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Financial advisors and business owners often struggle to maintain high-quality service and communication with clients, especially as methods of communication evolve and client expectations change. Maintaining strong client relationships is more complex but also more crucial than ever.
Join hosts Rob Brown and Phil Calandra as they explore the art of delivering an extraordinary client experience in this episode. They highlight the importance of customizing your communication strategy to establish genuine connections with clients. Additionally, they provide a practical framework to help you take actionable steps towards enhancing your client experience.
Join us for a deep dive into the importance of consistent and client-focused communication strategies. Listen to learn how to foster enduring client relationships, become their go-to resource, and perfect the art of delivering an exceptional client experience.
In this week’s episode, Rob and Phil shed light on the following topics:
To listen, click the play button above. Or click the “Subscribe” button to go to your favorite podcast player.
Phil Calandra Snippet (00:05):
The reason communication is so critical whether you’re a financial advisor or a consultant or any other kind of service professional, the best analogy I’ve ever heard is, it’s like vitamin C in the body, you can take your vitamin C this morning and 24 hours from now, tomorrow morning, if you don’t take your vitamin C, again, the benefits of vitamin C have completely escaped your body.
And it’s the same thing with your message. If you don’t have a way in your client experience to reinforce your value, you better believe that the client that’s going to escape them, you’re gonna have to keep boosting the vitamin C’s.
Rob Brown Snippet(00:39):
When you think about your client experience. It needs to be repeatable, because when it’s repeatable, it’s memorable, which makes it referral which means people want to share that story. Ask yourself, is it repeatable, is it memorable?
Rob Brown Intro (01:02):
Welcome to The Truest Fan Blueprint, a podcast for financial advisors, and other professionals looking to get the most out of yourself and your business. I’m Rob Brown, and my partner Phil Calandra. And I promise to walk you through a journey that will allow you to take action in your business and your life, so that you can be the best that you can possibly be. Thanks for listening.
Welcome to the The Truest Fan Blueprint, Rob Brown and Phil Calandra. With you. Welcome, Phil.
Phil Calandra (01:45):
Hey, Rob, good to see you.
Rob Brown (01:46):
Yeah, it always is. And today, we’re gonna talk about a topic that I think we both enjoy just as much as the other because it’s been a part of the way that we’ve run our businesses for a long time, and we’re going to talk about is the idea of delivering the ultimate client experience. If that rings a bell, and you pay listen to podcast, part of it might be the fact that back in 2014, I wrote a book called delivering the ultimate client experience. But I’m not here to pitch the book.
Phil Calandra (02:17):
But it is a great book, Rob, I still have it on my nightstand.
Rob Brown (02:21):
Yeah, lots of people still use it as their guidelines. So there’s no doubt about it. And you can go to ultimate client experience.com If you want to grab a copy. But the reason that we want to talk about it is, as Phil and I were preparing for the podcast, what we discovered is that we’ve been getting a lot of questions from advisors recently around, what should we do when it comes to continuously delivering a high level of service and communication to our clients in a world where communication has changed, where we see things all the time, like, you know, use a AI to improve your client experience, or you get the ads from the website companies and email companies that are all merging, and they want to sell you this wonderful, quote unquote, personalized content, that really all looks the same.
And we think it doesn’t have to be that hard. It just needs to be consistent. So Phil, you’re still in the trenches, you’ve got $100 million plus business, working with clients just about every day. When you think about client experience. What’s the number one thing that comes to your mind?
Phil Calandra (03:33):
Well, let’s see how much time do we have on this chest? Now that’s
Rob Brown (03:36):
why I said number one, I didn’t say give me all 27 Couldn’t agree
Phil Calandra (03:40):
more where to jump in? I think that well studies show over and over and over the number one reason that clients leave and advisory practice is it’s not performance of the portfolio. It’s not the client wine tasting or events. It’s simply the lack of communication. So taking that first nugget of truth, to build the ultimate client experience, I think you have to define what is your communication protocol to clients?
Once you do that, you have to understand what it is you want to say, what is your message? And then that becomes kind of point number two that I want to make is what is your value proposition? Unfortunately, the terms value proposition has all the meaning beaten out of it in our industry, in every industry, but to me, a value proposition is simply the concise message of who you are, what you do, how you do it, and why the price that you charge for it far exceeds the benefit or the value that they’re going to receive.
So those two things, Rob, I think the conversation about how you need to communicate what you need to say how you need to say it and then the last point I’ll make ache is the reason communication is so critical.
