Clients move on for many reasons. They move away, enter a new phase of life, decide to go it alone or may even have switched to a different adviser who is a better fit to them. Or, quite simply, your project may be complete and they chose not to continue with you “right now.”
Even though you may no longer be under contract, former clients should still be a vital component of your marketing efforts, as they can be easy to re-engage and one of your best sources of new client referrals. Here’s how to attract them back:
1. Keep Them in the Loop
Your former clients stay on your email list, receiving all the communications you send to cultivate the relationship with your prospects and clients. These are your monthly newsletter and other calendar-based communications. If they want out, they can unsubscribe. I find most former clients circle back again after an article I send or an opinion or experience I share as part of my relationship marketing strategy.
2. Engage Through the Good Old-Fashioned USPS
Send a friendly letter announcing a new service. Did you add in investment management, expand to include tax planning or partner up with an estate planner? Share the news offline and follow up with an email. Include a short, personalized handwritten note on the printed letter.
3. Set Triggers for Opportunities to Help
For example, I specialize in helping new parents and often re-engage with clients when they are debating the feasibility of sending their child to private school. It’s easy for me to track which clients have children who are approaching school-age and let them know how I can help them navigate the financial decisions that they will soon face. Use your CRM to automate much of this process and keep the follow-up resources in check.
4. Make a Check-In Call Once or Twice a Year
Even a voicemail “Hello” let’s them know you care.
5. Include Your Favorites on the Client Appreciation Event Invitation List
Even if they don’t show up, they will be happy you asked (and recall the perks of being a client).
6. Get the Results
Send a survey and ask about their progress on their financial plans. If they have positive actions and achievements to share, you’ll remind them of your value, and you’ll feel fulfilled. If they hit a roadblock you can invite them back in to meet with you. And, if the plan just didn’t work, you can learn more about how you might improve your process for the next client.
Thanks to these strategies, I find that most clients I’m not currently engaged with feel that our relationship has actually strengthened over time as I continue to be a part of their lives. They realize how easy it will be to hit the ground running should they require my services again, and many continue to send referrals years after I completed our engagement.
Kristin Harad, CFP®
Marketing trainer for advisers