The advisor was stunned. He had just learned that one of his clients was transferring out her investment accounts. He thought he was her go-to advisor. He had even helped find someone to remodel her kitchen!
When he called to try to salvage the relationship, he learned that she had decided to move her accounts to the investment rep at the credit union where she had her checking account. To her, it was simply a matter of convenience!
The advisor asked: How could I have prevented this? Is there anything I could have done to reinforce my value to this client?
Unfortunately, many clients have short memories. When they think about you, their focus is often simply on how well their investments are doing (or not doing). Even when you take a more comprehensive approach and help them reduce their tax exposure or make sure their estate planning documents are up-to-date or simply help them find someone to remodel their kitchen.
Could it be that the only visual reminders they have of what you do for them are the statements or performance reports they receive from your firm?
And it’s more than just keeping them as clients. What do they have to remind them of the specific benefits they have received from you when they are talking to a friend or family member?
This topic has become a discussion item with several of our clients recently, and we’ve begun to brainstorm on ways to provide visual reminders to clients. Here are a few:
- Checklists of wealth planning topics, including when and how they were addressed
- Recaps or summary letters or emails of key items discussed at discovery or review meetings
- Written action plans
- Written narrative describing their life goals and what achieving them will look like
- Personal, hand-written notes
- Custom, not third-party, newsletters
- Description of your philosophy or principles of investing, advising clients, etc.
Watch for specifics in our next several blog posts. Meanwhile, if you have additional suggestions of ways to provide visual reminders to clients, add your comments below.