You've got a whole new year looming on the horizon. So what can you do to make your clients happy, and help improve your own personal fortunes in 2013?
The SEI Advisor Network offers the following 10 suggestions to help turn things up a notch in the New Year, and create a more client-focused business ... and create more business in the process.
Get Back to Business Basics – Just like any business, it’s important for advisors to revisit their everyday procedures and practices to make sure they align with real business goals. By getting back to the basics advisors can focus on delivering the best client experience and achieving long-term business success.
Get More Face Time – Electronic communications may be ‘en vogue,’ but face-to-face meetings never go out of style. Forty-three percent of the advisors surveyed indicated face-to-face meetings are still the preferred method of communication. Advisors need to get in front of more clients more often to gain a better understanding of expectations, demonstrate greater value, and build stronger long-term relationships.
Ask for Introductions (Make New Friends) – Networking is a key aspect of building any advisor’s business. Commit to being more visible and connecting with more prospects and centers of influence as those are the kinds of new friends that will deliver lasting business benefits. Don’t just ask for referrals, ask for introductions.
Talk Tax Early and Often – With the fiscal cliff, the topic of taxes has come to the forefront of nearly every political and business conversation. This creates a tremendous opportunity for advisors to discuss tax minimization strategies and options more frequently throughout the year, and demonstrate greater value to clients and prospects on an issue that’s top of mind and not going away any time soon.
Be More Social – While communicating through social media is quickly becoming the norm rather than the exception, SEI’s poll revealed that most advisors (87 percent) don’t feel like they utilized social media effectively in 2012. Advisors must continue to deepen their knowledge of, and commitment to, social media in order to better engage and communicate more often to clients and prospects in the age of new media.
Be a Marketing Maven – The battle for new clients is more intense than ever before. Advisors must look at marketing as an important strategic function and as an investment for their success and not a business expense. Those who implement a systematic and measureable marketing plan with specific programs tied to tangible business goals will best position themselves for success in 2013 and beyond.
Be a Better Listener – Clients want to feel valued and know that they’re being listened to. Advisors need to listen more intently and show clients and prospects that they’re being heard by addressing their needs and goals with actionable and understandable recommendations.
Stay True to Yourself – The most successful advisors are the ones who identify an ideal client profile and then put a plan in place to find more of them. Don’t settle for just any new prospect, stay true to your target segment, and build a roster of clients who will value your wealth management planning and service approach.
Trim the Tech Fat – Advisors are spending more on technology than ever before. Unfortunately, in many cases that means duplicative systems and inefficient processes. 2013 is the time to trim the tech fat by consolidating systems and making sure any new investments address integration and business improvement.
Cut Regulatory Red Tape – It’s no secret that regulatory scrutiny has increased exponentially in recent years with the onset of Dodd-Frank and other reforms. But advisors cannot let regulatory red tape rule their businesses. Start fresh in 2013 and seek new processes and technologies that will help minimize the cost and time of regulatory compliance – and place the focus firmly back on growth.