“Time isn’t the main thing; it’s the only thing.” – Miles Davis
I’m always asked about the value of face-to-face time advisors spend with their clients, versus telephone or online review meetings. Frankly, I’m always a little surprised; it seems to me that the answer is pretty obvious, which is that nothing is more beneficial to the long-term success of your business than spending quality time with your clients.
Here is an article posted on LinkedIn last week that explored the same question, and which inspired this blog.
When you think of yourself as a person who sells goods and services, and who should therefore make it as easy as possible to work with, you are commoditizing yourself. You are saying to yourself and your clients that you are not worth the time to go and meet. By saying “we can do all of this over the phone,” you are discounting everything that is important (which is you).
If you can do it over the phone, then it’s not worth very much.
If you can do it over the phone, then you’re not missing much.
If you can do it over the phone with someone, then you can do it over the phone with everyone.
Consider this …
To make yourself more convenient to do business with, by offering a meeting over the telephone, it means you are making it easier for your client, and also possible for your customer to spend less time with you.
Seriously shift your thinking. What if your goal becomes to spend more time with your customers, which they are happy to do because they actually value the time they spend with you? What does that look like? As Joe Pine, co-author of The Experience Economy says, “Instead of time well-saved (a commoditized service), they view it as time well-spent (a staged experience).”
The absolute only thing you have that every other advisor wants to have but doesn’t, is the permission and privilege to pick up the telephone and call your customer. You could, right now, pick up the phone and call any client you want and they would speak to you or return your call.
How much is the privilege and permission to call your client worth?
What are you doing with it, how do you use this opportunity to bring joy and value to your customer?
Make spending quality time with your clients your full-time job.
Quality time is memorable, transformational and worthy of talking about after.
Oh, sorry I gotta go. I have a blog on the other line …