The Client Base Advantage
Are you working your client base efficiently — or do you cherry pick?
By cherry pick, I mean this: do you glance over the names in your client files and call only the people you think will do business? Are you calling them because of a hunch, a preconceived notion or past history? If that’s the case, you’re allowing business to fall through the cracks.
When you cherry pick, you miss out on great opportunities to cultivate relationships and write more business. As a consultant, I’ve seen it happen in many offices, large and small. I’ve learned that most advisors cherry pick because they:
1. Lack a system to keep clients on the radar screen. 2. Don’t know what to say if the call isn’t about appointment scheduling. 3. Don’t have enough time to make the calls (Or at least they think they don’t!)
A good system can eliminate cherry picking. Time is allotted each day to contact clients, and when you’re on the phone, friendly questions become second nature to you. Your clients deserve the attention, and in the end, you’ll uncover opportunities that lead to revenue.
Where do you start? I recommend using a system in which names from your database come up automatically twice a year. One option: pull up your clients’ names on their birthdays and then six months later. If a client’s birthday is in January, for example, his or her name pops up in January and in July.
Print the list of names to determine your course of action. Maybe you need to schedule an appointment or just check in to see how things are going. Of course, it’s easy enough to call for an appointment. It’s more challenging to make the check-in calls, and that’s why cherry picking happens.
What do you say during a check-in call? There’s no right or wrong way to do it. The call is about reaching out and reminding clients you’re here. Try a simple:
“How are things going? Any changes we should be aware of?”
“Any changes since our last discussion/meeting”
“We discussed XYZ at our last meeting. Are you ready to move forward?”
Sometimes during a check-in call, clients talk about things that haven’t come up before. Why? Because it’s not a sales call. You’re just checking in.
Once a system is in place and you’re comfortable with the phone language, you should carve out a regular time to make the calls. Personally, I believe all calls should be delegated — even the check-in calls and referrals. Your support team can spend an hour a day scheduling your appointments, checking in with your clients and following up on leads. If you have a hard time letting go of the calls, go ahead and make them, but be sure to schedule time in your calendar. The calls should be a priority.
One more thing. The same system applies for prospects. Every time you contact prospects, they feel cared for and will want to become clients.
The key thing to remember, especially in today’s market, is that people want to hear from you. Yes, it’s good to send newsletters and birthday cards, but it’s more meaningful when you take time twice a year to check in or have a face-to-face meeting.
Work your client base — you’re sitting on a goldmine! Instead of cherry picking, create a system that allows you to contact and service your clients on a regular basis.