Long before the financial regulators thought it was important, I was making annual service calls on all my clients – even 30 years ago – whether or not there was business to be had from the call. This was a routine and often an appointment went into the diary a year ahead.
Surely we all have obligations to clients who seek advice from us?
What I have learned from early on is that treating clients with respect and care is far more profitable that many advisers realise.
Recently I went to Surrey to see a client to update her investments and check that she is happy; “good”, she said, “when I made the appointment, and my brother needs help. Can you see him whilst you are here?”
“Of course”, I said.
I recall that I did meet her brother some years ago. It had been brief and I had helped him with a fairly small investment; but he didn’t need my service after that and I had no further contact.
It seems that he felt he’d learned all he needed from me and would manage the rest of his investments that he hadn’t disclosed to me. Sadly that was a bit of a disaster and, whilst the investment that I set up was doing well, his own effort was losing him money. So, he asked, could he now be a client again and would I manage all his investments?
Delighted, we are now working on this and a return visit to the South East is planned.
But, as if that wasn’t enough to make my day, they then said that they had another relative needing advice and help with investments and, after all their experiences with my advice and the results, they hoped I would also see her on my next visit.
For me that is what makes this work so very satisfying
Too many advisers spend too much time on just prospecting or screening for the ‘most profitable’ clients. This client was not expected to earn me a penny but the outcome was much more than I had expected – my clients trusts me and that trust builds my business.