It’s no secret that the most significant wealth transfer in history will be taking place over the next few decades. An estimated $70 trillion is expected to be handed over, and advisors might lose 90% of their clients. Developing a relationship with your clients’ adult children before the age of 35 is crucial. After all, one-third of affluent investors meet their financial advisor before that milestone.
But where can you start making an impact that will lead to a lifelong client-advisor relationship? Read on to learn how to build long lasting relationships with customers and their adult children.
How to Build Long Lasting Relationships with Customers and their Adult Children
Maintaining wealth throughout the generations has proven to be difficult; 70% of families lose it by the second generation, with a whopping 90% by the third. If you were to ask your clients how they’d feel about everything they’ve built disappearing over the next several decades or so, they’re not going to be so pleased.
What you can do is educate your clients on the importance of including their children in the financial conversation from time to time. But where do you go from there? Here’s how you can make the jump from the introduction to their life-long advisor.
Develop a relationship before the wealth transfer.
The relationship between adult children and their parents is unpredictable. Unless you’re privy to the dynamic, you have no idea what’s going on beneath the surface. Some children may be resentful of their parents’ choices. After receiving an inheritance, the last person they’d want to hear from may be someone they deem to be in authority or in control of their parents’ financial decisions.
It’s crucial to establish your care and intent early on. The best way to do this is by asking your clients to include their children in a family meeting and follow up with them one-on-one. Their children need to understand you aren’t here to lecture them about finances but rather to guide them through their questions and decision-making processes and help them see the possibility of their financial choices.
Care about what they care about.
Once you’ve established an introduction with your client’s adult children, it’s important to keep note of topics of interest that come up in conversation. Finances are often very personal, so getting personal with your clients is a given. When you’re working with 20+ clients, it can be hard to keep all their children’s interests straight. That’s why investing in a CRM (customer relationship management) system is crucial, so you can keep notes that you can review before any meeting or phone call.
Have they mentioned their dog? Ask about them from time to time.
Are they curious about crypto? Send them interesting articles to read that you might come across.
The key to how to build long lasting relationships with customers lies in taking a personal interest and not presenting yourself as just your parents’ advisor, they can get to know you better. After all, people work with people they like, know, and trust.
Don’t be pushy, be present.
The truth is, your clients’ children might not be ready to meet with an advisor – and that’s okay. Instead of pushing for an in-person meeting with follow-up emails and phone calls, just simply be present.
And we don’t mean showing up at their home or workplace to remind them you’re around. Here are some ways you can be present and stay top-of-mind. That way, when they’re ready, they’ll already have a financial advisor they know they can reach out to.
- Connect with them on social media.
- Include them in your monthly e-newsetter.
- Invite them out to any client appreciation events or seminars.
- Send birthday, holiday, and special occasion cards. The key is to write them yourself! They’ll know when it comes from someone authentic or someone’s assistant.
- Set aside $5 a year for a pop-by gift to surprise them. The key is to avoid doing this around the holidays when they’ll be receiving cards and gifts from many friends, family, and other businesses. Instead, dropping off some seeds because the signs of spring have finally arrived or some local honey may just sweeten your reputation.
Implement a soundproof follow-up system.
As you work in your business, you should be adapting to your client’s communication style. This shows that you’re listening instead of assuming. If you have a busy client that prefers to be hands-off and meet with you for updates bi-annually, you’re not going to inundate them with phone calls for a monthly meeting. Instead, you may want to send monthly email updates without expecting a response and wait to connect at their convenience. They’ll appreciate you making an effort to keep them in the loop while respecting their time.
Think of your client’s children the same. They may not be ready to speak with an advisor to plan their own future, or they may be eager and hungry to learn more. This is where a CRM comes in handy. You can’t be expected to fill up your personal calendar with detailed reminders.
You can add tasks to each contact card, as well as notes, to remind you to connect instead of letting it slip through the cracks. Just remember to tailor your follow-up planning according to their communication style. If they prefer texts or phone calls, but you aren’t there yet, you may need to adapt!
The number one thing to remember about how to build long lasting relationships with customers and their adult children is this: it’s okay not to like your clients’ children. They may not be aligned with how you do business, and that’s okay. Your job isn’t to change them – it’s to be there to help guide anyone through the decision-making process when they’re open to listening. After all – you’re an advisor, not a salesperson.
How to Build Long Lasting Relationships with Customers and their Adult Children: Final thoughts
Do you feel like your time is already stretched too thin to begin thinking about connecting with your client’s adult children? Well, you’re in the right place. At Leading Advisor, we help experienced financial advisors discover they can earn more profit while working less hours. Find out how you can transform the way you do business and get in touch with us.