Whether you’re a financial advisor or a consultant or any other kind of service professional, the best analogy I’ve ever heard is, it’s like vitamin C in the body, you can take your vitamin C, you know, this morning, and by the end of the day, or certainly 24 hours from now, tomorrow morning, if you don’t take your vitamin C, again, the benefits of vitamin C have completely escaped your body. And it’s the same thing with your message.
If you don’t have a way in your client experience to reinforce your value, your message, your philosophical view of the world, what you believe you better believe that the client is going to escape them, you’re gonna have to keep boosting the vitamin C’s if three real quick things, Rob, if I think they’re quick, but I think about
Rob Brown (05:45):
before you get into those three things, let me point out something that you said, which I think is vitally important to frame this conversation. When you think about your client experience. It needs to be repeatable. Because when it’s repeatable, it’s memorable.
You remember, yeah, and the people you serve memorable, which makes it referral, which means people want to share that story. So when you’re thinking about or analyzing what you’re doing right now, with your client experience, ask yourself, is it repeatable?
Is it memorable, but and memorable, that also equates to quality, not just quantity, and then is a referral, which I think also speaks to that real value that you deliver? I just wanted to add that in there, because I think this is gonna play right into the three things that you want to share.
Phil Calandra (06:33):
Yeah, one quick comment on that. That’s absolutely right. And that begins with you defining who you are, what you believe, and what your value proposition is, if you don’t have that, that it can’t be repeatable, because what I see with a lot of advisors, and I know, you see, the two advisors that we coach is, they’re always reacting, they’re always going to the next news story.
And they’re trying to position themselves as the advisor based on some current event or some, you know, market phenomenon as opposed to in my practice, it’s centered around financial planning, holistic, comprehensive financial planning, and behavior management, making sure that once we’ve developed the financial plan, that the client doesn’t blow themselves up, because that is our human nature.
That’s my value. That’s my belief, or where I center my communication from. So for me, I think that you know, how to core three things. And you could do this yourself, build it out on a calendar, right? Really be intentional about what your client experience is going to look like, and build it out on a calendar for me It consists of a weekly memo. Yes, you heard that correctly, weekly.
Now, do I miss a Friday or two here and there? Yeah, of course, it doesn’t have to be laborious, but I curate content. So I’m not writing it for myself. Every week, my good friend Ashby, Daniel helps me with that money visuals.
So a weekly memo, a quarterly webinar, which is very briefly about market indicators or performance. The rest of it is behavior, I send out regular requests, it’s in the form of a postcard, right, that you introduce me to it’s asking for referrals. It’s a systemized approach, I do that twice a year along with a annual letter and a semi annual letter in the mailbox, right, you hit on it in the beginning, the communication style is all changed.
So you can use a lot of digital communications. But in my view, if you’re not building your client experience around snail mail, put a stamp on and put it in somebody’s mailbox that is recognizable, and that’s referral, people like that. So those are kind of the two or three, maybe it was four things kind of centered around the communication protocol.
Rob Brown (08:51):
Right. So and I know that maybe sometimes in the execution is not as simple as you made it sound but think about that, a weekly piece is delivered electronically to stay in touch with clients every week, a quarterly webinar was an opportunity for interaction to see your face.
And so which goes beyond the client meetings and reviews and things that you hold, using some snail mail, to promote referrals and to give your twice a year state of the world. You know, piece, a good simple message that’s planned out, you deliver it consistently and that’s why you get so many referrals. I mean, your practice closed almost exclusively through introductions from clients and centers of influence.
So right it’s an important thing to keep in mind. That’s what is really important because, you know, I can’t tell you how many times I talk to an advisor maybe we’re considering joining one of our programs or considering working with us as a coach and they know I wrote the book, delivering the ultimate client experience.
And they go well, I do we don’t don’t need to worry about client experience we do. We meet with our clients for Two times a year to do reviews. I said, Okay, that’s great. Do you really? Do you really? I say, Do IT audit?
How many of your clients? Are you really meeting with four times a year? And how often are the folks on your staff who are setting those appointments getting pushed back saying, I don’t need to meet with Rob this quarter? Because they don’t get value from those meetings. But it’s wrote and that seems easy. And it doesn’t involve an e mail or a postcard or a letter. And Phil, you didn’t mention it.
But they’re actually probably there is a fourth or fifth thing, depending on your county, what you just said, there is those client meetings that you have, yeah, every year, but it’s only a part of the communication. It’s because I think those meetings are the things that oftentimes are like the vitamin C, they were off, because as soon as they leave that meeting, they’ve done their review, they get into a situation where somebody throws some idea at thumb, that they go, maybe I should have considered that, you know, why didn’t Phil or Rob mentioned that to me, and all of a sudden the behaviors all screwy, and they aren’t taken back to what their most important goals are and how you’re helping them stay on course for that.
