Are women really risk-averse?

It might seem logical that the more contact you have with your clients, the happier they will be with you. But too-frequent contact can be overwhelming, especially if it is not meaningful or relevant.

There are so many mediums through which to engage your clients — from face-to-face meetings to e-mail and various forms of social media — that you must be specific when contacting them, says Scott Fraser, vice president of sales with Bridgehouse Asset Managers in Toronto.

“You have to be mindful of what’s important to them,” Fraser says. “It’s a noisy world out there and clients have to deal with many other issues.”

Nadia David, communications consultant with Premier Consulting Partners in Mississauga, Ont., suggests that you review your client engagement strategy by asking yourself a few questions: Are all of your clients receiving the same message?

Are you using the same forms of media to reach all your clients?

Is your message relevant to all clients, or are you simply sending them a third-party article, for example, because you believe it’s a good read?

“The quality of anything you send to your clients is far more important than quantity,” David says. The old adage that you can never over-communicate with your clients doesn’t really hold up anymore, she adds. “You have to ask clients how they want to be contacted and engage them on their terms.”

Here are some tips on engaging your clients in the ways they prefer:

> Ask your clients
Clients expect that you will meet them at least once a year for a portfolio review. Use this opportunity to make them aware of the various ways you engage your clients and ask them how they prefer to stay in touch, David says. Ask them what type of content they want to receive from you.

“We tend to communicate less and less in person,” Fraser says, “and often forget the good, old-fashioned phone call.”

> Segment engagement strategies
Organize your list of clients based on their preferred methods of communication. This way, David says, you can engage them through the methods they prefer. For example, some clients might not want to receive news stories or content that is not directly relevant to their needs.

If you are not sure whether a client would be interested in reading an article such as an opinion piece, provide them with a summary first.

See: The ABCs of segmenting your book

> Focus on quality
Many advisors believe that the greater the number of messages or quantity of content they send to clients, the better their chances of engaging them.

But rather than focusing on the frequency of contact, you should pay more attention to the quality of contact, David says. Clients will pay attention only if you provide them with material that is aligned with their needs or concerns.

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