Practice Management

Deeper Client and Member Engagement

Headshot of Brian Nelson

Brian Nelson, Head of Practice Management

May 10, 2021

I get this question at least a half dozen times a week: “What are other financial professionals doing to grow their businesses?” While there are countless answers, one stands out more than others.

Recently, I spoke with a financial professional who has grown his financial practice significantly during one of the most difficult times in our history. He did this with one singular focus — strengthening relationships with existing clients and members. Here are some ideas on how you can heighten your engagement with them.

Increase touchpoints

It seems basic, but many struggle with it. As your business grows, it becomes harder to maintain that personal touch. Taking the time to develop a well-thought-out communication strategy is critical. Find out how and when clients or members prefer to receive communications. Do they prefer phone, text or email? Do they prefer in-person meetings, or are they open to virtual meetings? Once you customize a communication strategy, use technology to implement the plan and align their preferences with your communications approach.

Listen more

Studies have found that affluent clients and members want deeper conversations with their financial professionals on difficult topics. The bad news is that many of you struggle with initiating these challenging discussions and still tend to focus on conversations around performance.

Focus on total client and member wellbeing

While this may not be a new concept, it is a new way of thinking about these important elements of their wellbeing:

  • Financial wellness
  • Health wellness
    Programs on physical activity and exercise
    Programs and content on sleep
    Programs on nutrition and preventative care
  • Work wellness
    Emotional demands
    Work/life balance
    Connections on career development
  • Life wellness
    Emotional positivity
    Personal purpose
    Personal relationship quality
    Meaningful engagements

Connect with families, not just clients and members

I am continually amazed at how few financial professionals say they make specific efforts to engage with the entire family. Establishing and deepening the relationships you have with the spouses, partners, children and grandchildren of your clients and members can pay big dividends, including stickier assets and additional investment opportunities.

Exceed their expectations

According to the Harvard Business Review, it is 6-7 times more expensive to acquire a new client or member than it is to keep a current one. So it’s critically important for you to create a meaningful and differentiated experience. They don’t just want good service. They want an elevated experience.

Be thoughtful about everything you say and do in your interactions with clients and members and, more importantly, how it makes them feel. Because a more meaningful relationship leads to higher retention, increased brand advocacy, and more — and better — referrals.

Take some time to think through these ideas. Be honest with yourself about the areas you could improve and develop an action plan to focus on deepening your client and member relationships. Deeper engagement is the key to a more successful financial practice or wealth management program.