Normal Client Attrition Is A Fact Of Life But How Do You Handle Actions By Your Firm That Drives Them Away?

Thursday, February 28, 2013 07:02
Normal Client Attrition Is A Fact Of Life But How Do You Handle Actions By Your Firm That Drives Them Away?

Tags: Advisor businesses | business strategy | client retention

Client attrition happens. It just does. People move away, pass away, or move their accounts to family members or close friends who have become advisors, or move because of a divorce.
Most advisors accept this and realize they have to constantly be filling the pipeline to counter the small amount of shrinkage that naturally occurs in their books.
But when advisors lose clients because of an action by their firms, it’s quite another thing. Anger.
That’s the word for it.

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Headhunter Danny Sarch meets with advisors all over the country and hears horror stories about cross-selling and about managers who just don’t seem to care.
Many firms today have separate divisions that may offer credit services, mortgate-loan origination, or trust services.
They encourage—sometimes push—advisors to make these opportunities available to their clients.
Theoretically, it’s not a bad idea. Not offering such services could mean leaving a lot of money on the table.
But when the client has a bad experience in these other service areas, it reflects primarily on the advisor, not the firm.
The old days had their own horror stories. Firms would have designated days that advisors were supposed to show a specific new offering to their clients.
If the new product went down in value after it hit the market, it was not inconceivable to hear a manager say, ‘what do you care?’
Then there’s always the possibility that a competing firm will offer a better credit or mortgage rate or package and make taking advantage of that better rate conditional upon the client
moving his or her entire account.
Sarch says these are the times when advisors call him. How does your firm stack up in the consistency of its service offerings?
Even if you are part of a large RIA, do the ancillary services provided by your firm match the client experience you pride yourself in offering? At what point would you consider moving to another firm based on client experience?

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