If you are a financial advisor trying to grow your practice, Dean Thurman, Senior Partner of InvestWise Financial and Co-Founder of White Glove, has a few growth hacks for you.
While many advisors were down in revenue during 2020, Dean’s office showed a 5% increase. So far in 2021, Dean’s office is showing 53% revenue growth.
Dean attributes much of his success to these 7 growth hacks that his office has put into place over the last few years.
7 Growth Hacks to Grow Your Practice:
1. Invest In Marketing
“If you want to grow, you need to invest at least 10% of your top-line revenue back into marketing and nurturing your own clients,” Dean explains. InvestWise Financial uses a mixture of client appreciation events, marketing technology platforms, workshops and more to nurture prospects and engage their current customer base. “Our whole office is up about 50% in revenue, and that is from investing 10% into marketing year after year,” says Dean.
2. The Virtual Greeter
Many offices have a professional who greets their clients as they enter the lobby – someone to warm up clients, make sure they are comfortable, and ensure they have everything they need to get started. Dean’s firm implemented a simple, yet highly effective process to enhance the virtual meeting. They would have a member of their team join the meeting with the client early, spend a few minutes checking the sound and video technology, then warmly chat with the client as they would in the lobby. By doing so, the awkward technology malfunction conversation was already complete, and the client was ready to discuss business. This also allows for the client to get comfortable in the virtual setting, without the stress of the meeting being already underway.
3. Preview to the Review
It is important that you take a step back and spend 15-20 minutes previewing each client’s account prior to an appointment. “Many times, client reviews happen on the fly. Big mistake! Not only are you hurting your client, but you are missing out on opportunities when you aren’t prepared,” Dean explains. Dean suggests that you carve out time the week before an appointment to preview the account, talk through ideas with a co-planner, and be prepared to address new opportunities that you may not have had the meeting prior.
4. The Dedicated Appointment Setter
Over 30 years in the business, Dean had always been setting appointments the same way. The administrative staff would reach out to clients and attempt to schedule appointments on the advisor’s calendar. However, if you are like most top producing advisors, your staff is busy. When asking your team to take on this additional task, even with the best of intentions, there is conflict. By having your administrator contact clients, every appointment they book would results in more work for them. Therefore, by bringing in a part-time friend or family member whose sole purpose is to book appointments for you, the dynamic of that role shifts tremendously. It may sound simple, but this small tweak in your process could lead to a huge increase of appointments on your calendar.
5. The Family Estate Organizer
The Family Estate Organizer is a great way to build relationships with your clients outside of financial conversations. This organizer can include sections for private letters, important dates to remember, personal memory pages, and so forth. With these organizers, you have the ability to create special bonds with your clients, which can lead to more referrals and generational clients.
6. Client Appreciation Events
When you create close relationships, those relationships can lead to referrals. According to Dean, the most successful client appreciation event that his office has hosted was at the zoo. “We rented out the zoo and told our clients to bring their children and grandchildren,” Dean said. On average, each family who showed up consisted of 5 people: the clients, their adult children, and their grandchildren. This allowed Dean to create new relationships with the next generation of investors, leaving with warm relationships and potential new clients.
7. Red. Yellow. Green.
If you don’t meet with all your clients regularly, you could be leaving money on the table. Dean estimates that 20% of an advisor’s book of business is unintentionally underserved. He suggests categorizing your clients into red, yellow and green groups. Red clients are the clients you have not met with in over 24 months and need to salvage the relationship with. Yellow clients are those who you have met with between the last 12 and 24 months, and you should reach out to immediately. Green clients are those you have met with in the last 12 months, and you should continue meeting with them as normal. By recognizing underserved clients right in your own book of business, your have an opportunity for growth without having to start from scratch.
To listen to an in-depth discussion about these 7 growth hacks, check out Dean’s presentation here: How to Effectively Host a Client Prospecting Workshop