Reviews are an important component for advisors to showcase value and retain clients. However, they can be extremely time consuming, and are seen by some advisors as a hinderance to prospecting new business. There is a way to streamline client reviews to both retain business and turn this everyday task into an opportunity to grow your business. Consider following these four steps:
Step 1: Focus on top clients
Start with scheduling your top clients for reviews each year. An easy formula is to focus on the top 20% of your clients that generate about 80% of your revenues. If you can comfortably fit more reviews in, consider expanding to your next client tier. Be sure to set a goal to better understand your clients’ needs and aim to get one to two referrals with each review. To increase your efficiency, review your client tracking software at the beginning of each year to ensure information is up-to-date, which will make it easier to prioritize top clients.
Step 2: Schedule reviews
Create a client review calendar with quarterly or semi-annual topics, such as tax-season topics, legislative updates, and year-end reviews. Use a scheduling calendar to send invitations to clients. With the review meeting posted on both of your calendars, it will be easier to update meeting information. Consider scheduling quarterly reviews for the year in January and follow this quarterly schedule:
Month One: Prepare for review meetings, send out emails updates and confirm appointments.
Months Two to Three: Deliver in-person or virtual reviews. Create a weekly review process by blocking the same days and times for reviews and complete the follow-up by the next day. Ask for referrals at the end of each review.
Step 3: Prepare for review meetings
Once your reviews are scheduled, you need to start preparing for the meetings to ensure that they are as effective as possible. It is important to prepare in advance so that the meeting makes the best use of your time and that of your client. This is your opportunity to showcase your value so you can ask for that referral. There are two key factors in holding a successful meeting that results in a referral:
Determine the meeting type
In today’s busy work environment, you may find that it’s simply too expensive to always conduct face-to-face meetings, especially when you consider what else you could have accomplished in the time spent travelling to and from a meeting.
We find many advisors are turning to virtual meetings as an alternative. And it turns out that many clients, who are also very busy, love this as well. Virtual meetings are an opportunity to include attendees who are traveling or are located around the country in one place at one time without travel time, hotel costs, or meeting room conflicts. In addition, virtual meetings are much easier to reschedule.
Imagine having the ability to easily add a meeting per day to your schedule, while maintaining your added value. How many more meetings per year could you fit in? How many more new clients might that mean?
Review previous meeting notes and summarize your activities/results
No matter what the type of meeting you have with your client, it is important to review any notes from previous meetings to be properly prepared. Determine if any of your client’s unanswered questions are awaiting response or if there are any updates to their information that they will want to know about. Consider whether there are any changes to their circumstances that may have impacts.
Uncovering these factors before the meeting will help you properly analyze their financial situation and come to the meeting with proposed suggestions and solutions. This is where you can take the opportunity to remind your client of the value you bring to them.
Step 4: Ask for one or two referrals
The benefit of conducting regular client reviews is the opportunity to ask for referrals at a time when you have just showcased your value.
Before asking for a referral, it helps to know who you are targeting. Researching potential prospecting referrals can be divided into industry-related searches and people-related searches. You can then combine the results of those two searches to identify a select number of referrals you want to focus on.
Referral Script: “I trust this review has been very helpful. I noticed on your LinkedIn page you know Tom Smith, owner of the XYZ Company. I am planning to reach out to Tom to discuss my services. Do you mind if I mention that you and I work together? If you are speaking to Tom soon, do you mind letting him know that I will be calling?”
For information on tools available to help you conduct reviews and prospect new business, please contact your John Hancock representative.