Acting as a resource to clients — offering an educational seminar or a referral to an accountant — adds value to your services, says Rosemary Smyth, business coach and owner of Rosemary Smyth and Associates in Victoria, which specializes in coaching financial advisors. Increasing the value clients see in your services creates opportunities to grow your business through referrals and increased share of wallet.
Here are five tips to help you make your resource strategy a success:
> Know your niche
To be a resource to clients, you need to be specific about what you offer.
“It’s pretty hard to be all things to all people,” says April-Lynn Levitt, a coach with the Personal Coach in Calgary. “So, it’s better if you can try to narrow it down a bit.”
Consider your target market and what kind of resources those clients are looking for, she says. For example, if you work with young families, you can provide information on planning for a child’s education.
> Spread the word
Create a plan to let clients know about the various resources that are available through your business.
Use a variety of methods to inform clients about the resources you provide, Levitt says. For example, you could inform clients during a meeting, through a newsletter or by posting items on your website such as a list of articles or upcoming seminars.
> Speak your clients’ language
Offer resources to clients in a way they can understand. It’s important for you to be flexible in the ways you present information to clients, says Smyth.
For instance, if a client has a sophisticated understanding of finances and the economy, she says, then it’s acceptable to use a little sophisticated financial terminology. On the other hand, if clients have only a basic understanding, it’s best to leave the industry lingo out of the conversation.
> Ask what clients want
Find out which resources clients would most like access to.
Ask clients — either informally at a meeting or through a survey — which type of information they would like to receive and how, Levitt says. For example, if your clients are busy throughout the day, they might prefer to listen to a conference call as opposed to coming into the office for a seminar.
> Manage your time
Use your resources to save time while still providing excellent service to clients.
If you have several clients who would benefit from the same information, Levitt says, arrange a seminar to reach those clients together.
This is the second in a two-part series on being a resource for clients.