You can read Part One here if you missed it.
Thank you for all the feedback on our blog last week, we appreciate it. Look for an Advisor Profile later this week that you will enjoy.
This blog is about the next step of the Thanksgiving Season campaign where we are looking to uncover new opportunities within your own business. This isn’t hard to do, and with very little effort you can do this all the time.
Last week you were going to send everyone a card using this incredibly handy service, you were going to call your clients, beginning with your top client, and gather CLAN information (Career, Life Goals, Activities, Next of Kin).
The feedback so far is that the service is pretty straightforward.
How you can leverage the CLAN info that you gathered.
Lets agree that profiling clients is always important, and always a benefit. Undoubtedly sometimes you will walk right into new business, but I would encourage you to take a longer, more patient view. This work is important, necessary and will pay off.
Just by calling and profiling your clients you are building a wall around them – you are protecting your most valuable asset, a client who is onside. Think about what a single client is worth to you, year after year. What does a client pay you per year in fees, what does that client pay you every 5 or even 10 years? These numbers can be staggering.
So again – at the very least we are protecting this income, now let’s see how we can grow a little.
Look for family information – specifically parents.
When you ask about Thanksgiving dinner, and you find out who is going to be there, ask a few qualifying questions to flush out a better picture of the family dynamic.
Obviously you are going to want to know more about my parents – and it’s likely that most of your clients who are in their forties have parents who are at least in their mid sixties. In my case, my mother is in her late 70s, and my father is in his mid to late 80s and lives in a long term care facility.
If you called me and asked me what my plans were, you’d find out that I have 4 older brothers, that I will likely have dinner with two of them, and that most likely my mom will be there. My father isn’t very well, so you might find out that we are going to visit with him that day, probably in shifts, and that it’s unlikely he will join us that night.
My brothers are all married, they are all professionals and we are all friendly with each other. One of my brothers you would like to have as a client, and probably could if you lived in our town.
You might ask something about kids, and find out that there are enough Moseley-Williams grandkids to field a team, and that they range in age from 4 to 25. We are a family that goes to University and College, most of my nephews and nieces will graduate from post-secondary education. There are a lot of 529 plans (RESPs in Canada) to consider.
There are some great opportunities here to help me, to diversify your service and to further build a professional relationship. All you have to do is ask, and you have permission to do this.
Elder Care is an important issue, and a great opportunity.
In the cases where your client might have a similar situation to my own, consider sending out a letter after you make the call and offer to be a source of clarity and assistance as it relates to possible elder care issues.
You have been on my mind since I spoke with you the other day. I have been thinking about your parents, who I will assume are well taken care of. With that said, more and more I get questions from my clients whose parents are nearing, or already in retirement.
Obviously a proper will and estate plan is an essential piece of your financial planning puzzle. I am going to assume that all is well taken care of, but I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t reach out to you.
Please find enclosed a little information on the subject that highlights a few issues that you should be aware of. If you have any questions, please let me know.
Seminar for elder care? With a speaker? A Retirement Symposium?
One of our clients leveraged this simple campaign – a card, a call, and some profiling, into a seminar for retirees featuring a gerontologist as a speaker. The subject was retirement lifestyle planning, The New Retirement, and it was incredibly well received.
The audience was a mix of existing clients, their parents, and some prospects. It was an exceptional event, and the topic was timely, appropriate and appreciated.
A fistful of other ideas
What if you don’t have the elder care event as a possibility? Not to worry. There are all kinds of other opportunities. Remember, you are not trying to sell a product; you are trying to create a client.
Career – can you send anything out to a client who is thinking of changing careers, companies, or who is uncertain about long term job security?
Lifegoals – Are your clients planning any trips? This is usually an easy one.
Speaking personally I have already booked two ski getaways, January and February and I have a third “almost booked” for March – just need to finalize the dates.
What is significant in my case is that I am booking these trips as rewards for some heavy work I am doing now, so this is also related to CAREER stuff. Namely I am finishing a book, launching two products and I am currently in the midst of finishing a complete rebuild of my consulting program.
Anyone can get on GOOGLE (it’s new) and wherever your clients tell you they are going, type in something like: Best restaurants in Location. Can’t-miss attractions in Location. Secrets-of Location.
You will get millions of possibilities, you need two. Check out the links, print what is appropriate and send the printed pages out to your clients with a little note:
“Dennis, I enjoyed speaking with you the other day, I love that you are always looking ahead and planning some fun. Keep it up. I have enclosed a little list of things to do when you are in Location skiing. I’m sure you are doing your own homework, but according to those who know, you don’t want to miss …”
That’s it. That’s all you have to do. All you are trying to do is demonstrate that you listen, and you care and that you are willing to bring a little value when you can, and maybe you will find out that it really helped them. You are buying your own space in their story.
Activities – Think hobbies, and what is going on closer to home. Do your clients have a boat or a cottage or lake house? When do they close it up? Are they an avid runner, biker or swimmer? Are they involved in a fund raiser or community activity that you could sponsor or in some way assist with?
Next of Kin – This is a huge opportunity. Imagine if you sent a book like The Richest Man in Babylon, or The Wealthy Barber to every teenage child of your top clients who has a job. To every kid who makes $216 every two weeks from working at her or his job at a retail store.
What would that say about your commitment to your clients as a Personal CFO? Write a note that says this:
“Ella, I was speaking with your father/mother the other day and they were telling me that you have joined the workforce. Congratulations! Your parents are understandably very proud of you and they should be. I have enclosed this book for your consideration, and encourage you to read it before you get too many pay cheques.”
Make sure you call your client and let them know that you have sent along the book, and then suggest that they bring in their son or daughter to meet you at their next review meeting.
Speaking very personally – nothing means more to me than my daughter. Anyone who makes any effort to help me be a good dad is an important ally in my life.
The bottom line is this – you have to stir the pot. You have to stay in touch. You have to remain top of mind and you have to add value.
Sending a statement isn’t adding value. Sending a market update isn’t market value either – frankly it’s your job.
Don’t measure your value by doing what you are hired to do. Measure your value by doing things that are nowhere in your job description.
Once again – if you want to get this campaign going, start with a card and you can get going here.
After the card is sent out, hop on the phone and gather your CLAN information then use a little imagination. The more you do it, the more easily you will manufacture runs.