Do clients really understand the value your advice provides? Here are 5 ways to make sure they do.
One of the most effective and affordable ways to grow your business is to demonstrate your value through relationship-based marketing.
Unlike traditional marketing like mailouts or brochures that rely on pushing out information to drive sales, relationship-based marketing aims to create long-term engagement through setting up positive emotional connections with clients. Relationship-based marketing allows you to spread the word about what you do and engage potential clients, as well as strengthening relationships with your existing clients.
1. Understand what value means to each client
As the Financial Planning Association points out, advice can have both tangible and intangible value. Your clients may experience tangible value through:
- saving money on their tax
- enjoying cheaper insurance premiums
- building wealth through more consistent investment returns.
Intangible value may be hard to quantify, but it’s no less important. It’s the peace of mind factor for clients: knowing they have adequate insurance or their super is sorted out, and that a professional is helping them to manage their money.
Obviously, what your clients perceive as the most valuable aspect of your advice will depend on their particular situation. Younger clients may appreciate you getting them started on the right foot financially. On the other hand, a client who is approaching retirement but has procrastinated about their finances for years will value your ability to help them to finally take action.
So make sure your marketing demonstrates both the tangible and intangible value of your advice – and that it speaks to your target audience. This may mean tailoring your marketing depending on who you’re trying to reach.
2. Get out into the world
One of the best ways to create an emotional connection with clients is in person. So seek ways where you can connect face to face. To meet with prospective clients, this could mean:
- attending networking events
- building more professional alliances that will provide you with a way to meet new clients that match your value proposition
- getting involved in community groups that are aligned with your values
- running investment education programs through seminars
- taking on public speaking opportunities to talk about a subject that you’re passionate and knowledgeable about.
Don’t forget to nurture your connections with existing clients either. This can be done through:
- celebrating and marking important milestones or anniversaries
- creating your own networking event and inviting your clients to join.
3. Get social
Social media is an ideal medium to create an ongoing relationship with your clients and build your credibility.
More and more Australians regularly use social media, with 62 per cent of people visiting social media sites daily such as Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. One in four use social media to research products and services of interest and more than 44 per cent are following favourable businesses or brands via these networks.
Create a social media strategy that’s part of your overall marketing strategy and use it consistently. Make sure you build a presence on sites where your target clients are mostly likely to be: such as LinkedIn for business people, or Instagram for consumers.
Ensure your posts are relevant and engaging and showcase your expertise. Share educational content on popular topics such as managing debt or building wealth, or provide video testimonials from satisfied clients. Or consider setting up a LinkedIn or Facebook group for clients to share topics of interest and ask questions, adding greater value for potential and existing clients.
4. Make your words matter
Whether you’re flicking someone an email, sending a reminder text, creating a monthly newsletter, or building an ongoing communications strategy, each communication helps strengthen your relationship with your client. So make each communication an effective one.
Before you start, consider:
- your audience
- your key message
- what you want them to do – the call to action
- the platform you’re communicating through – email, text, online or letter.
Remember, the more specific you can be with your communications, the better results you’ll achieve.
5. Sharpen your communication skills
As in any relationship, your ability to communicate effectively is essential – especially when it comes to retaining customers. So make sure both your written and verbal communications are respectful, timely and to the point.
When communicating face to face, be sure to actively listen. Ask questions that help you build an understanding of what your client truly wants and needs. Be curious about what they think and consider how you can use the information they provide to benefit the client. And be sure to always clarify and check what they mean so you can be sure that you and your client are on the same page.
 Financial Planning Association blog, Show me the value! October 2014: https://fpa.com.au/blog/show-value/
 Sensis 2018 Yellow Social Media Report: https://www.yellow.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Yellow-Social-Media-Report-2018-Consumer.pdf
This publication is current as at 14 January 2019, and has been prepared by BT - Part of Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 AFSL 233714 (‘BTFG’), which is part of the Westpac group of companies (Westpac Group). This document has been prepared for the information of financial advisers only and must not be copied, used, reproduced or otherwise distributed or made available to any retail client or third party, or attributed to BT or any other company in the Westpac Group.
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