I read this great article by Damian Davies and it got me thinking… in an environment where novelty is fast becoming the norm; how does an advisory business differentiate itself from the competition?
One thing RDR had done is to raise the bar on advisory firms. Now everyone is ‘fee based!’ Soon everybody will be chartered (well may be not everybody, and may be not soon but you get my drift!)
I saw this on Twitter (thanks to @MichaelKitces ) the other day, which suggest that the traditional values such as trust experience and reputation are no longer differentiators, they’re just minimums requirements for any professional.
So how does a firm set itself apart from the competition? I think one way to do this is by turning clients to fans! How do I mean? A client values what you do; a fan tells others how much they value what you do. A client is appreciative of your services; a fan is protective of your brand.
Well, how the hell do you do that then? I don’t know. But when marketing heads talk, I have learnt to put my pen to paper! So here are a few ideas I have penned down in the last few months on how to really wow clients.
- Surprise and Delight: Clients rarely brag about their annual reviews with you but they will brag about how you threw them a surprise wedding anniversary party! Or if you have their cars washed, if it’s dirty when they come in for an appointment? Or give them a ‘World’s Greatest…’ hat or sweater!
- Client Appreciation Events: This serves two main purposes 1) an opportunity to let clients know they’re valued by the business and 2) a chance for clients to meet each other.
- Prizes: The next time you hold an event, put a blurb on the invitation that says something like: “Every client who brings a new referral to this event will receive a …… “Bottles of wine, bbq grill sets, gift certificates, you name it. Sounds a bit cheeky? Yes, but it works, apparently
- Mourn with Them: Sounds like something you’d read in a Bible. (It is!) Clients go through bad times too! Bereavements, ending of a relationship, serious ill-heath…. the idea being if they know you’ll support them (and other like them) in bad times; they are far less likely to leave in good times. And when a client’s friend goes through a rough patch, guess who the client’s going to recommend?
- Intimate Social Events: Fishing, golfing, shooting (birds, not people!) and for the ladies, a cooking class, a pedicure party, or a wine tasting (no pun intended). These are all good ways to get a small group of people together, ideally getting clients to invite their own friends.
- Show That You Deal With People Like Them: Case studies of clients you’ve helped are a great way of doing this. Short videos of clients talking about how you have helped them is even better.
- Story Boards: This is a great idea; a board in the meeting room with pictures, testimonials and ‘thank you’ notes you have received from clients.
- A Website That Resonate With Clients. Nuff said!
- Celebrate Every Referral, regardless of the quality! Reward good behaviour
- Branded Chocolates/Sweets in the office
What are you doing in your business to wow clients? Love to know.