8 Tips To Improving The Client Experience Once They’ve Got In Touch25th September 2019
Last month, I looked at how marketing equals impact and shared some tips on how you can successfully market your business to new clients.
This month, I’m looking at what you need to do once a prospective client has seen your marketing and has got in touch with you.
All advisers and planners know that getting the client onboarding experience right over the first weeks of the client relationship is essential. This helps to set the foundation for a deeper and more profitable long-term relationship with new clients and their families.
Your ultimate objective is to create a strong client relationship from the very beginning – and this starts with the first contact with you and your firm. Here’s how you can get this right.
Prioritise your prospects
If your marketing is good, then you might well be dealing with a large number of prospects. So, prioritising your leads is essential:
- Qualify your prospects
- Prioritise them (consider giving them a score based on the value each lead has to you and your business)
- Work the list from top to bottom so you spend more time on the highest scoring leads with the greatest potential for conversion.
Ensure the quality of your correspondence is good
If a client completes a contact form or sends you an email, you’re likely to respond in kind. So, make sure you get this right – and that means using the right language and spelling.
Indeed, the BBC quote an online entrepreneur who claims that bad spelling is costing the UK economy ‘millions of pounds’.
It’s vital that you come across as sincere and likeable and that you spend time to add first names to your correspondence. An Experian study found that personalised emails generate up to six times higher revenue per email than non-personalised ones.
Make it easy for people to meet you
When you arrange your first meeting with a new client, it’s vital that you make this experience as easy as possible. If they start having to look up where your office is, or there’s nowhere to park when they arrive, you’ve immediately got off on the wrong foot.
So, send a map in your appointment confirmation email. Tell the client exactly where they should park and who they should speak to when they get into the office. If you’re on the third floor, tell them exactly how they get to you.
Create a welcoming environment
Let’s hand over to author Malcolm Gladwell: “Our first impressions are generated by our experiences and our environment, which means that we can change our first impressions…by changing the experiences that comprise those impressions.”
If your prospective client is coming to your office, then make it a welcoming place to visit.
Organisation is a sign of professionalism, so make sure your reception is tidy and inviting and that your client gets a warm greeting. Offer them a cup of tea and coffee – and service it nicely, on a tray, in a branded mug (or at least in a ceramic and not a paper cup!)
If your client has to wait, give them a sofa or somewhere comfortable to sit. Keeping an album of press cuttings, testimonials or articles that you have written nearby is also a really good way of showcasing your business while a prospective client is waiting to meet with you. NEVER leave trade magazines in your reception, they invariably have a lurid headline about what’s wrong in the industry or the latest fraudster.
Clearing your desk of clutter and files ensures that your client feels that you have the time for them.
Turn off your mobile phone and notifications so you’re not interrupted while in your client meeting. Your client wants to feel that they are getting your undivided attention.
Focus on your appearance – tie or no tie?
If you’re expecting a client to let you handle his or her life’s savings, it’s important that your appearance says that their money is in good hands. Clients are essentially interviewing you for the job of looking after their financial security – so dress as if you want the job. For men, there is now much debate over wearing ties or otherwise. My personal view is if your client would expect it, then wear one.
Just because your prospective client is a classic media type who always dresses down, don’t assume you must do the same. They may expect and appreciate the suited and booted person with gravitas.
Prepare an excellent sales pitch
When you meet your client, you need to have an effective sales pitch. This should capture the attention of your prospective client and ensure the conversation moves in a positive direction.
As you should be spending the time listening to your client and finding out about them, their family and their goals, you may not have long to make your pitch. And if you spend too much time talking about your business, the clients you have worked with and why they should sign up immediately, you risk losing them.
Robert Herjavec is an entrepreneur and co-star of Shark Tank – America’s answer to Dragon’s Den. When it comes to delivering an effective pitch, he says it’s more about showing your expertise—not just rattling off the highlight reel of numbers and clients you’ve worked with.
Herjavec says: “You have 90 seconds, if you’re lucky. If you can’t make your point persuasively in that time, you’ve lost the chance for impact. Facts and figures are important, but it’s not the only criteria, you must present in a manner that generates expertise and confidence. If you’re not prepared for it, you may just miss your next big opportunity.”
Make sure you show your prospect that you’ve already developed an understanding of the challenges they’re facing. Do your research up-front and use your knowledge about your prospect to take control of the conversation in your sales pitch by teaching and fine-tuning your message.
Maintain a positive attitude
A positive attitude can create an exceptional first impression.
So, smile when you first meet the client, let them know that you are happy to see them and tell them that you are excited about the prospect of working together.
Make eye contact at all times, give a firm handshake, and listen intently when the client is speaking with you. Talk about areas of a client’s future that have emotional resonance, such as saving for their children or retiring early.
You should also let your prospective client know that you enjoy your work and that you get satisfaction from helping people to achieve their financial and life goals.
Make it easy for clients to deal with you
If you’re trying to win over a new client, one way to do this is to make dealing with you as simple and straightforward as possible. Ways to do this include:
- Keep paperwork simple and to a minimum. Ideally, you should have just one Service
- Agreement between yourself and your client
- Establish a way of working at the outset so you can ensure your client’s expectations are met
- Use mobile devices and online applications in a way that make it easy for the client to access information
- Minimise admin and use plain English. If you use too much jargon you may lose the client, and if they don’t understand what you’re saying they will become less engaged.
- Ensure client transparency and control. Clients should be able to participate, modify and drive the process based on their desire to engage.
Executive Chairman, The Beaufort Group