Don't Let TMI Sabotage Your Client Relationships

Are you sabotaging your relationships with TMI?

Several years ago I had a good friend come to me for dating advice. This is a great guy – he’s friendly, he’s funny, he’s good looking, he has a great job. The problem was, he was never getting past the first date. So I asked him to describe to me what was happening. Now he is a super-confident guy. So often what would happen on the first date is he could see the long-term, as far as he was concerned, with this woman, and so he would start talking accordingly. He would be talking about marriage, about children, about where they might want to live, about careers and all of these aspects of life that she was nowhere near ready to dialog about. She was just looking to get to know him and see if this really was someone that she wanted to date a second time.Often that can be like us as advisors: we can be tempted to rush relationships because we see in our minds exactly where we want this relationship going. We see the end game. So, for instance, when we’re courting potential centers of influence or prospects who we want to have come on board with us as clients, we can be tempted to rush things. I want to encourage you to slow down.When we were working as an RIA, we calendared out the year, and we had four quarters of three months each. So for the first month of each quarter, we might send out a book to that center of influence. If they were leading a team, say with seven people working for them, we would find a good book about leadership – nothing to with us in our industry, but a book on leadership that might help them lead a team. If we had just brought on a new client who loved gardening, we might get them a subscription to Better Homes and Gardens, something that was going to be helpful to them on their terms, nothing pointing directly back to us.Related: Ruthless Advisors Succeed SoonerRelated: Advisors: How To Answer “What Do You Do?”We had other months, for instance like May where there is Memorial Day when we would send something appropriate for family members who had lost a loved one serving this country. November was Thanksgiving month, and instead of sending Christmas cards we would focus on sending a Thanksgiving card to that person just saying how thankful we were for having the opportunity to work with them.Then, of course, you’ve got the months where you want to send some financial information or some financial reminder, like December with year-end gifting and March, the end of the first quarter, obviously coming into tax season.

So we were always thinking about appropriate ways to connect with these people and just deepen the relationships.

  • Calendar out a year. Block it into four quarters, and for each of those [three] months, designate some way you’re going to reach out and connect with that center of influence, or that prospect, or that A client.
  • Follow through on doing that. If you need to plan ahead of time, for instance you have to read the book or you have to get the subscription, take care of that a month in advance so you can then confidently send that information out.
  • Send it out with a handwritten note, “Saw this and thinking of you. Thought you’d enjoy it.” Or obviously, if it’s more financial related, “Here are some things we need to be aware of this time of year.”
  • By the way, my friend is now more than dating: he has been with this one woman now for two years. They are talking about marriage and future plans. It’s super-exciting seeing where this is going for him. He’s just been patient, he’s taken his time, and he’s developed a wonderfully deep and meaningful relationship.I look forward to bringing you another Distraction-Proof Advisor Idea next week.