Your Guide to Client Communication
March 9, 2021
The most important tool for establishing strong client relationships is communication. Most advisors know this, and yet a recent study revealed that 64% of clients surveyed thought their advisor contacted them “very infrequently.”
When nearly 85% of clients in the survey believe an advisor’s communication matters the most when deciding to retain their services, “very infrequently” won’t get you far. Here are three questions to consider when mapping out an effective communication strategy and evaluating frequency for contact.
Who Are You Talking to?
Who you’re talking to determines the style, frequency and type of content they’ll engage with the most.
We’re not referring to generational differences. Instead, look at client type as it relates to your business. Review your client roster and organize clients into categories:
- Life stage: Categorize clients by where they are in their financial progress. Clients at similar life stages share similar questions and priorities. For example, if you’re sending an email about market volatility, a retiree and a younger investor will have differing perspectives. You might tailor that email so it’s relevant to each life-stage group.
- Status: Which clients have been with you for years? Who are your new clients? Who is happy with your services and who is considering moving to another firm? Include prospects in this list as well. Once you’ve identified your clients by their relationship to you, you can strategize communications in a targeted way.
- Influence: View your client roster through the lens of how each client impacts your practice. Do you have clients with large centers of influence? Which clients are likely to refer your business? Are there current clients who are tapped into a market in which you’d like to grow your base? The answers to these questions will help you adjust with whom you’re sharing certain types of content, and how often.
What Are You Saying?
When you communicate with clients, it can be for a multitude of reasons:
- Following up after appointments
- Updating clients on their portfolio performance
- Sharing relevant articles
- Offering savings and planning tips
- Giving perspectives on market news
- Sending personal messages (birthday wishes, congratulations, etc.)
This is what we mean when we talk about content. There are myriad types of content that you’ll be communicating, and you should have an idea of the most effective mode for delivering each type.
For example, LinkedIn is useful for giving your perspective on market news, while a personal phone call might be best to follow up with a client after an appointment.
How Often Are You Reaching Out?
The frequency of your communication depends on the type of content (see above). You don’t want to flood a client’s email inbox with daily investment articles (too frequent), but you also don’t want to be MIA when they’re seeking information on their portfolio performance (too infrequent). A few examples of how to time types of content:
- If you’re posting a blog, schedule this content at quarterly intervals.
- If you’re offering insight on a newsy event, say a market downturn, be proactive with an of-the-moment email. Don’t wait until your regularly scheduled newsletter.
- If you’re contacting individual clients, or a small group of clients who share similar concerns, define milestones and connect with them at those points.
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