters are common, but one of our advisors calls every client each year on their birthday. Clients love the personal touch!
2. Set regular reminders for each client. During busy times of the year, it can be all too easy to focus on what’s in front of you and lose sight of the bigger picture. For every client, set a regular reminder in your CRM to make sure you have meaningful contact at appropriate intervals (generally 30-90 days, depending on the client).
When the reminder pops up, take a few minutes to reflect on your relationship with the client and answer the following questions:
- Do I need to review or update this client’s plan or strategy?
- Are there any existing follow-up items?
- Is there anything important I need to share with this client, such as my perspective on economic, market or political conditions, tax law changes, or other current events?
- What can I do to deepen my relationship with this client?
After each client interaction, reset your reminder for the appropriate interval.
3. Establish an action plan for urgent communications. How prepared are you reach out to your clients in the event of a national crisis tomorrow (economic or otherwise)? Do you have an action plan in place to contact your clients immediately, or would you need to figure it out?
If the latter, here is a starter plan:
- Make certain your clients are prioritized or tagged in your CRM based on who needs what type of information and when, and that their preferred contact information is up to date.
- Decide on the message you want to share.
- Identify the appropriate communication channel (broadcast vs. individual, phone vs. email, etc.).
- Prioritize who you will contact.
- Start communicating.
As you know, the key reason most clients give for leaving financial advisors or planners is that they don’t hear from them. With good planning and sound delivery systems in place, you can build client relationships that will continue to grow year after year.