How do you keep creating value with your long-term client?

Are you celebrating with your long term clients?Are you celebrating with your long term clients?

Successful financial advisors focus on understanding what their clients value in their relationship. What would your best long-term client think you do better than others with your expertise? Have you ever considered what makes you stand out with your best clients? I bet it’s not what you think. 

Many of the clients I work with have wealth managers and some still have their original financial planners. From my experience, most financial planners spend almost all their time finding new clients and doing financial plans. They are always very busy. Long term relationships aren’t always about just the numbers.

The wealth managers I meet invest significant time building deeper relationships with their current long-term clients. They are constantly looking for new ways to invest time learning more about their best clients. Many share extraordinary experiences with their best clients.  You can see the pictures on the wall.

Which would you rather do?

There are many times in an entrepreneur’s career where they can use your expert advice. I don’t personally charge for this advice, and it typically leads to a much deeper relationship with my clients. It opens the door to a more trusting relationship. In my experience, trust is the foundation of building an extraordinary partnership with your clients. I want my clients to call me first when they have questions.

I’ll share several different scenarios and see if you can see why they might be great relationship builders with your long-term clients. These events can be found in your local business press. In my case, I use Google alerts and LinkedIn to follow my clients on a regular basis.

A great time to call your long-term client is when they receive a promotion. This never misses the mark and never gets old.  When you find out a client has gotten a promotion, pick up the phone and call to congratulate them. You can send them a nice gift if you prefer, but I tend to take clients to a nice dinner or lunch to celebrate.

A great time to call your long-term client is when you know they are getting a promotion and they need help to develop new skills to excel in the role. This is a little harder but make a quick call to congratulate them and ask what they might need to accelerate their success in the next role. I have a large collection of books that I know of that can help clients master almost anything. After our conversation, I send them the book and a quick learning guide. I also help them determine what they will need to do to master their new role.

Many times, they invite me to lunch to discuss how to get off to a great start. If I don’t know much about what they need, I might introduce a professional peer after our conversation. It strengthens relationships with both leaders and help me cement my relationship with a client.

A great time to call your long-term client is when they are going to be leading their peers.  This happens a lot when I work with larger consulting organizations. Many times, my client goes from high potential executive to practice leader and we need to help develop her strategy to redefine her relationships with peers, and sometimes, clients.

A great time to call your long-term client is after something goes wrong. No matter how successful the leader, there are times when things don’t go the way they expect. If you have a high net worth client, they are likely the most visible person in their organization, or one of them.

Learn how to help them find the positive when things go wrong. Don’t let them beat themselves up when things go wrong. You should always be able to uncover something that went right.

Being the most trusted advisor means taking both the good with the bad. I make sure my clients know I’m on their team. I believe this is why I have many long-term relationships with clients.

A great time to call your long-term client is when they are bringing people onboard. Onboarding successfully is both an art and a science. Most people are not certain what to do with their recent hire. I help clients make their team members feel appreciated. Learn how to help your client celebrate their hiring decisions and the ones they make will stay longer.

A great time to call your long-term client is when they are getting more involved in growing international business. Any time you see significant growth you should pick up the phone and celebrate with the client. Even today an international assignment is a sign of good tings to come for an executive. Being an international business means the entrepreneur is achieving their goals. I can’t think of a better time to reconnect with a client. Can you?

A great time to call your long-term client is when they are is dealing with a challenging situation. When faced with a challenge how will your respond? One of my friends makes his money doing turnaround situations. Many times, he can provide significant value to his client because he can help them get ahead of the curve on turnaround situations.

Since he already knows the organization he can focus on helping his client make better decisions faster. Many times, his clients make him the quarterback of the turnaround efforts. While many advisors could be fired during these transitions he’s earned a reputation as a can-do person in his target markets.

A great time to call your long-term client is when they are working on their yearly business strategy planning meetings. Many times, my clients need specific capabilities during their planning meetings offsite. I offer to help connect them with people who can provide needed advice in a timely way. Often, these entrepreneurs need speakers, experts, or event coordinators when they run their meeting. By providing them these resources, it helps me cement my position as a most trusted advisor. Sometimes they will invite me to speak at their offsite meeting. It depends on what I’m working on.

Many clients invite me to their events which helps me get to know many different people on their teams in an informal setting. I can then begin establishing relationships for future opportunities. Many of these people have been promoted to senior level positions both inside and outside their firms. They take me with them to their new organizations.

Now you have several great reasons to call your clients that are not on your schedule but should be.  Next week we begin taking you through a process that helps  you identify your best clients.

See you next week

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