people at office meeting Manyclients don't fully understand the amount of work you do on theirbehalf behind the scenes. These are easy ways to pull the curtainaway, showing you are providing great service. (Photo:Shutterstock)

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“What have you done for me lately?”  Once you've gotthe client, the challenge becomes keeping the client, especiallywhen recurring revenue from fee-based income is involved.

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Realtors understand this challenge.Historically, there's been a distinction between financialadvisors and realtors.  For an advisor, when the prospectsays  “Yes.  I'll buy the stock,” the work isdone.  The trade settles three days later.  For arealtor, when the prospect says  “Yes.  I'll buythe house” the work is just getting started.  The realtorneeds to keep the deal together through the mortgage and inspectionprocesses and all the other bumps in the road before closing.

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Managed money and fee-based income has turned advisors intorealtors.

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How does this apply to you? Realtors need to make acompelling case to keep their client at the firm as competitors aretrying to lure them away.  You can do it too.

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Here are some easy steps to keep clients happy and feelingimportant.

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1.  Meaningful contacts. You've seen the statistics.  Clients feel like they aregetting good service if they get six or more meaningful contacts ayear.  Although birthday cards are important, meaningfulis seen as not just calling to check in and say hello. Your client is in managed money.  Lots of stuff takesplace behind the curtain.  They may have chosen tosuppress trade confirmations.  What's meaningful?

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News is breaking all the time.  Your client likelywatches CNBC, CNN or Fox News in the morning and hearabout the latest world event causing anxiety.  Call andtalk about it.

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Or you hear a product  made by X company has safetyissues.  You don't own any of that stock in yourportfolios.  Competitors such as companies Y and Z mightbenefit: “I've seen the trade confirms – your manager justbought shares of Z company yesterday.”

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2. Portfolio reviews.  Clients wantreport cards.  Getting them to focus on their holdings onat least a quarterly basis is a great idea.  Regardless ifthey are up or down, if they feel you “have a handle” on thesituation, they may be open to adding more money, because mostpeople are optimists.

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Review every holding, treating each “manager” as if they were asingle stock or mutual fund.  Even if the market isn'tdoing well, hopefully something is going in the rightdirection.  The client may want to reward that managerwith additional money.

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3.  Progress to goals. Portfolio reviews can be tough.  Clients compare theiroverall performance vs. a popular index like the S&P500.  They get upset if they feel they fallshort.  The index is 100% equities.  They likelyhave a blended portfolio.  You need a blended index for anapples to apples comparison. It's human nature to want to beat theindex.  But what about the risk you take gettingthere?

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Years ago, a New England advisor compared where a client is nowand the goal they set.  They calculated the necessaryreturn and named it the “Family Index.”  They comparedperformance to that number.

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Using the family index has advantages and one disadvantage.Return is often a lower, manageable number, especially with a longtime horizon.  If the family index is low and you exceedit for a few years, it can be recalculated, resulting in an evenlower number.  This is good as the client ages and wantsless risk.  The disadvantage is the family index is apositive number.  The stock market delivers a negativereturn.  You missed the mark and the recalculated familyindex is a higher percentage.

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4. Continuing education.  Your clientcalls.  You are away at class.  Don't apologizewhen you return – explain you are studying for anadditional professional certification, if that's thecase.  Explain what it is and how this new knowledge mightbenefit them.

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Then your client doesn't get the feeling you are coasting inyour career.  Instead, you are always learning. They may have CE requirements in their field and willlikely be curious how your new knowledge can be put to work forthem.

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5. Get and give credit when it'sdeserved.  When a client needs something, likedocumentation for tax purposes, they usually talk to yourassistant.  The document is found and sent off. End of story.

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It makes sense for you to call and confirm receipt. Once you know the job has been completed satisfactorily, take timeto walk them through the details.

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In another case, your assistant determined that piece of datawas in central records storage at the firm's HQ.  It'sold, still on paper.  He called the relevant departmentand made the request.  They found the document. He insisted it be overnighted to the office, thenovernighted it to you.  You give all the credit to yourteam.

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Your client had no idea of the work involved.  Youdemonstrated the resourcefulness of your team and how the firm cametogether to solve their problem.

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6.  Recommendedpublications.  You can't control what your clientreads or watches, but you can try to influence it.  Have aconversation or compose a (compliance-approved) letter indicatingyou follow several news sources, online and in print to stay on topof the financial markets.  You thought they might beinterested.  You name a few.  The publicationsmight be the WSJ, Barrons and the Economist.  The websitelist leads off with your firm's online portal forresearch.  Find a site with a chart showing what's drivingthe S&P 500 sector by sector in real time.

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Clients will realize you are paying attention.  Theywill check out some of the resources you suggested.  Theymight call and ask why you find them useful.  You willhave directed them to mainstream sites for financial news.

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Many clients don't fully understand the amount of work you do ontheir behalf behind the scenes.  These are easy ways topull the curtain away, showing you are providing great service.

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Bryce Sanders is president of PerceptiveBusiness Solutions Inc. He provides HNW client acquisition trainingfor the financial services industry. His book, “Captivating the Wealthy Investor” can be foundon Amazon.

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READ MORE:

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For your next prospecting meeting, forget thebinder

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10 commandments of prospecting for insuranceagents

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5 steps to holiday prospecting

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Bryce Sanders

Bryce Sanders, president of Perceptive Business Solutions Inc., has provided training for the financial services industry on high-net-worth client acquisition since 2001. He trains financial professionals on how to identify prospects within the wealthiest 2%-5% of their market, where to meet and socialize with them, how to talk with wealthy people and develop personal relationships, and how to transform wealthy friends into clients. Bryce spent 14 years with a major financial services firm as a successful financial advisor, two years as a district sales manager and four years as a home office manager. He developed personal relationships within the HNW community through his past involvement as a Trustee of the James A. Michener Art Museum, Board of Associates for the Bucks County Chapter of the Fox Chase Cancer Center, Board of Trustees for Stevens Institute of Technology and as a church lector. Bryce has been published in American City Business Journals, Barrons, InsuranceNewsNet, BenefitsPro, The Register, MDRT Round the Table, MDRT Blog, accountingweb.com, Advisorpedia and Horsesmouth.com. In Canada, his articles have appeared in Wealth Professional. He is the author of the book “Captivating the Wealthy Investor.”