Earning a reputation as the “go to” person — for more than financial advice — can help you strengthen your relationships with clients and your business.
When clients see you as a resource for community connections or as someone who can help them learn a little more about the markets, says April-Lynn Levitt, a coach with the Personal Coach in Calgary, those client relationships can become deeper.
Here are five tips on how you can act as a resource for clients:
1. Provide education
Show your value as an advisor by helping clients improve their financial literacy.
Maintain a library of financial books and articles clients can borrow and read online, Levitt says. As well, invite clients to educational seminars on topics such as retirement planning and how markets and the economy work.
2. Offer referrals
Help solve problems for clients by introducing them to members of your professional network, says Rosemary Smyth, business coach and owner of Rosemary Smyth and Associates in Victoria.
Help clients through challenges beyond your area of expertise by referring them to accountants, mortgage brokers, realtors or lawyers. These introductions demonstrate your value as an advisor and as a resource.
3. Know your community
To really be seen as a resource to clients, add to your network a few connections unrelated to the financial services industry.
Advisors typically know many people in their communities, says Levitt. So, with a little thought, you can refer virtually anyone to a client.
Make a list of everyone you know whom clients would typically look for at some point, she says, such as a landscaper, a car dealer or a nanny.
4. Recommend a group setting
Go the extra mile for clients by telling them where they can meet like-minded people and learn more about finances.
For clients who want to learn more, Smyth says, offer introduction to an investment club in your area or recommend a course at a local college or university.
5. Meet the family
Let clients know that you can be a resource for their families as well.
Offer to clients’ family members the same resources you provide clients. These connections will introduce family members to your business and your services.
For example, you might invite a client’s parents to a retirement seminar. Or, you might recommend a mortgage broker to a client’s child who is about to buy his or her first home.
This is the first in a two-part series on being a resource for clients. Next: fine-tuning your resource strategy.