Every year around this time I remind our advisor community about the importance of the 4th quarter as it relates to client communications. September is the perfect spring board month to reconnect with clients using a sequential plan to finish the year strong and position yourself for momentum as you turn the corner into the New Year. And while some elements of your 4th quarter plan can be more complicated, we often hear how it's the simplistic elements that have the greatest impact.
Feed the Goose that Lays the Golden Eggs
Year in and year out, financial advisors tell me that their clients love getting a Thanksgiving card. This unique gesture is a symbolic reminder to your clients that you value their relationship. It's something tangible that they can hold in their hands and then display for an extended period that connects them to you. Of course the key with any greeting card you send is that you want to OWN THE MANTLE. Which simply means it's the nicest card the client will receive and that it is has impressive impact and lasting shelf-life.
"This Was Such a Good Idea that I Stopped Doing it!"
You can't argue with that logic. In all seriousness though, you have to be consistent in your activities. If you sent a card last year but you don't this year, you become conspicuous in your absence. It's funny how often I hear from an advisor how great an idea was after they STOPPED doing it. And the reason for that is because a client comments to the advisor that they wondered if the card this year got lost in the mail. To which the advisor has to sheepishly reply, "Well actually I didn't send a card this year," creating a let-down moment for both parties. People crave consistency because it creates comfort, familiarity and trust. Consistent habits are more powerful than occasional actions.
Keep it Simple
The best phrase to handwrite in a Thanksgiving card is this:
"Everyone on our team wishes you and your family an exceptional Thanksgiving holiday. We also would like to say "thanks" for a great relationship."
Get Out in Front
As you shift gears from summer to a productive autumn mindset, it's a good idea to take action and start chipping away at this activity right away. If you plan to send the cards out to your top 50 clients or whichever group is on the Triple-A side of your service matrix, I encourage you to get prepared so that you don't need be rushed at the last minute. Think of how fast the last 60 days blew by. The next 60 will probably fly by even faster!
Contributed by Duncan MacPherson