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Indeed, advisors put a premium on referrals from existing clients: RIAs say referrals are the most effective ways to attract new clients, whether passive (67%) or actively solicited (46%). Client referrals are considered more effective than referrals from other professionals, including CPAs and attorneys, or even internal referrals from other parts of a firm, such as the investment banking department.
For many advisors, the key to building up trust with clients is through effective communication. And most advisors agree that just a handful of communication methods are effective, including in-person meetings, annual reviews and phone calls. RIAs also largely agree on what methods are least effective: webinars, podcasts and conference calls with the entire client base.
It is perhaps not surprising that this client-focused pattern carries over to marketing tools as well. Three in 10 RIAs surveyed report that client appreciation events are a very important marketing tool—twice the frequency of the next-most popular tools, namely seminars and newsletters (16% each). Most other tools on the list do not rank very highly in the opinion of RIAs. In fact, three-quarters of RIAs surveyed deem radio advertising (79%), online paid searches (78%), podcasts (77%) and direct mailings (74%) as largely not important tools in their marketing efforts.
The specific choices that RIAs make on any of these practice management decisions will, of necessity, depend on a firm’s situation. Much like an investment plan, the right strategy will vary based on an investor’s unique situation and long-term financial goals. But by reviewing the best practice of the industry and understanding how other RIAs approach these decisions, you can be that much closer to making the best choices for you.