Unlocking Real Value Blog

Winning and Losing Clients

In a recent survey of advisors conducted by IMCA and Cerulli Associates (the two organizations team-up each quarter to present industry research), the top reasons were given for both how advisors acquired new clients as well as why they lost others last year. (I give these reports a lot of validity since both of these organizations are top notch and the advisors they survey – IMCA members – tend to be high quality advisors.)

The top two ways clients were acquired? REFERRALS – coming in at number one were referrals from friends/family/existing clients and at number two were referrals from other professionals. These results are not surprising, and reinforce the notion that if you don’t have a formal referral program in your practice, and if you are not actively seeking referrals, then you are missing out on perhaps the best and surest source of new business.

The top reason why clients were lost? They passed away. (Clients unhappy with performance came in at number two and client has relationships with other advisors came in at number three.) While it is inevitable that clients die, this does not mean that you have to lose their family as clients. This result reinforces another notion that a lot of people in this business talk about, but not a lot of them do well – cultivating multi-generational relationships.

Just as referrals should be easy – a happy client should be more than willing to refer others to you – so should getting to know your client’s family so that they too become clients. Do you know your client’s children? Their birthday’s? If you don’t, there is no time like the present to start.

In a way, these results should be heartening because both the best way to get new clients AND not lose current ones, are relatively easy things to do – if you do them!

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