Your Clients are My Prospects
At one point, every client was a prospect. That prospect took the leap of faith to leave their existing retirement plan advisor and hire you. This is why you must always remember that your clients are not guaranteed.
From cold calls and email campaigns to networking functions, your clients are constantly being marketed to. With every attempt, they need to actively choose you. What actions are you taking to ensure they are hanging up the phone, deleting the emails, and rejecting the sales meeting? Essentially, they are bombarded with opportunities to select a new retirement plan advisor; therefore, are you providing sufficient and meaningful interaction for them to confidently stay with you?
Silence is a Killer
As your clients are being solicited, prospecting advisors are creating tiny moments of doubt, poking questions that make your clients stop and wonder, are we getting the best service? Are our fees reasonable? Are we missing anything?
Therefore, if you’re not regularly in front of your clients demonstrating your experience, expertise, and value, then the competition is winning. Your silence and lack of presence is chipping away at your client’s armor. With each new assault, your client relationship weakens until one day, when a prospecting advisor asks a thought-provoking question, your client will entertain their request.
Communication is Protection
To protect your clients and remind them of your services, communication is key. From face-to-face meetings that review important plan updates, to education that keeps them in the know with e-Newsletters, to timely posts that circulate on their social media newsfeed, each touchpoint reminds your client of who you are, what you do, and why they retain your services.
3 Tips to Stay Top of Mind with Clients
We are all human, and sometimes we forget things. Such as the last time we emailed, called, or met with a client. That is why it is important to have a process in place that can remind you to touch base.
1. CRM. Within your CRM, set up client tracks that align with your service agreements. Implement a CRM with the functionality to remind you when to connect with your client and what is supposed to be discussed.
For example, if you host quarterly investment review meetings and an annual employee education meeting for your 3(21) co-fiduciary clients, then schedule reminders to host those meetings. Preset automated reminders in your CRM that will alert you to send topical information in advance of the meetings.
2. Email. Whether you are sending one email per week or one per month, the important consideration is that you are digitally communicating with your client. They see your name in their inbox with frequency and with value-add content. An email marketing strategy keeps you top of mind.
Additionally, by providing valuable plan fiduciary content, you are educating them on industry news. Now, your clients are informed on trends, regulations, governance, and much more. This is valuable because if a prospecting advisor is trying to use industry updates as part of their sales pitch, your client is already aware of those industry happenings! This reaffirms their relationship with you and places you as the beacon of knowledge. That’s a win-win.
3. Social Media. Connect with every single one of your clients on social media. That way, whenever you share a post, the information has an opportunity to populate their newsfeed. Therefore, if your client is on their desktop, laptop, tablet, or phone, the moment they log onto their social feed, they will see your posts, updates, and plan knowledge. This reinforces that you are up to date on current events, proposed regulations, updated annual contribution limits, and more.
With an integrated CRM for regular email and social media interaction, you can communicate valuable information and have insight into what is important to clients. Use this knowledge as part of your meetings to address different topics that have garnered a lot of attention. By leveraging technology and integration, you can enhance client relationships seamlessly and communicate with all your clients at once with the click of a button.
Protecting your Clients from Attack
You worked hard to make your prospects become clients and you service them extremely well. By taking a few extra steps to insulate your clients from prospecting efforts, you’re reinforcing their armor. It’s a winning strategy to keep your client relationships strong. By staying in front of them, you are demonstrating your experience, expertise, and value because you have to remember that before they were your clients, they were your prospects.
FBi Tools that Can Help
Value and Fee Benchmarking Report, a peer-to-peer evaluation report that shows a comparison of the existing plan to other similar plans and can provide guidance on how changing certain plan features could help the employer offer a more competitive retirement plan benefit.
Our report follows a 5-step process that is fair and repeatable.
Customize the Benchmark Group. We use numerous factors to build a benchmark group from our proprietary database that is customized for each peer group using mathematical models designed to optimize the degree of accuracy.
Review Service Provider Quality. The DOL has noted in prior rulings that it is allowable to consider the Quality of the Service Provider when determining Fee Reasonableness. We provide a logical framework to analyze this issue.
Assess Scope of Services. We examine the scope of services being provided so plan sponsors can understand how the services they are receiving are impacting the cost structures of the service providers.
Examine Value Delivered. We examine the Value Delivered in terms of helping plan sponsors do their job as a Responsible Plan Fiduciary and to participants in terms of helping them save for retirement.
Evaluate Fees. Finally, we track and compare fees to the Benchmark Group and to FEEPOINT®. FEEPOINT is a proprietary fee calculation designed to account for fiduciary status, extra services and extra meetings that are not found in the typical plan.
Download a sample Value and Fee Benchmarking report by visiting https://www.fiduciarybenchmarks.com/resource-center/
Craig Rosenthal Senior Vice President, Advisor Sales & Service
Craig is responsible for sales, service, product development and partnerships with the Advisor/Consultant, Broker/Dealer, and DCIO channels.