It’s the scenario every advisor fears. A long-term client calls out of the blue. You think they’re just checking in, but when they mention how they’ve appreciated your work over the years, you begin to realize it’s a prelude to bad news. Then they drop the dreaded phrase, “We’ve decided to move in another direction …” And just like that, the client is gone.
While this can be a tough blow, it can also serve as a wake-up call to advisors who may need to change the way they manage and nurture client relationships. In a competitive market, advisors must take the initiative to earn the trust needed to retain clients and keep working to build and maintain that trust over time. Here are three simple but effective ways to remind retirement plan sponsors they made the right decision by hiring you.
- Communicate Proactively and Often
One of the best ways to show clients you’re invested in them is to take the initiative in communications. If you’re having more inbound than outbound calls with clients, it may be a sign they should be hearing from you a little more often — so try to make sure the communication flow typically begins with you. Also, it’s important to tailor your approach to suit each client’s needs and preferences. Some may appreciate being apprised of the latest industry news. Others may just want an occasional touchpoint. A quick phone call or a thoughtful email can help you serve clients better by encouraging them to open up about questions, goals and any concerns that may be keeping them up at night.
- Share Information of Value Regularly
Advisors spend a good amount of time developing their expertise by staying up to date on industry developments and financial news. And the best advisors pass this information on to clients. If you come across new opportunities or insights into pending financial legislation, reach out to your clients and fill them in. This act not only empowers them to make more informed decisions, but it also helps establish your expertise and demonstrate the value you add. For instance, a retirement plan sponsor may be uncertain about how the SECURE Act 2.0 might impact them. But a quick phone call or email to explain how your client is or is not affected can provide assurance that you’re keeping them up to date on pertinent industry and regulatory developments. It also reminds them why they need your services.
- Offer an Annual Fee “Wellness Check”
With PlanFees, you can benchmark retirement plans anywhere and anytime, providing a yearly fee “check-up.” In just two minutes, advisors can create a snapshot that compares a plan’s current administrative, investment, recordkeeping and advisory fees with those of similar plans. This snapshot can be shared annually with plan sponsors to help assure them that you’re staying on top of fees and always working to ensure theirs are reasonable. A proactive approach to fees helps build trust from clients much better than only benchmarking every three to five years. You can also use PlanFees to “check in” whenever industry, regulatory or business changes might affect a plan’s fee schedule. This kind of proactive, high-touch, service-oriented approach can help solidify your client relationships over time.
Trust-building Is Ongoing
The best way to ensure that clients stick around for the long term is to not only implement retention strategies but also to integrate them fully into your professional practice. Don’t wait for a call to action to provide your clients with a level of service they can’t easily find anywhere else. And when a competitor comes calling and asks your client about lowering their fees, you can rely on PlanFees to keep your clients in the know — and on your books.