Atlanta: “What does your research say about texting clients?” Josh asked, then added “I’m not sure our compliance allows us to text clients.”
My immediate response to Josh is always my first comment regarding texting or any other form of digital communication; “You need to know your firm’s compliance guidelines and follow them to the letter.”
Now that we’ve got the disclaimer out of the way, let’s get on to the subject of texting. I want you to answer the same question I asked Josh; How do your clients communicate with family members and friends? Of course they converse in person, talk on the phone, email each other – and nowadays they text. In my Baby-Boomer world, I communicate with my siblings and friends (except one friend who refuses to even use a cell phone) via texting -- far more frequently than any other way. It’s highly probable your clients aren’t much different.
Our 2015 Affluent Investor research tells us that 75% have NEVER texted with their financial advisor. I’m going explain to you, as I did to Josh, why you should text, and how to do it properly.
First things first – I’m not suggesting that you conduct any form of official business by text. Once again, follow your firm’s guidelines, but most allow for short bursts of communication regarding meetings, events, a pet photo – things that are personal in nature.
The following are a handful of personal text ideas
- You’re having a small get together to watch an NBA playoff game in your “man cave” – text a few clients who are NBA fans to see if they’re free.
- You want to grab a quick lunch with a client or CPA – shoot them a text.
- If you see that their favorite sports team has gotten a big win – you text them “Congrats!”
- You just had your dog groomed, text a picture to your dog loving clients and ask for a text of their pooch in return.
- Do Not Discuss Fees, Performance or anything business specific – that communication requires a meeting.
You’ve probably already noticed that all of these texts are personal – they’re non-business related. And the more you are able add a personal element to your current business relationship, the more you strengthen that relationship. And our research is quite clear about this, when a financial advisor develops this holistic relationship (business & social) their performance is ranked 13 points higher in every key metric important to today’s affluent.
One of our coaches shared a perfect example; an elite advisor he coaches texts his clients regularly. One of his clients is a surgeon who can never be reached by phone; by shooting the surgeon a quick text inviting him to an event -- he received an affirmative response within 30 seconds. This illustrates the impact of texting and WHY people like it in general. It’s convenient.
So here’s a simple 3-Step Texting Plan that I shared with Josh:
- Enter the cell phone numbers of all top clients and referral alliance partners into your cell phone.
- If you’ve never texted with a certain client or referral alliance partner, send them a text with a short confirmation message – Hey, this is Matt Oechsli – do you get texts on this number?
- If you get a response from your confirmation message, they know who you are and can add your cell # to their address book.
- Text at least one client or referral alliance partner a day -- as you would a friend.
There’s really nothing to it – and it’s a simple way to communicate and further personalize your client relationships.