“My client hired another advisor for their business 401(k).”

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Question from a subscriber: “I’m stunned. One of my best clients who runs a business just hired another advisor to manage their 401k plan.”

I’ve heard iterations of this:

  • I’m a CPA and financial advisor, and my best tax return client just hired someone else to do their retirement planning.
  • I’m a CPA and financial advisor, and my best AUM client just hired someone else to do their tax return.
  • My client just referred their out-of-state best friend to an advisor in Alabama, even though I am also licensed in Alabama.
  • My client’s estate planning attorney said they should hire a fee-only advisor to manage their assets, and then they asked me if I charge fees or commissions.
  • The CPA that I send all my clients to recently interviewed my competitor for a podcast about Social Security tactics. I’m a Social Security expert.

Here’s one thing I’ve learned by having four kids under 10 years old:

Nobody else other than mom and dad knows your shoe size.

And so here’s the business lesson:

Do not expect the client, (even those who adore you) to track the nuances of your work:

1) All of the related services you provide outside of wealth management and financial planning

2) Who you work with

3) What you are licensed to do, and where

4) How you charge clients

5) Your specializations that do not pertain to them

You shouldn’t be in everybody’s face about what exactly it is that you do; but you should be one inch away from it.

They have to see it over and over again, not just once or twice.

Take this action TODAY:

  • In your email signature line underneath your email and phone, write a brief summary of all you do: “I provide financial plans, manage retirement portfolios, and prepare tax returns for clients. I am licensed to serve clients in Missouri, Indiana, and Texas. As a fiduciary, I charge 1% of your assets, and do not accept commissions.”
  • Do the same at the end of the newsletters and blogs you write. Make a list of 3-5 things and give it the title, “How I work with clients.” Make it visual by putting a picture of yourself with the 3-5 bullets next to it.
  • Clearly state, on your website home page, your home state and how you charge clients (flat fee, AUM, etc.)
  • Business owners can be clients for their personal wealth as well as the management of their company retirement plans. They also may refer their high-earning employees to you. Make sure that every single business owner client of yours knows all the ways you help, and even create some type of periodic publication where at the end you remind them of this.
  • Think about how to tactfully remind clients of this in your annual review meetings.

Sara’s upshot

It may seem over-the-top.

It’s not.

tasteful and brief reminder of what you do, repeated incessantly in key places, can increase referrals and new leads in the circles you frequent.

If you want to convert the people in your circle into new clients, show them the same message over and over again.

That’s the only way they’ll know your shoe size.



BOOM – there you go, today’s marketing tip for ya!

-Sara G


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