To retain clients and grow a differentiated business going forward, you’ll need to become more than a source of investment advice: You must become an essential partner. By having broader conversations about your clients’ lives and connecting them to relevant and helpful resources, you’ll build better, deeper relationships.
Not only that, but incorporating the following simple steps into every client meeting can also help you grow your business. The stronger your connection with clients—and their children—the easier it is to retain the next generation of clients.
Step 1: Converse
When you meet with clients, portfolio review is often the focal point. But as you review their financial details, encourage them to talk about themselves more broadly, too. What are they enjoying these days, or what’s been a challenge? To get them thinking about the complexity of life in retirement, the MIT AgeLab offers these three questions as a starting place:
Who will change my light bulbs?
Do you have a plan to continue living independently?
How will I get an ice cream cone?
How will you manage transportation?
Who will I have lunch with?
How will you stay socially connected in retirement?
Step 2: Connect
As your clients talk, listen actively. Just as you’d jot down numbers about financial goals, including personal notes can be equally useful in understanding broader goals. The information they provide now may lead to a natural, authentic lead-in to a beneficial resource later. When you come across something helpful, you can introduce it with a phrase such as:
- “I thought of you the other day because…”
- “I remembered that conversation we had about…”
- “I thought you would benefit from this kind of information…”
Clients value personalization more than they value your expertise. - Source: In Their Own Words, Hartford Funds
“This is a long-term client, won’t they think it’s weird if I start discussing personal topics out of the blue?”
The beauty of this is its simplicity: You’re not prying, you’re just talking and paying close attention to what you’re told. It should feel authentic—never forced.
“What kind of connections can I offer?”
Something as simple as a relevant news article, or we also have a suite of research from the MIT AgeLab that deals with many of the challenges your clients may be facing. View our full list of client-approved seminars for some good places to start.
“Will my clients think I have ulterior motives by mentioning these nonfinancial topics?”
Your motive is simply going above and beyond. You can explain how you serve as a connector between clients and any information that improves their quality of life, not just investing or financial topics.
Practice Makes Perfect
Serving as a connector could take a little practice if it’s not something you, or your clients, are accustomed to. Your Hartford Funds Advisor Consultant can help you get more familiar with the specific resources you can share and can also serve as a coach to help you practice and make these conversations flow more naturally.
The MIT AgeLab is not an affiliate or subsidiary or Hartford Funds.