Strengthening Your Client Retention Strategies
Client retention is the lifeblood of the financial advisor industry, but dangerously, it’s also something many advisors take for granted. The industry is evolving at a new pace, and the data shows retention like a wave on the cusp of breaking.
As we look to the coming year, here is significant food for thought. How will your business adapt to thrive as the future arrives?
The Industry is Changing – Rapidly
A recent study by YCharts caught our attention, and we felt it important to share it with you. The data paints a very different picture than the traditional 95% retention benchmark many advisors assume. Here are a few of the highlights:
- Since 2020, 50% of clients either left or considered leaving their advisor.
- The primary cause was a lack of consistent communication.
- Young, ascending households in the high-net-worth category were the most likely demographic to switch.
- There was a high correlation between high-net-worth households and higher communication expectations.
Advisors know that younger clients have different behaviors and expectations for their client experience. The challenge is that many advisors don’t understand just how wide the gap is growing between expectations and advisor practices.
That’s why we’re digging into this topic today. It’s not a fear-focused discussion. This is a purposeful plan of action with insights from top advisors’ actions to build on their success. Let’s jump into it.
1. Create, Execute, and Stick to a Retention Plan
Different advisors create different plans, but what is the key theme we want to highlight first? A collaborative, written plan is critical to ensuring your ideas become reality. Gather your team, identify the cadence and method you want to commit to, and assign ownership to each person as needed.
2. Identify Your Clients’ Preferences
The best place to start is with the question, “How often do our clients want to hear from us?” You might be surprised – it’s more than you think. YCharts found that 47% of clients in their study wished they heard from their advisor more frequently! This number grew to 54% among clients with more than $500K being managed.
The point here is not to crank up the volume. It’s to ditch the assumption that your clients are content with how often they hear from you. The best way to find out? Try sending out a survey with communication preferences. Ask questions like:
- How often would you like to hear from us?
- What is your preferred method for us to reach out?
- What are the most valuable kinds of communication? Market updates? Planning reminders?
Every client community is different. Find out your clients’ preferences and plan accordingly.
3. Get Creative, Make an Impression
Once you have a rhythmic process that your team can sustain, look for opportunities to be creative and make a meaningful impression. Here are a few of our favorite ways to do this:
Track and celebrate client milestones. It might be a relational milestone like 10 years as a client. It might be a highlight in their own life like becoming debt-free or graduating their final child from college. Keep an eye out for those moments and celebrate with them.
Send 1-to-1 videos. We are all used to email blasts, social media posts, and other mass communication. They’re useful tools, but a number of our advisors have had great success with selective 1-to-1 videos. You can also make this part of a process, like when onboarding a new client.
Creating in-person experiences. As the world continues its march into digital everything, top advisors haven’t forgotten the power of intentional, face-to-face experiences. These allow your clients (and their networks) to deepen their relationship with you as a person instead of you (an advisor) as a commodity.
Bonus Note: Video Is a Must
We just mentioned the value of being relationally focused. You don’t want to position your brand as a commodity. The best way to do this is to avoid hiding behind the label “a financial advisor”. You are your brand’s best differentiator. The familiarity you’ve built in your network is a key asset.
That’s why video has become central to top advisors’ marketing strategies. It puts your face and voice center stage instead of being dependent on canned content and stock images. It can be challenging to get started, but it’s worth the effort!
Equipping You to Grow
Do you need help implementing key strategies like a retention plan into your business? At WealthPlan Group, we are consistently developing and sharing resources for our advisors to implement in their own practices. From marketing to business development to technology, we are here to give you hands-on access to the best practices of top advisors.
If you’re ready to plant your business in better soil, get in touch with our team. We’re here to help you grow your practice on your terms.