A few weeks ago, I facilitated an industry think tank on client engagement, hosted by Julie Littlechild, in conjunction with FPA Business Solutions 2011 in Boston. Our objective was to dig into the conclusions of Littlechild's most recent survey Anatomy Of The Referral and to hear about those experiences from the advisors point of view (the study was based on a survey of investors).
The study revealed critical insights into the process of enhancing client loyalty and attracting referrals. It provided statistics behind many concepts that we had suspected. But, there are limitations on polling data. We wanted to dig down into the results with real-time active conversation.
The study revealed that what drives client engagement are having the right clients, the right conversations, and asking the right questions. Some of what we wanted to know included:
- Do practices that segmented its client base incorporate that market segmentation into its client on boarding process?
- How broad were planning conversations with clients, what kind of leadership to the advisors exhibit with clients, and was there a transition during those conversations to a discussion of referrals?
- How do advisors solicit feedback and do they involve their clients in the strategic direction of their practices?
- Do they attract referrals consistently and do they have a referral marketing strategy to get them?
The results of the conversation were unexpected. There was also consensus on some surprising things. What we gleaned from the meeting was a clear direction on issues that needed further consideration.
In this series of posts, I will discuss a few of these surprising results:
- The disconnects between target markets and client on boarding processes.
- The way we target prospects needs reconsideration and updating.
- Referrals continue to be the most important source of new clients, and no one has a strategy for attracting them.
- Looking forward, what might be included in the design of referral marketing strategy.
The rest of this series will examine each of these concepts in more detail. Click here for Part 2.