We are often asked for examples of top advisor service models. How often do they meet with clients? What perks do they offer? When we share these examples, people often marvel at the structure and level of detail. However, what often goes unnoticed is the proactive personalization that happens behind the scenes.
Proactive personalization is different than the many one-off personalization requests you receive (i.e., the client who prefers to meet via webcam). These one-offs are usually small tweaks for you, a big deal for the client and should be accommodated whenever possible.
Proactive personalization is a bit different and is based on the notion that even the best service model isn’t perfect for everyone. Some clients might want more meetings, some might want fewer. Some might want to text, others prefer phone calls. These preferences should be sought-out, but only for your best clients.
This is achieved by asking narrow, service-related questions. Asking a top client a question like, “Is there anything you’d like us to do differently when it comes to service?” can come across as insincere and won’t elicit very helpful responses. Consider using these five questions instead:
- Contact Frequency “We find these meetings really beneficial, but we recognize that some people prefer getting together more often than others. What are your thoughts on our current plan of two meetings per year?”
- Communication Mediums “If I need to get in touch with you, would you rather I call or text?”
- Types of Events “We plan on hosting more small events this year — a combination of fun events and educational events. Do you have a preference of one or the other?”
- Types of Connections “We are fortunate to have clients in many different industries and I really enjoy connecting them with each other to create win-wins. What type of people would it make sense to connect you with?”
- COI Recommendations “When I recommend that you see another professional, like this estate attorney, we typically set up the meeting and accompany you. Does this work for you?”
To be clear, you should start with a service model framework, then make small fine-tunings to personalize your communication. The personalization is critical! It sets apart a client-centered service experience from the basic, “everyday” experience.
@StephenBoswell is President of The Oechsli Institute and author of Best Practices of Elite Advisors. @KevinANichols is the Chief Operating Officer for The Oechsli Institute and author of The Indispensable LinkedIn Sales Guide for Financial Advisors.