As a business transformation expert , I help advisory firms achieve realistic growth, profitability, and workload goals.
To grow successfully, firms must decide to service less, off board clients, or hire additional staff. It seems unthinkable to lower services or off-board clients, but so does adding more staff just to manage unprofitable or not-fit clients. It is always better to manage a lean, profitable business and provide quality servicing, which leads to rewarding referrals. If you struggle with growth and servicing, the 4 exercises below will help you focus on clients that fit and what to do when they don’t.
Exercise 1: Chart your segments and answer the following questions for each:
- level of expertise you will provide
- level of expertise you need to have on staff (newbie, associate, CFP, CFA, CLU, ChFC, etc.)
- turn around response time to requests
- names of staff that will manage and service the client
- frequency of client review meetings
- frequency of client review calls
- minimum revenue you can afford to earn
- frequency of investment reporting
- frequency of investment rebalancing
- perks – birthday card, birthday call, holiday card, holiday gift
- invitation to client-only event
- frequency of email dripped newsletter
- content provided online (investments, planning, tax, insurance, etc information)
Exercise 2: Categorize each client into a client segment in your revenue tracking/billing system. For example, if Mr. and Mrs. Jane Smith are the Platinum client segment, enter Platinum into a Category Field in the billing system. Review a report of all clients, gross revenue, and category and seek opportunities to lower the workload by shedding clients or reducing client services.
Exercise 3: Write a script of resources (examples below) you could provide to not-fit clients. See if this makes you feel better about off boarding or lowering client servicing.
1. Script for not-a-fit clients that can’t afford your minimum fee and want planning help could be to provide them with an introduction to Facet Wealth, Personal Capital, Schwab Intelligent or another option.
2. Script for not-a-fit clients that can’t afford your fee and only want investment help could provide them with an introduction to RobinHood, Acorns, Vanguard or another online offering.
3. Script for not-a-fit clients that are time vampires could be to instruct them to contact their insurance carrier or provide them with the contact information for a local bank rep or retail custodian branch.
Exercise 4: Decide who to off-board and build a process to off-board them in a timely manner. Decide who will receive lower service and build a process to hold yourself accountable to lower servicing.
Whatever the outcome, you will realize that continually hiring new employees to service not-fit or over serviced clients can reduce compensation, cause soaring payroll expenses, and unknowingly replace current staff and business development with new staff training duties. For all these reasons and more , you should seek solutions that permanently improve your business.
Good luck growing your business!