What are the secrets of how to effectively get and keep clients? What are the elements that keep the client relationship fresh and interesting? How can you maximize the efforts used to find new clients by continuing to expand the longevity and scope of services you provide to them?
Develop a relationship – Do you think of your work with your investor or prospective client as strictly a revenue-producing, mechanical exercise? Or, do you gain insight about how to more effectively serve the client and help them to prepare for their financial future by gaining a comprehensive understanding of the client’s past, current and future life and business goals and experiences? How do those elements affect the client’s financial needs, career posture, and risk tolerance? On first contact, or subsequent contacts, the client may not yet be in a position to need certain financial services. Building trust and a good rapport inspire the client to invite you back when the time for the service or product is right.
Communicate – The work you do for a client may ebb and flow, but you don’t need to be currently engaged in a project to talk to them. Use the pathway already established with your client to maintain the relationship and to introduce ideas about how your assistance can fill a need that the client has now or may have in the future. Your knowledge of their goals and progress help you to determine what financial products would be appropriate and when to introduce them. Investors may not always think to call you on a particular issue, so, be assertive to engage the client in telling you about challenges and needs that may open the door to proposals for expanded services. The dialogue also offers an opportunity to talk about the benefits that your knowledge of past challenges, plans, and the individual or organization themselves lend to working together more effectively in the future.
Recognize limitations – The limitations may be yours or the client’s, but, continuing to push the client or yourself into a product or service that is not a good fit for one, the other, or both may create a losing proposition. If the client or the service arrangement is not a good fit for you, you will not enjoy the work and it may show in the results. It’s also possible that this situation doesn’t best serve the client. Better to make a referral to the right resource (if possible) to provide the best possible service and further engage the client’s trust in you. The requirement to produce revenue may mean you sometimes engage with clients in a less satisfying scenario; however, the more you build on the clients with whom you have productive, rewarding relationships, the fewer times you will rely on those that are less so.
Connect the dots – Building on the client’s experience, financial progress and needs, your expertise and interests, past work, and areas of practice in development or necessitated by the industry can bring your discussions with the client full circle. By continuing to make the associations among these factors, you can build the client’s reliance on you as a trusted and valuable service provider and business partner.