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Advisors Lose up to 90% of Their Clients When the Husband Dies: What’s Your Plan?


Advisors Lose up to 90% of Their Clients When the Husband Dies: What's Your Plan?

“You share that one firm is losing up to 98% of their clients at the death of the first spouse.  What are the steps you recommend for an effective client retention strategy?”

A client retention strategy is critical whether you are an advisor, consultant or entrepreneur.  Industry statistics and our own research shows that advisory firms lose up to 90% of their clients when the husband dies.  One financial firm is losing 98% of their clients at the death of the first spouse.

Let’s begin with a story that is an excellent example of an effective retention strategy.

Recently, while in Palo Alto, CA,  I stayed  at the Hilton Hotel.

Upon checking into my room, I noticed a card on the desk that stated:

100% Satisfaction Guaranteed:

It is our promise to ensure that you are
100% Satisfied!
If you experience anything that is unsatisfactory,
please bring it to our attention so that we may correct it!

I was impressed…but it got better.

I had to get some supplies for my event. Paul drove me to the store.  During our ride, he asked what brought me to San Jose.  I explained that I was in town for a business meeting and that my family was arriving the next day to meet me.  I shared that we were going to a Giants baseball game and then touring Stanford as my older son wants to play baseball and attend Stanford.  I mentioned that it was my younger sons birthday and that while he enjoys baseball, he would rather go to a football game.  He asked which football teams he likes and how old he was going to be.

When I went to check out, there was a gift with a card addressed to my son that said Happy 10thBirthday.  Inside the package was a Wilson® NFL Super Grip football.

I was speechless.


Do you think I will ever stay at a Hilton again?

This story is a perfect example of how to effectively retain clients.

Let’s review the three critical steps.

1. Ask & listen

Possibly the most important habit you can develop is the skill of asking open ended questions.  These questions need to be designed to provide you the insight you need to find, identify and retain your ideal clients.  The secret to accessing the insight you need is to listen so you can identify their expectations, goals and dreams.

2. Stand out and make an impact

Whether you are an entrepreneur, independent rep or any type of service provider, you need to stand out, get noticed and make an impact.  Instead of doing what is required do the unexpected.  Find out about your ideal client and then deliver more than they expect.

3. Deliver an experience that people love, remember and want to share

How many people do you think I shared this story with?  How many did my son?  The free advertising Hilton received from this act of kindness was priceless. And while I do not believe it was to promote their brand, it did.

By taking the time to get to really know your clients you can’t help but deliver an experience they will love, remember and share with everyone!

If you follow those 3 simple steps, you will be light years ahead of the competition.  You will also have a great client retention strategy.

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