Your most powerful, yet overlooked marketing tool – client portfolio reviews

Portfolio reviews can be a great marketing tool if you know how to go about it.
Here’s a conversation I had with one of my clients. He describes how he’s been successfully getting more clients with this strategy. Read it to learn how you to can get more profitable clients without even prospecting.

Mike was excited! I had been business coaching Mike for a few months and he had been applying my recommendation to use his regular portfolio reviews as a marketing tool.

“This is really great,” said Mike. “I’m getting additional assets from present clients. I’m also getting more referrals, good referrals, the kind I want. I’m beginning to build a nice book of ideal clients.

“I used to have a vague idea that new business could come from my portfolio reviews, but usually not much happened. Now that I’m doing it with a marketing mindset and following a written process that has memory joggers to help me zero in on the sales opportunities, my business is really taking off.

“The best part is this doesn’t feel like prospecting. You know, going to network meetings, giving my elevator conversation, getting business cards and following up. That’s hard work and is extra work. I have to do hardly any of that now.”

“That’s great to hear,” I chuckled. What’s working best in your new system?”

“Well, there’s a lot that works great. Using this system, I’m getting a lot of ideas on improving my services. I know exactly what my clients want. I’m getting a feeling my clients are going to stay with me for life and won’t get stolen by someone giving them a second opinion

“Speaking of second opinions, I was able give a second opinion about a client’s assets and captured $43 million. That was just yesterday.

“What I really like about the system is I don’t forget to have a referral conversation. As a result I’m getting more referrals and better referrals.

“I like the way you had me set it up so at the very beginning, when I explain what was going to happen during our portfolio review, I tell them I’ll be asking for referrals. Of course I don’t say it that way. Instead, I do like you suggested, and say something like, ‘we’ll discuss if anyone you know could benefit from my services like you do.’ This commits me to hold a referral conversation at the end.”

“Yes it’s nice to have a system,” I replied. “That way you practice the same thing and each time you get better.”

“You’re right,” said Mike. “Doing things randomly in bits and pieces just doesn’t do much. When you do all the steps in the right order, it’s almost like magic.”

I thought I’d test how well Mike knew this portfolio review marketing system and asked, “Can you tell me the steps by heart, without your written outline?”

“Let’s see, there’s the introduction where I tell them what’s going to happen. Then I warm things up by congratulating them for any birth days, anniversaries or rewards they may have received.

“Then I tell them, or remind them, I want to earn their lifelong business. This goes over well because it’s so true. At this point I ask how I can improve my business. I actually invite criticism, although it goes against my nature. I do it anyway because it’s so helpful. They get something off their chest that might harm our relationship and I know what to fix.

“Then I d also do the actual business of reviewing their portfolio, constantly checking for understanding and agreement. I avoid using technical terms as much as possible.

“Then I might inquire if they have other assets held by other advisors and would like my second opinion whether their assets were on the right track.

“Nearing the end I have what is called a value conversation. I simply ask what is the most valuable thing they got out of our session or what did they find the most useful, or what new thing did they learn. I realize this reminds them of my value and fixes it in their mind. I was surprised to find it also helps me. It reassures me and builds my own confidence.

“Anyhow, now that they’re all warmed up and feeling positive about me and my services, I say, ‘I promised to help your friends and people you know with their financial issues or questions, my treat, no charge. Anyone come to mind? Anybody at work, for instance. How about your relatives?

“I remember to do it like you said, with a light touch. I’m not asking for anything, I’m offering something of value. I don’t really expect them to come up with a name right then. Referrals happen on their time, not mine. I’m planting seeds. I want to be top of mind.

“I always leave them feeling good. I never show any disappointment that they did not give me a name right then and there. Then we arrange a time for next review.

“That’s about it. I think I got all.”

“Yes, I think you did,” I replied.

“Of course is a lot easier when I can use an outline instead of totally relying on my memory. I simply have my outline among my notes and check off each item as it’s completed. I look professional and organized to my client. I feel professional and organized.”

“Yes, it’s just a matter of rinse and repeat,” I commented.

“Years ago I used to hear that giving super service to your best clients is the best way to market. So I just tried to give super service to all my clients, but it didn’t produce enough new business. It was only by marrying my portfolio reviews with a marketing/selling system that I started getting a steady flow of more profitable clients.”

Mike continued using portfolio reviews as a marketing/selling tool. He got more skillful at it and his business began to take off.

I’d love to hear what your experiences using portfolio reviews. Do you get a lot of new business from it? You have some ideas to make the portfolio review produce even better results? I’d love to hear from you.

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