The Call Rotation--non-optional

By: lazysubmit

A recent internal audit at a major American financial institution determined the following:

If you were an investor having more than $100,000 invested with them, there was a 70% chance you hadn't heard from an Advisor from the firm within the past year.

That's right: "heard". That's any kind of communication whatsoever. That's right: within the past 'year'. The client received virtually nothing from their Advisor during the last 12-month period. These statistics suggest that many great clients are being taken for granted by the Advisors serving them. Are you any different in your business?

Oh sure, the Advisers in this study may have actually talked to their clients over the past 12-month time period, but it was not initiated by them. In other words, their client relationship was based on in-bound, client-driven communication, which is random and unpredictable at best. And, let's be realistic here, it probably wasn't about anything good either. In-bound communication is more likely about a problem, issue or concern. Think about the implications of this. Is this really how you would want to interact with your best clients? Does this make your best clients feel like the important clients they are? And, what does this say about the level of professionalism in your practice?

This lack of proactive communication is clearly not the path to establishing good trust and rapport with your clients. It certainly doesn't add any value to the client in terms of the service you deliver. Remember: established trust and perceived value are key ingredients for deserving and receiving quality introductions from your clients. How you treat existing clients has everything to do with how many new ones you receive from them. So, stop now and ask yourself the following: How do you measure up when it comes to communicating regularly with your clients - your best clients in particular? And, be honest with yourself.

First, think about a simple call rotation. Note: call rotation does not mean you call your client to talk about business specifically. It means you simply call them to see how they are doing. In other words, you ask, listen and learn about their family, occupation and recreation. Yes, you actively and consciously make an effort to build trust and rapport with your best clients by learning more about what is important to them. It can take as little as 10 minutes every 90 days. Even better, your Assistant or Associate can easily manage the call rotation for your lower-tier clients so you can focus your time and energy on your best clients.

Now, what do you do with the proprietary information you've gathered from your best client during a call rotation? You share it with your team of course, so they are aware of it and store it in the client profile (ideally built right into your ). When this information is used in a professional manner, it demonstrates to your client that you are paying attention. For example, you may acknowledge an important event that has just happened in their life (good or bad) which they have shared with you. Or, you may make a note to your self to follow up on something specific during your next call rotation (how their daughter Jennifer did at the ballet recital; how their backyard renovation turned out; how their two-week cruise to Alaska went; etc). This is what we refer to as investing each conversation into the next. Implementing a regular call rotation and using the information gained appropriately will foster trust and rapport with your best clients.

Now that we are clear on what a actually is, I want you think about your best client. When was the last time you picked up the phone to implement a call rotation with them? Remember, this means simply doing a quick pulse check to see how they are doing; no sales or product talk. If you said every 90 days, that's great. Keep up the good work. If you didn't say every 90 days, it's not too late to get started. And, although it may not take much of your time to implement a call rotation, it does take commitment to be consistent with the delivery. Especially since in the short-term, call rotations generally provide little in the way of immediate payback or gratification. So, if you are after short-term gains here, you may have trouble staying the course. If, on the other hand, you understand the long-term implications this will have with your best clients, you should have no trouble remaining committed.

Duncan MacPherson and David Miller are the authors of the new bestseller Breakthrough Business Development : A 90-Day Plan to Build Your Client Base and Take Your Business to the Next Level. To Get Your Copy as well as exclusive actionable templates go to www.paretoplatform.com

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