So I mean, it’s simple, but it’s powerful, just to have and build a system like that. Yeah.
Phil Calandra (11:18):
And it really is powerful. I was having a conversation not too long ago with the firm leader, a sizable firm, actually. And the question came up around digital communication. And the long and short of it was how do you measure, click? throughs? You know, how do you know that the information is relevant?
Why do you keep sending that out? If you have a low open rate, and I said, whoa, whoa, whoa, I said, Stop, in my opinion, and this is just mine. Maybe some marketing gurus disagree with this. If I can consistently add vitamin C to my clients body. What do I care? If they open it, they click on it, they even read it.
Because at the end of the day, my client Rob knows that I cared enough to be consistent, disciplined, completely thorough in my message, I’m not going from, you know, bird flu, to COVID, to Israeli war to bond yields. I’m very specific in my message. And whether they click on it, open it or not, I really don’t care. I mean, I would feel better if they did read it and absorb the information. But the point being, the client knows that I cared enough to be consistent, and that puts them at ease.
And there’s gonna be that day where they’re watching CNBC, when they’re shaving in the morning, and something triggers in their head. And that might be the day they read my material, or they’re gonna go back and they’re gonna say, Well, Phil sends me a memo every week. And he invites me to ad hoc annual or ad hoc review meetings. It’s not time for my annual meeting, I’ll just call Phil’s office, bingo. That’s the client experience. That’s what you want,
Rob Brown (13:04):
right? You want to be the first call, when that problem comes up, or that idea flies into somebody’s brain. You’re the first call in that works. You know, although we’re not talking about client acquisition today, it works in client acquisition prospecting, too, because you can treat your prospects like clients, and all of a sudden your client routine becomes your best marketing tool, right?
Because those prospects that you’re getting in front of regular saying, Wow, my advisor isn’t doing this. And so Exactly, you become as the Prospector, the first call. So it is that consistency. It’s that really that simple.
Yeah, yeah. So we love to make sure in these podcasts that we give an action item that you can take away from the call. And I think the most important thing that we can recommend to our listeners today, Phil, is build your calendar, decide what that routine is, what is that pattern that you’re going to put in place to regularly get in front of your clients and then once you decide on that pattern, then you can go about and say, This is how I am going to fulfill that pattern. Maybe you use a service, like Ashby’s money visuals to fill in part of your communication.
I have several of my clients who are using AI to take stories they have about their clients and turn those into snippets that they can set every week to show their other clients examples of things that they’re helping their clients with a sort of lots of ways to do but don’t get caught up in the what you’re going to deliver but get caught up in or decide what is that pattern that cadence is going to be and then decide I had to fill that in. And I think Phil’s example is a great one.
But it may not be for everybody. I have clients who have a small number of very wealthy clients, and their communication cadence is a phone call every month. And there are different types of calls that they might do.
Some might be touched base call, some might be reviewed, but their clients know that they’re gonna get a phone call every month. Yeah, so it can vary, but they’ve decided on the cadence first, and then they’ve decided how they’re going to mix and match the different types of calls to really deliver that repeatable memorable referral experience.
Phil Calandra (15:40):
Yeah, and don’t get hung up on the message. That’s really the easy part. We mentioned money, visuals, horse’s mouth. I’m a big Nick Murray fan. I just recently went to his behavioral investment conference in New York City, there are plenty of resources available. Ai, you mentioned, don’t get hung up on the content.
Like you said, start with the cadence. Start with the methodology. If you need help, contact us, you know, you have a wealth of experience in building content, I can help somebody as well. And just get to it get at it. Yeah, absolutely.
Rob Brown (16:11):
Please reach out to us if you have any questions about this, because it really is important. In fact, I hadn’t thought about this, until just now, Phil. But if you’re listening to this podcast, and you want to develop a calendar, I happen to have one, it’s in delivering the ultimate client experience.
And I’d be happy to send it to you so or give it to you. So if you look in the show notes, there’ll be a link to an example. Or examples of client communication calendars that could help get you started on this path. Because we really, really believe that if we’re going to be rooting for your success, which we say all the time, we need to help give you some tools to do it.
That’s it. All right. Let’s call it a podcast. Phil, let’s wrap it up here. Thanks again for the great conversation. And of course, if you like the things that we’re talking about, please share this podcast. Give us a rating. We want to build our audience as we continue to build truest fans. Take care. Be well.
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