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Insights | December 24, 2021

What are your clients saying about you?

For many of us this year, Christmas celebrations will be significantly more recognizable than last year’s video calls and distanced greetings. 

So when your clients get together with their family and friends and talk about the year they had, what happens if the conversation drifts toward inflation, or investing, or retirement? If a relative were to express frustration at their financial advisor’s recommendations or habits, what would one of your clients say in response?

We all know that most referral opportunities never come to fruition, so one of the best—and simplest—exercises you can do is to imagine in realistic terms what a typical client of yours might say about you in a casual conversation. 

Because a general, “Oh my advisor’s quite good, I’ve been with her for years,” can yield a very different response from:

“That’s too bad you’re having so many issues with your advisor. Mine works with mostly executives, so I find she picks up on things before I even think to ask her about them. It’s actually a whole program just for execs, which is great because I don’t have the kind of time to research this stuff.”


“Oh you’re thinking of selling the business! That’s exciting. A few months back our advisor took us through this succession checklist that was pretty eye-opening. I can get you a copy if you want, or I’m sure he’d be willing to give you a call to explain it.”

As you go through this thought experiment of sorts, ask yourself a couple of questions:

When your clients think of the benefits of working with you, is there anything that comes to mind that’s tangible?

Have the things that really make you different been properly communicated to your clients? 

If you’ve built into your practice tangible, memorable features, clients are simply more likely to talk about them. And that can make the difference between a referral and a lost opportunity.

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