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Make Clients 'Feel Special' and You Could Double Your Book

The median client size at experience-centric firms is $1 million, nearly double the amount at others.

Financial advisors who make their clients "feel special" don't just maintain relationships with them, they end up managing a lot more money.

The median client size of "experience-centric" advisors is $1 million, nearly double (93%) the $518,732 median for all other advisors, according to a report by Cerulli Associates. 

That's quite a spread, considering most registered investment advisors charge a fee that is a percentage of the assets they manage. But experience-centric firms offered only about one additional service compared with all others, according to the April 2019 issue of The Cerulli Edge—U.S. Asset and Wealth Management Edition. In other words, wealth managers don't necessarily have to roll out a red carpet for clients—little things seem to matter.


Advisors don’t have to woo clients and prospects with things like private jet travel (although that has worked at least once for Goldman Sachs). Often, a good client experience is simply found on the clients’ mobile device—a place the wealth manager needs to be in some form or another, said Shirl Penney, president and CEO of Dynasty Financial Partners. Sometimes, providing a good experience is as simple as spending time with the clientshowing a genuine interest in their lives.


“Your clients need to feel important if you’re going to charge a premium price and, if they do, I promise you, you will win,” said Joe Duran, the founder and CEO of United Capital Financial Advisers, at Charles Schwab’s annual IMPACT conference last year. “If they feel [every client] is getting the same kind of thing, you’re going to lose.”

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