Few things are more important to client retention in today’s upside-down world than consistent and relevant communication coupled with the frequency of contact. We refer to these as positive points of contact (PPCs). For most financial advisors these PPCs also include COIs and prospects, albeit with a different level of frequency.
You might find it helpful to think of these PPCs as “touchpoints” –– you’re staying top-of-mind. With clients, the frequency of contact will depend on whether the client is platinum (top), gold (smaller but profitable), or a potential top client. A good rule of thumb is weekly for top clients and biweekly for all others. You need to be careful with COIs as too much frequency is likely to be annoying, so as a general rule think in terms of monthly.
PPC frequency with a prospect depends on their status in your pipeline. During the first month, it can be weekly (or even more in certain circumstances) as you’re looking to transform them into a client sooner rather than later. After the first month, dripping on them monthly will keep you in their mind with little risk of becoming annoying.
Let’s take a look at some of these PPCs…
- Social Media – Zoom meetings, blog postings, and various forms of content marketing have become the new normal to such an extent that the term “Zoom fatigue” has entered our lexicon. That said, well-executed Zoom meetings have effectively replaced in-office meetings with clients, prospects, and COIs. The key is making certain they’re well-executed and everyone is comfortable with the technology.
- Emails – Short emails with creative subject lines and new information in the body will help to increase the odds of your email being opened. Only about 25% of sales emails are opened.
- Personal Handwritten Notes – When was the last time you received a handwritten note or card? These are becoming a rarity. This is why affluent clients appreciate the personal touch and many will actually save these handwritten notes.
- Phone Calls – The good old phone call has been elevated to a welcome form of personal communication. The key is to always make certain to include a personal component to your discussion – it can actually be the entire reason you’re reaching out.
- Webinars – During times of uncertainty, people are thirsty for knowledge. You don’t have to have all the answers, but a bi-monthly educational webinar for clients, COIs, and prospects is an excellent medium for showcasing both your knowledge and professionalism.
- Surprise & Delight Gifts – Small, personalized gifts have always been a nice touch that tended to stimulate word-of-mouth-influence and unsolicited referrals – now, in the form of a Covid Relief package, they’ve accelerated the spread of word-of-mouth as clients and COIs not only appreciate them but are communicating with people in their spheres-of-influence more frequently.
- Interesting Articles – When you’re emotionally connected to your clients, sending an article of interest is one of the easiest ways to stay top-of-mind and provide value. Obviously, this requires you to really know your clients.
- Text Messages – A quick note of thanks after a call, Zoom meeting, or following-up on any form of communication is a simple way of “staying top-of-mind” touch.
- Voicemails – Much like a text message, keep it short and sweet, whether it’s a follow-up or an attempt at having a conversation – a message is a positive touchpoint. Make it clear, concise, and audible!
- Newsletters – Now that everyone is spending so much time on their computers, digital newsletters are being read more than ever. The key is to make them both relevant and personal. Even if it’s a compliance-approved stock newsletter, add a personal message.
- Videos – This is an excellent medium for people to feel as though they’re having a personal interaction with you. Whether it’s clients, prospects, or COIs – short, content-focused videos that are well-produced are quite powerful. They enable you to share relevant information (content) and showcase your professionalism along with your personal style.
- Face-to-face Interactions – Be it in your office (fully masked) for a meeting, on the golf course, or at an outside café for a cup of coffee, face-to-face will never go away. Don’t be surprised if many of your affluent clients prefer a Zoom meeting to an in-office meeting, but would enjoy a round of golf, or a coffee at an outside café. Once again, the key is knowing your clients.
The power of these positive points of contact (PPCs) is that, when applied strategically, they do more than simply keep you top-of-mind; they become an integral part of your digital brand. There’s no one silver bullet within these PPCs; they function in a synergistic manner where the whole is greater than the sum of the individual parts. The objective is to be a magnetic force in your world.