Facilitated and written by: Malcolm Kerr and Sara McLeish, EY
Sponsor introducing: Martyn Chappell, Dimensional
Headline finding 1:
Dimensional research shows that they majority of firms don’t like clients for referrals partly because they feel it is too pushy or inappropriate but client research shows that clients are happy to refer if asked. Firms that have a formal referral process reap the rewards. Client referrals are the best quality new business leads.
Headline finding 2:
Quality clients want to see quality websites - it is the front of the business and needs to be explicit in regarding what the firm does and also who the types of clients the firm is looking for. Many adviser websites do not fulfill this purpose.
Headline finding 3:
New client leads were not a challenge for many of the advisers around the table. The bigger challenges were:
a) Good quality leads
b) Scaling up to meet new demand (recruitment being the primary problem)
Headline finding 4:
Service propositions: there is a tendency to describe this as a list of things such as ‘frequency of meetings, documents sent etc’ and thereby fail to communicate the real value of ‘we will look after you’ and ‘we will put your mind at rest’. This is intangible and very hard to ommunicate, but is where the value lies.
Headline finding 5:
The challenge for many firms with a growth agenda is to build capacity. One of the most efficient ways of doing this is to move to a ‘client management team’ model where senior advisers pass some books (eg servicing) to junior advisers to free up time to focus on business development. Challenges with this model include recruitment as well as managing messages to clients. Any next steps?
A number of participants expressed interest in Dimensional’s workshops on referrals.