Are you ready to engage with your clients differently after all this ends?
It's hard to know what 'normal' will look like when businesses and homes open up again. But it will happen eventually and it's likely that some things won't go back to what they were before.
Have you thought about what your business might look like when things do?
There's probably some key areas that are going to look different going forward:
- Some clients will want meetings to stay online: it's convenient, they don't need to travel and they still get the outcomes they need
- Staff will continue working remotely: you may continue to have team members working from home, either fulltime or part of the time
- Client engagement has changed: relying on seeing your client face to face and showing your value, has now shifted
There's no doubt that meeting with clients in person allows you to have a different opportunity to read the feedback, especially on advice you might have delivered or other services. You also develop a rapport that can be hard to replicate, when you don't have someone standing in front of you.
But what if that was your only option going forward? Building rapport with clients remotely might be the way it's done.
It's not impossible, but there are some areas of your business you may need to sharpen up. Telling the right story about your business is the first step.
Many advice businesses do amazing work for their clients. They create great strategies, it's all put in place efficiently and then monitored and reported on back to clients. Plus there's all the compliance in the background and administration that needs to be done. So much administration.
But how much does your client actually see?
I like to refer to it as 'behind the gate' and 'front of gate'. Your business does a mountain of work behind the gate - everything mentioned above and more. Your client sees the end documents and any meetings you might have. If you're really good, you might be sending clients email marketing and newsletters, doing webinars and creating social media content - this is all 'front of gate'.
But, many of you aren't.
Which means the 'front of gate' game needs to sharpen up. This is how you remind clients about what you do, how good you are at it and how you're adding value to them. But more importantly, how that value translates to the fees they're paying each year.
Like anything we pay for in life, we can be distracted by someone else offering the same service, but maybe it 'looks' brighter and shinier. Of course, we know it usually isn't, but the bright shiny object syndrome is hard to resist sometimes. As a country, we've been known to vote out well-performing governments for the same reason - 'oh it's time for a change'.
When clients will have to make a decision each year about what fees they pay and to whom, you want your clients to be clear about what value they get from you. For many advisers it will mean 'selling' themselves online a bit more, being a bit more active in marketing campaigns to clients and telling the story of their business a bit more clearly and regularly.
This might be sounding like Russian to some of you and that's OK. It's new ground for many. It's also all well and good knowing you need to do something in your business, but then you don't know 'what' or 'how'. And the implementation is going to be the key step here - what can you start doing now that will make a difference?
The list can be long, but most should start with baby steps. Consistency should be the focus, so that means understanding your available resources to implement your strategy on a regular basis. Some suggestions to get started:
- Email your clients monthly: include a video from you (their adviser) and make it personal; tell them what you're doing as a business, not just how the markets are going; remind them about the work you do for them
- Create social content: this is a great reminder for your audience about what you do on a day-to-day basis, not just the once or twice a year that they see you; use this forum to educate and engage clients on content relevant to them
- Deliver educational content: the one-to-many delivery option is very efficient and still gives the same value to clients; create webinars a few times a year that clients can watch live, or see a replay later
It's all about telling the story of your business and what you do - but better than you currently are. Retaining clients is going to be about reminding them about how good you are at what you do and why they choose to stay with you. Being more active online also means it's easier for current clients to refer new clients who are just like them (sounds like an ideal client for you).
Now is the time to be preparing for what the new normal might be. Are you ready? Have you got a strategy? Get in touch with us if you want to know more about how to get started and have content that works for you.