Are You Building a Harley Davidson Practice?

Advisor Perspectives welcomes guest contributions. The views presented here do not necessarily represent those of Advisor Perspectives.

Teresa Riccobuono

Harley Davidson is the only company I know of whose customers permanently tattoo its name on their body.

What is it that makes Harley Davidson customers want to show their support in this way?  Bad-boy image, reputation, quality products, exceptional service?

I'll bet you tell your clients and prospects that you offer quality products and exceptional service, so why don't your satisfied clients tattoo your company name on their body?

Okay, forget the tattoo.  Let's talk about how to create a true client advocate, someone eager to share their support of your company.

Creating client advocates

The best marketing activity you can engage in is taking exceptionally good care of your existing clients. In other words, being referable. You will hear me say this time and time again.

There are many things you can do that fall under the umbrella of “exceptionally good care.” Here are just two examples:

  1. Thoroughly prepare for review meetings. Go beyond the basics of reviewing portfolio performance and allocation, reviewing qualified accounts for beneficiary designations, reviewing insurance products, and taking care of required minimum distributions.

    In preparation for review meetings, you might:

  • Ask clients for their agenda items prior to the meeting, so you can be fully prepared to discuss them. Make sure you cover their agenda items first;

  • Add transfer-on-death (TOD) designations to nonqualified accounts where appropriate;

  • Update their family tree information. Are there new grandchildren?;

  • Check or Whether you find money for them or not, let them know you conducted a search;

  • Conduct a Google, LinkedIn and/or Facebook  search to find out what is going on in their life that they may not mention during the meeting;

  • Make sure your office and cell phone numbers are programmed into their cell phone. Let them know that they can call you any time they or a friend have a question;

  • Invite their CPA or attorney to the meeting if appropriate;

  • Make sure you have their favorite drink or snack on hand;

  • Offer to conduct an identity theft or emergency preparedness review for them.

  • Think about small “wow” opportunities. You might:

    • Send chicken soup to their home if they are sick;

    • Send a few prepared meals to their home if they are caring for an ailing friend or family member.  They are likely not taking care of themselves during this period of time;

    • Send a sympathy card signed by your team when a beloved pet passes on;

    • Send logo sweatshirts to the family when a child or grandchild has decided to attend a particular college;

    • Send a recently published book by their favorite author;

    • Send flowers on the one-year anniversary of the passing of a spouse with a note saying how much you miss their spouse;

    • Offer to get photographs of home furnishings, accessories, and collectables put on a flash drive or DVD for insurance purposes;

    • Contact the estate planning attorney's office to schedule their meeting while the client is at your office. This is one of those items that never seem to get accomplished, so take care of it right then and there.