67 Reasons to Contact Clients

The No. 1 reason clients leave is lack of contact. And clients don't want to be called only because you're selling something. People like to hear market updates and your views on what's happening, of course. But frequent, less-formal contacts allow you to pick up on financial developments affecting your clients changes they don't call in and the bigger picture as well, such as their dreams and aspirations,

The No. 1 reason clients leave is lack of contact. And clients don't want to be called only because you're selling something.

People like to hear market updates and your views on what's happening, of course. But frequent, less-formal contacts allow you to pick up on financial developments affecting your clients — changes they don't call in — and the bigger picture as well, such as “their dreams and aspirations,” says Mike Lyons, a Scottsdale, Ariz.-based US Bancorp Piper Jaffray broker.

You don't have to waste time schmoozing, either. Brent Wilsey, with Linsco/Private Ledger in San Diego, says, “We don't wish clients ‘happy birthday’ or call to schmooze. We're money managers.” He notes there are many business-related reasons to contact clients (see Page 100).

A formal system for regular contact is a good discipline. Bill Good of Bill Good Marketing in South Jordan, Utah, suggests announcing any new system to clients. “If you're going to be telephoning them every quarter or sending out a monthly newsletter and you haven't done these things before, first send a letter telling them what you plan to do,” he says.

Here are 67 methods and reasons to contact clients:

Personal and Fun Reasons

  1. Invite clients to a client appreciation event.

  2. Invite clients to a holiday party.

  3. Invite clients to a benefit for a favorite charity.

  4. Invite a client to lunch.

  5. Invite one or more clients to a sporting event, play or concert.

  6. Say thanks or send a small gift to a client who has made a referral, expressed appreciation, or who is just a joy to do business with.

  7. Call to wish them happy birthday, or send a card or letter.

  8. Send a get well card to a client who is ill.

  9. Send flowers or a sympathy card upon the death of a client or family member.

  10. Send a card commemorating an upcoming holiday other than Christmas.

  11. Send regular postcards or letters with history or trivia about the client's hometown.

  12. Send a cartoon that relates to a recent conversation or a personal incident.

  13. Send a personal letter, at holiday time or more often, telling what's going on in your life, sharing some personal thoughts.

  14. Call when there's news on a client's hobby or favorite sport.

  15. Send a newspaper or magazine article or a book on a favorite topic.

  16. Share Web site addresses related to their interests.

  17. Send an Internet printout about a favorite topic to a client who doesn't use a computer.

  18. Tell a client about a restaurant you tried and think they'd like.

  19. Do the same for a movie or play.

  20. Call about a new consumer product you think a client would find useful.

  21. Share news about a sale that will interest a client.

  22. Send a small gift to cheer up a client who has had bad luck or bad news such as a job loss.

  23. Send a card or small gift with congratulations on the birth of a baby or grandchild.

  24. Talk about your family with clients whose offspring are close to the same age.

  25. If clients have children or grandchildren planning college, share your own experiences and insights.

  26. Tell a client who is job hunting about an opening or a potentially helpful contact.

  27. Offer congratulations on kids' (or grandkids') graduation.

  28. Congratulate clients on buying a new home or vacation residence.

  29. Acknowledge a client's promotion or business purchase.

  30. Ask about vacation plans; inform clients of your vacation plans.

  31. Send postcards when you're on vacation.

  32. Share travel notes with clients planning a vacation.

  33. Put clients in touch with someone who has relevant travel tips.

  34. Send a clipping about a client's vacation destination.

  35. Welcome clients back from a vacation or major trip, and find out how it went.

  36. Share news of research advances relating to a problem or illness of interest to a client or their family members.

  37. Share news of a support group related to a situation, problem or illness.

  38. Offer best wishes on a client's retirement.

  39. Send a recipe for a dish or a drink.

  40. Call to tell the client the weather is hotter or colder or simply worse in your location than theirs.

  41. Leave a message on an answering machine saying, “Call me, nothing urgent. We haven't talked for a while.”

    Business-Related Reasons
  42. Call (or have a sales assistant call) to schedule a routine review.

  43. Invite a client to a financial seminar.

  44. Invite clients who have unique concerns (own businesses, are divorced, etc.) to a luncheon with a speaker who specializes in their issues.

  45. Ask clients' advice on a company (or industry) about which they have knowledge.

  46. Ask for clients' feedback about your service.

  47. Thank clients for news or information they gave you.

  48. Call with an earnings report on a stock the client holds.

  49. Send a copy of investment research on stocks a client owns.

  50. Discuss news relating to the clients' investments, such as a new manager of a mutual fund.

  51. Discuss economic news such as interest rate cuts.

  52. Ask which parts of their statements they do not understand.

  53. Notify clients of a tender notice or corporate action.

  54. Discuss changes in tax law that might impact their accounts, and remind them to consult with their tax experts.

  55. Discuss what to do in the low-rate environment.

  56. When an account is being transferred to you, call with an update.

  57. When a client is waiting for information from you, call to say you haven't forgotten.

  58. Reconfirm that a client's asset allocation is appropriate.

  59. Review the reasons for holding recommended investments.

  60. Call and admit if you were wrong about something.

  61. Discuss a recent educational seminar you've attended.

  62. Let them know a portfolio manager of a fund they own will be on TV.

  63. Help a client sign up for online account access. Walk them through the firm's Web page.

  64. Ask how retirement plans are coming, how the job is going.

  65. Check on the status of action steps clients have agreed upon, such as drawing up a will.

  66. Check on the title of newly acquired or inherited assets.

  67. Call or send a note saying, “Thank you for your business.”

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