Connecting Marketing and Planning to Create a Sticky Client Journey
• Erin Voisin • May 19, 2021
The client journey is the backbone of business development. If you want to convert prospects into clients and then keep them, every step of the client journey—from their first exposure to your brand to your yearly check-in’s—must be designed to impress and delight.
A well-built experience makes the client relationship not just easier to forge, but also sticky. At EP Wealth Advisors, our holistic planning offerings are a big part of what attracts and retains clients, but we also set ourselves apart by creating a client experience that proves value from start to finish.
Taking a Multichannel Approach
EP Wealth takes a multichannel approach to attracting prospects by cultivating multiple points of entry into our client journey.
Like many firms, most of our leads come through referrals. Our partnerships with custodians like TD Ameritrade, Charles Schwab, and Fidelity are key lead drivers, as well as word-of-mouth referrals from clients. But in our aim to become a nationally recognized RIA, we take our marketing a step further.
Our more traditional referral channels run parallel to a larger digital marketing strategy led by our marketing team. In partnership with an outside agency, the team drives leads to our website through digital marketing methods like search engine optimization and digital advertising.
Once a visitor reaches our site, they have a wide range of educational content to engage with. Blog posts, white papers, and videos increase our visibility online while showcasing our service offerings and establishing thought leadership. Ultimately, this converts website visitors into leads.
Showing How We Meet Niche Needs
Showing is better than telling—and we utilize that principle in our in-person (and now digital) meetings with potential clients.
When our advisors first meet with a prospect, we provide an informational packet that outlines our offerings, the planning process, how our personalized client website works, and a one-pager detailing how we compare to competitors.
We also utilize case studies that walk through sample client cases. We’re currently building out case studies tailored to specific situations, such as executive accounts or divorcees. This proves to niche prospects that we understand the nuances of their situation and how to meet their goals.
Showing the prospect these tangibles makes the planning process seem more real. But we don’t stop there.
Giving Prospects a Taste of the Experience
One of the most effective ways we convert leads into clients is by giving them a taste of the client experience upfront.
During the first meeting, our advisors often demo our personalized client website populated with sample client data. The prospect can see the reports they can access, how easily they can upload documentation, and how they can access action items on-demand.
This client website demo is more effective than the static packet alone. It gets prospects excited about the planning process. As an added bonus, when they begin onboarding, expectations are already set. They know exactly what they’re going to get and what to do next.
We want prospects to walk away from this meeting with one takeaway: EP Wealth doesn’t just know how to sell the planning process—we know how to execute.
Keeping Everyone Accountable
Once we onboard a new client, we provide a list of action items to ensure that the client and advisor can collaborate on the next steps efficiently.
All action items are readily available and highlighted on each client’s personalized client website. This easily accessible experience is essential. The client knows exactly what they need to do and can access that information all in one location. On the planning side, it helps the advisor follow up and assist clients with any financial decisions that need to be made quickly.
The list of action items is a big part of what makes the relationship sticky—it keeps everyone accountable. We’re not just telling them what to do and “We’ll see you next year.” It positions us as partners and their natural first call when they have questions.
Deepening Relationships Through Education
Once a client is engaged in the planning process, we continue deepening the relationship through educational content.
EP Wealth hosts a client education series every other month where our experts dive into a specific financial topic, such as retirement. Throughout the year, we pepper in some seminars that reflect on the state of the market and provide guidance on timely topics, such as cryptocurrency or GameStop. In between these more informative events, we also bring on guest speakers to focus on specific hobbies that enrich our client’s lives, like cooking or gardening.
By providing education outside of the planning process, clients receive more of the expertise and experiences that justify our fees.
Adding Value, Always
Ultimately, your client’s journey should always focus on their financial plan and goals. If you frame their journey around ROI or portfolio performance, you’re setting yourself up for a short-term relationship.
When you truly understand a client’s needs and goals, you can give them the tools they need to thrive—both financially and personally.
I recently participated on a panel in an eMoney webinar discussing EP Wealth’s client journey. Watch the webinar to hear our in-depth discussion on how EP Wealth and other firms align planning and marketing efforts to build a sticky client journey.
DISCLAIMER: The eMoney Advisor Blog is meant as an educational and informative resource for financial professionals and individuals alike. It is not meant to be, and should not be taken as financial, legal, tax or other professional advice. Those seeking professional advice may do so by consulting with a professional advisor. eMoney Advisor will not be liable for any actions you may take based on the content of this blog.
The views and opinions expressed by this blog post guest are solely those of the guest and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of eMoney Advisor, LLC. eMoney Advisor is not responsible for the content, views or opinions presented by our guest, nor may eMoney Advisor be held liable for any actions taken by you based on the content, views or opinions of the guest.
Any opinions are those of Erin Voisin and not necessarily those of EP Wealth.
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