10 Tips for Distinctive Client Service
|Distinctive client service separates you from everyone else who talks about professionalism but doesn’t deliver on it. Take action with these 10 tips from a recognized, distinctive financial professional.
Every financial advisor talks about client service. You may state that client service is one of your top priorities. You may even have a poster on your wall or mission statement that emphasizes how much you value client service.
I say, “So what?”
Clients don’t care about posters or mission statements. Your clients and prospects want to know what makes you distinctive. So be distinctive!
For example, one of my coaching clients, Mary, is very successful. In fact, she was just recognized by her clients for the excellent service she provides. Though it seems to come naturally to her, Mary was asked to prepare some comments on how she creates amazing client service for a panel presentation in Hilton Head, S.C. Hundreds of financial professionals aspiring to her level of success listened for nuggets that they could apply to their businesses to gain an edge over their competitors.
Here’s the list Mary presented at the meeting. Perhaps her tips—and my commentary on them—can help you develop a new level of distinction in your client service.
If you lack those skills, hire a business coach or accountability partner. You can learn from them.
To become distinctive, you may need to practice additional behaviors. The most important behavior is to become comfortable with silence.
What do I mean by that? You need to shut up and listen! God gave us two ears and one mouth to use in at least that proportion. Practice being Quakerly. I worked in Quaker environments for nine years. It took me that long to become comfortable with silence. One of my coaching clients, who speaks too often, recently went to a Quaker meeting as a homework assignment. You might want to try the experience, too. There is something magical about shared silence. It can build relationships and lead to sales.
For instance, in your business, just after you state your fees for services, you need to become silent. Just after you state your recommendation for that fund, you need to become silent. Why? Because the next person to speak becomes the buyer! If you fill the silence with awkward comments, or a feature or benefit dump, you will lose the sale. As soon as you become comfortable with silence, the prospect will speak and invest. I call this a Quaker close.
Here are some more familiar client service tips:
People buy chutzpah. We all have chutzpah. When you share chutzpah, people will be attracted to you. For instance, Mary is an introvert, and practicing chutzpah is difficult for her. She makes calls from a private place. She closes her office door, and her assistant does not interrupt her. Sometimes she sits under her table because, she says, “It feels safe there.” When she engages someone on the phone, she stands up and walks around her office. At other times she hangs from a pull-up bar in her office, using her headset, because it gives her energy over the phone. You can become that person with the light in their eyes who is actively listening to someone.
10. Host birthday lunches. Among her many marketing tactics, Mary hosts bimonthly birthday lunches at a nice restaurant. Clients need to RSVP and are invited to bring guests who must also RSVP. Her clients love the attention. Not only do these events build the ties that bind, but they also generate both referrals and review meetings. For Mary, these pleasant get-togethers are fun—and productive.
The bottom line? You can become distinctive by really examining how you serve others, writing down your service values, and acting on them. Mary has a list of her top five values on a dry-erase board in her office. She looks at it several times each day. It’s more than a reminder; it’s an affirmation. She tells all her clients and prospects, “Nobody provides better service than me,” and then she lives up to that claim daily. She cultivates relationships with accountants and attorneys. You can too. Do it with chutzpah!