By Kim Magdalein
Are your clients special?
One of my new clients, Charlotte, received a very terse letter from each of two brokerage firms. We
were moving some of her assets to an insurance company. They stated firmly that
they wouldn’t honor her written request
for an institution-to-institution transfer.
There are probably some regulatory
reasons to be so obtuse, but there are certainly consequences to handling the situation in such an adversarial tone.
I asked my client how she felt about
such treatment. Charlotte said she felt intimidated. Such a lame attempt at keeping
a client’s account only reveals the weakness of these firms’ value. Charlotte is no
longer comfortable with her money exposed to market risks at age 70. She wish-es to move money. Notice the emphasis
on “her.” These companies now have an
adversarial relationship with Charlotte. It
turns out all they wanted was the request
on their forms. So why not communicate
that to the agent rather than the client? Or,
at least, be nice about it?
Are you offering
regular reviews and
updates for your
clients? Are they
seeing you regularly?
If not, why not?
Here’s my point: Why make it hard for
clients to do business? Charlotte is 70 years
old. She doesn’t like hassles. In a world
where getting a client is tough, let’s keep it
simple and hassle free. Fortunately, Char-
lotte was a good sport. However, she could
have easily thrown in the
ing you regularly?
If not, why not? You
may feel some of your
clients are tapped out
— they can’t generate any more revenues
for your practice. In
determining which clients should have more
attention than others, use the following
1)Do the products
you sell require
2)Is there any potential for further
business from this
client? Do they
have a clear path
of ambitious improvement financially?
3) What is the potential for referrals from
this client? Have they readily referred
prospects or does it require coaxing or
4) Did they test your practice with a
portion of their financial potential
and are discovering if your practice
fulfills their expectation? If so, then
there is potential.
Develop a scoring system for follow-up procedures. Give them a grade — A,
B, C, D, etc. This will help you spend
practical time with the clients of greatest
potential. It will also help you drop clients from a follow-up list, clearing your
schedule for initial prospects gathering.
Your clients will treat you as well as
you treat them. When you determine a
level of service for each client, your practice will be allowed to thrive.