Tips and Tools to Deepen Client Communication By Beverly D. Flaxington, Principal The Collaborative for Brinker Capital

Financial advisory firms, like all businesses, need to find ways to continue to communicate effectively with their clients. Communicating on a regular basis requires many things:focus, time, and an ability to appeal to different people with different communication preferences.

What are some ways that advisors can establish a communication process that allows them to be consistent, and to deepen ongoing relationships? Here are six things to consider:

(1)    Have a plan. This seems obvious, but it means getting on a regular schedule. Do you have a schedule of meetings? Do you send a regular newsletter? Do you send check-in emails on a regular basis? How about periodic phone calls? Regularly scheduled events? It’s important, at the outset of the year and during each month and quarter, to have a plan for what you will do and when.

(2)    Think outside general investment information. Do you know enough about your clients to send more personal information? Information on a hobby, a trip they’d like to take, something that might help their young children save more effectively, etc.? Know your clients and deliver information that feels very specific to them.

(3)    Take the time to write a handwritten note or send what appears to be a personal email. Instead of doing everything en masse to all clients, carve some time each day to send personal notes of some sort, letting clients know you are thinking of them.

(4)    Make sure you are addressing adult learning principles; some people learn by written communication, some by verbal, some are more visual. Use a variety of mediums – have conference calls with clients, hold in-person meetings, share education and information at general events, and have one-to-one phone conversations that complement the written materials.

(5)    Commit to communication. This means from both a budgetary and personnel perspective. Make communicating well one of your firm’s goals. Seek input from clients – what is working, what isn’t, what else would they like to see? Create a menu of communications that clients can choose from so they feel they can control the kind and type of information they receive. Asking what they like is communication unto itself.

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