December 18, 2012
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I regularly hear from advisors who’ve implemented an idea they’ve read in my newsletter or heard at one of my talks and want to share their results.
But I’ve seldom heard of an outcome as dramatic and immediate as the one obtained by an advisor who translated an investment of 20 minutes into $2 million in new assets.
Focusing on your top clients
Ready for the adventure of a lifetime?
Last year, seven advisors climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and experienced the adventure of a lifetime.
They did this to raise funds for Amani Children’s home in Tanzania; this four minute video describes their experience. The next Kilimanjaro climb will take place next August, for details and info on an upcoming information call, email firstname.lastname@example.org
The concept that I discussed at that talk was dead simple: All advisors know they should pay special attention to their top clients. The challenge is how to do this.
One solution is to learn from sophisticated sales organizations like IBM. If you’re the account manager for IBM with responsibility for a major bank, you’ll spend two months each year preparing a comprehensive, 200-page plan outlining how you’ve going to maximize opportunity with that customer.
Of course, advisors shouldn’t spend two months preparing a 200-page plan for even their largest and most important client. But in my talk I did propose that, for their top 10 to 20 clients, advisors invest 20 to 30 minutes to prepare a four-page plan.
And then I walked the audience through a four-page Client Opportunity Template, showing what that plan might look like.
Identifying key opportunities
The first three pages of the template contain 13 categories of information on the client, from unmet needs and hot buttons to contact preferences and their network of family members, close associates and professional advisors. This is intended to summarize all of the relevant information about key clients in one place.
The fourth page is where the focus shifts to action. On this page, advisors answer five questions about this top client:
- Key issues / problems / challenges in dealing with this client
- Key opportunities to add value to the client’s situation – how to drive their agenda
- Key business opportunities with this client – how to drive your agenda
- Top three priorities and goals with this client in the next 12 months
- Planned activities to achieve these goals
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