By: Abby Salameh, Chief Marketing Officer
Published June 28, 2017
As I entered the lovely Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Washington, DC, I immediately ran into Sterling Shea, Head of Advisory and Wealth Management Programs at Barron’s. He and I reminisced briefly about the origins of the Barron’s conferences which stemmed from a conversation we had a decade ago when I was still running marketing for TD Ameritrade Institutional Services. At that time, Barron’s had not done any advisor rankings, and an advisor conference division was furthest from his mind. He thanked me, as he does every time I see him, for being the first supporter of the advisor rankings which ultimately translated into a new growth opportunity for both him and for Barron’s.
I was in town this time to participate as moderator for a panel of top independent woman advisors at the second annual Barron’s Top Independent Women Advisor Summit. Specifically, my panel, comprised of Brenda Bliske, Spire Wealth Management; Kimberlee Orth, Ameriprise and Elizabeth Genter, Schenley Capital, was focused on increasing client engagement to drive additional referrals from existing clients. Certainly, this is a topic in my wheelhouse. While preparing for the session, I did my homework and was somewhat surprised at what I found. It seems that advisors are generating much less business growth from their existing clients than traditionally expected. In fact, according to the Investment News 2016 Financial Performance Study, only 1.8% of growth came from client referrals. My job was to showcase strategies advisors can use to jumpstart that number.
Driving Growth from Existing Clients: Key Takeaways
- There are three key moments to ask clients for referrals
- When the client compliments you for something you have done
- When you have done something for your client and they thank you
- When you have an intimate gathering to celebrate a milestone with the client
- Technology drives referrals
- Leveraging Skype or Facetime drives engagement from the younger generation
- Utilizing collaborative financial planning tools engages clients, allowing them to see how different scenarios impact their long-term financial goals
- Having a solid, clear, and concise value proposition that your entire office can articulate makes it easier for your clients to learn it, know it, and share it with others
Why Attend a Conference for Female Financial Advisors?
Of course, there were many other exciting sessions at this predominantly female conference. The conference kicked off with Pauline Brown, the former CEO of Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessey, who shared some of the secrets of her success. When asked how she juggled the demands of being a CEO, a mother, and a wife, Brown delivered the best line of the day, “I don’t owe it to anyone to be that perfect.” Equally entertaining was a session moderated by Kate Healy, Managing Director of Marketing for TD Ameritrade. She spoke with the women who founded The Skimm, a media aggregation website that caters to a largely female audience of young working professionals. Their experiences as young female entrepreneurs served as inspiration for the millennials in the audience.
Of course, the energy at the conference was palpable. When successful women get together to share their stories and discuss how to motivate and encourage the next generation of women, it’s invigorating. I had the pleasure of dining with a large group of successful LPL female advisors, and the laughter and banter at the tables was infectious. Hearing the personal stories of each of these women and how they started their careers was motivating and inspiring. As we journeyed home in the 98-degree summer heat, I was reminded of the power of female friendships and the encouragement we find from like-minded women. Thanks, Barron’s!