Your best prospect is someone else’s current client. This works both ways. If you have a client who follows your advice and is a big part of your revenue picture, it’s highly likely agents at competitors are chatting them up.
In our profession, people who aren’t doing a good job are put on probation. They are given a chance to improve. Clients vote with their feet. They either tell you they are moving or the assets move and you are the one making the phone call asking: “What’s going on?”
Sometimes there are signs your client is considering making a change. What are they and what can you do to minimize the risk they’ll leave?
1. What do you think of (firm)? They met someone or were referred by a friend. They had a conversation and were impressed. They assume financial services firms are friendly competitors and all agents know each other.
Your competitor said: “You are taking a step up when you work with our firm.”
You can: Let them know they are an important client. Thank them for the years they have worked with you. Talk about how long your firm has been in the local market and how it gives back to the community.
2. How come you never told me about (product)? They got a call. Maybe they somehow got to talking insurance with another advisor. They told them about a “new” product with lots of bells and whistles. (You have it, too.) They like the sound of it. “If you have it, why didn’t you tell me?”
Your competitor said: “We are a full-service firm with a wide range of products. We don’t just represent one carrier or sell a narrow range of products like some firms.”
You can: Talk or meet at least annually to review the relationship. Explain the range of products and services you offer. “This is how we can help people …”
3. How much am I paying? Your client starts asking about fees, surrender charges and other costs. They seem oversensitive. They are speaking negatively about products they already own.
Your competitor said: “You are probably being overcharged. Let me look at everything you own. I’ll tell you how much they are charging you.”
You can: Explain “This is how we make money …” when they buy a product from you. Align surrender charges with the concept of why it’s a long-term investment.
4. Why haven’t I heard from you lately? They are a good client. They follow your advice. They don’t make requests or complain. You have your hands full with other clients who want a piece of your time. Because they are such a quiet, agreeable client, you rarely call. They feel neglected.
Your competitor said: “When was the last time you heard from your agent? Anyone at their firm? I don’t mean email or a text — I mean a real call! If you move over to us, you will be an important client to me.”
You can: Call on a schedule prompted by your CRM system. Call in between. Whenever you call, remind them of the last time you spoke. Bring them new information or relate world and economic events to their holdings.
5. Something happened. I’m thinking of making some changes. It’s what you hoped would happen! They came into money! They need to put it to work. Possibly it’s an inheritance. Someone told them they are in the big leagues now. They have outgrown you and your firm.
Your competitor said: It’s time you worked with a firm that gives you the personalized attention you deserve. We don’t use cookie-cutter or one-size-fits-all solutions at our firm. We treat you as an individual.
You can: Let them know about the strengths and capabilities of your firm. At different points, mention categories where the firm is No. 1. Mention awards won. The firm likely has different tiers of client service. They work with a live, local advisor. Mention the capabilities and firm resources you can access when people have more complicated needs. The “something happened” scenario might never occur, but they might know someone in that position. This should help make them comfortable referring you.
The key takeaways for your client are
- You consider them an important client.
- Through you, the firm can help them with larger issues if needed.
Bryce Sanders is president of Perceptive Business Solutions Inc., and his book, “Captivating the Wealthy Investor” can be found on Amazon.
For more, read
- “12 ideas for prospecting” from Bryce Sanders
- “Simple ways to make prospecting and servicing clients easier”