It’s day 12 of the Time Mastery Challenge. Welcome back.
We’re focusing during this part of the program client care. We started by trimming your book. I gave you an assignment, fire at least one client and, hopefully, that’s propelled you to think about those other clients that you really should be getting rid of. Then we started talking about defining your ultimate client relationship, those clients upon which you have built your business, whether you’ve thought about it or not, and hopefully that you’ll build your business upon further as you continue to grow.
More specifically, two days ago, I asked you to define your ultimate client relationship, to count the number of ultimate clients that you currently serve, and to define your service commitment to your ultimate clients. How will you interact with them? How often will you meet with them? How often will you speak with them? Invite them to events? Send them other communications. It’s important to understand those things as it relates to your ultimate client relationships.
Yesterday, I asked you to then count the number of “other” clients you currently serve whether they’re “B” clients that may have the potential to become ultimate clients, maybe they’re even some of your idea clients today. How many family and friends and strategic relationships do you have that don’t fit into that top tier, but you need to maintain them anyway? And then how many clients do you have who you probably shouldn’t have, maybe those are the folks that you’ll get rid of or fire next. And then I suggested thinking about how much time you need to allocate to your other client. It’s probably a different amount of time, different activities than you’ll allocate to your ultimate clients.
Today, I want to bring that together.
So, at this point, you should know how many clients you serve…ultimate clients and other clients…and the activities that are required to live up to your service commitments.
I can’t stress that phrase enough, “live up to your service commitments”.
If you decided to bring someone on and keep them as a client, no matter how big or how small, you have made a commitment that you need to stick with. When you don’t, you’re running the risk of damaging your reputation by not doing what you say and not taking care of people the way that you should.
At this point you know: 1) how many clients you serve, and 2) the activities that are required to live up to your service commitments.
Now, I want to talk about two big fat lies that relate to the service commitments that you make to your clients. I can’t tell you how often I talk to advisors who say, “My service commitment is really easy, I do four quarterly reviews a year.” And then I’ll take that question a step further and ask what percentage of their clients are you actually doing four quarterly reviews.
And it’s really, really low.
In fact, when you look further into that question, oftentimes the reason that those four quarterly reviews aren’t being done is the clients don’t want them. They aren’t finding value in them. So, if you’re building your service model around what you would consider to be an industry standard or something that you think you’re supposed to do, that’s just not true. Four quarterly reviews isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. We’ll talk more about this in a minute.
The other big fat lie relates to frequency of communication. I’ll ask advisors, “How often do you talk to your clients?” The most frequent response is “at least once a month”. And then we’ll do an audit, we’ll actually count the number of communications that are happening with clients, especially top clients, and we’ll find the numbers really don’t match up to monthly.
You can’t take your service commitment for granted.
You can’t just fall into these big fat lies that the industry says are things that you should be doing when, in realty, you aren’t really doing them. Plus, they may not really make a difference to your clients. They don’t really help you build that relationship and for the purposes of what we’re talking about during this program, they’re ways of distracting you from doing the things that matter most…
…and having control over your time.
I have a solution. I’m going to show you what that solution is now and I want you to act on it as your assignment from today’s lesson.
I want you to create your client care formula.
What do I mean by client care formula?
One of the first places I ever saw this concept in action was in a book called The Supernova Advisor by Rob Knapp…great book. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it. In that book, Rob recommends a client care formula to advisors who adopt his model. He calls it the 12 – 4 – 2 method. It simply means that you’re going to dedicate one hour each month to every client that you choose to keep. You’re going to speak with your clients 12 times a year. Of those 12 conversations, four are going to be reviews and two of the reviews are going to be in-person. That leaves eight touch base phone calls.
So, that’s 12-4-2.
It’s a big commitment and it doesn’t apply to every practice but it’s a great model to be thinking about when you’re thinking about your own client care formula.
Quite often, when I’m helping my clients adopt or adjust or create a client care formula, I’ll start with 6-2-1 example, it’s a derivation of the 12-4-2 model. It simply means you will speak with your clients at least 6 times a year. No more than 60 days goes by where your clients won’t hear from you. 2 of those 6 communications will be reviews and one of those reviews will be in-person. More and more, advisors are doing fewer reviews in person and doing more over the phone or webinar type services like GoToMeeting.
So, 6-2-1 is another formula.
For those of you who are really committed to those four communications per year but realize four thorough reviews aren’t what your clients really want, 4-1 might work. You simply say I’m going to speak with my clients at least once a quarter and once a year I’ll meet with them in-person to do a thorough review. Or, I’ll talk to them four times a year over the telephone and one of those conversations will be a review done over the phone.
There are a lot of ways to create these formulas.
Another one, that a client of mine created, is called 12-4-4-4.
He simply wanted his clients to know that they were going to hear from him in some way shape or form every month of the year. Four times it was going to be possible through a personal email. Another four times it was going to be through a touch base telephone call. And the other four would be reviews, and depending on where his client lived, some or all of those reviews would be done in-person. A big service commitment. He’s working with a relatively small number of clients so that really worked for him.
But think about it, what could your formula look like?
After you’ve done the digging determining how many ultimate you work with, how many other clients you work with, how would you create a formula for your client communication? You might have to a couple of formulas if you have different types of clients and that’s okay.
I’m going to show you how to plug this in your ideal day, your ideal month tomorrow. Right now, I just want you to be thinking about what that formula looks like for you?
I also have clients who use a first week of the month routine. Clients who use this formula basically say they’re going to dedicate every part they’re working week, during the first week of the month, to reaching out to all their clients or at least all of their ultimate clients. So, it just might be simply running through a list of clients, top clients, calling them until you’ve dialed all of them, either speaking with them or leaving them a message and letting them know that you called. And then building in reviews as needed. It’s a little less formulaic. It’s a little less certain in terms of helping your clients understand what it is they’re going to get. But I wanted to mention it because it is another way of thinking about your client care formula, your client care routine. You essentially say, “I’m going to dedicate the first week of every month to make sure that we talk to or try to talk to all of our clients.”
Today, your assignment is to come up with your own client care formula.
What’s your formula going to be for taking care of your clients? You should ensure, based on the amount of time you dedicate to your clients, they will receive the service commitment that you have made to them. This will maintain your reputation as a top-notch advisor and will ensure that your clients stay with you forever and give you high quality referrals.
All with the idea of mastering your time, gaining control of your time.
Okay. I hope that helps. Work on that formula tonight and we’ll pick it back up from there tomorrow. Thanks for listening.