The Key To Client Retention

This is a guest blog from Brett Davidson of FP Advance as part of a series of blog posts in which we examine and unpack some of the common areas of practice management, which financial advisers, who are often also business owners, need to act upon on as they strive to build and run a world class financial advice practice and deliver a superior client experience.

 Brett Davidson is the Founder of FP Advance and the Uncover Your Business Potential programme. He helps great financial planners become great business people, so they can stay in love with their business and fulfil their potential.

There’s a famous marketing quote by Theodore Levitt which says, People dont want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole!”

His point? People buy solutions to their problems, they don’t buy products.

What do we actually get paid for as advisers?

It’s not selling financial products to people. No one buys a pension do they?

My wife and I don't walk down the high street and say to each other, “Why don’t we nip in for a quick pension?” No, we’re buying something else; future financial security or a future lifestyle.

The problem your clients are trying to solve often comes down to, “How much is enough?” or “Will my money last as long as I do?”

Once you understand this concept, what’s the key to delivering future financial security to your clients?

The ongoing review service.

Once you’ve sorted the client out in the diagnosis and initial strategy phase (the up-front work) the key to great ongoing financial health is regular check-ups.

And clients really value it.

The most common service offering I see around the world is this - an annual review or annual planning meeting. Once you’ve secured a client, this is what you’ll spend the rest of your life delivering to existing clients, year after year after year. So it better be good, and it better add value.

What makes an amazing client review service?

Only two things: 

  1. Show me that everything is going to be alright. And naturally, if it’s not going to be alright, tell me what to do about it.
  2. Politely remind me what you’ve done for me lately.

That’s it.

Now, I want you to reflect on your own review meetings with clients and ask yourself the question:

“Does my existing approach achieve these two objectives?”

Let me be very, very clear. The first point, show me that everything’s going to be alright, is more important by a factor of 10.

If all you did at your review meetings was show people that everything’s going to be alright, they’d think you were fabulous and you’d have a great and thriving business.

So you have to get this one right in my opinion, and it’s not very hard to do.

The second point, politely remind me what you’ve done for me lately, is more important for you.


Because you want to be reminding people in a polite and gentle way what you’re doing for them and how much value it adds.

And most importantly, you need to be doing this in all of the good years when clients are already happy with you.

If you wait until there’s been a market crash or there have been three years on the trot of negative investment performance and the clients are on the offensive with you about how much you charge, bringing out how much value you’ve added will just seem like you’re defending the indefensible.

Don’t wait until times are tough to let clients know how good you are and how valuable your service is.

I could go on and on about how to create your annual review service, but I’ve said all of it much more eloquently in this free webinar called Future Proof Your Client Review Service which walks you through the key elements of creating a valuable service that clients will pay handsomely for.

It’s only 37 minutes long and packed with great ideas to improve how you retain clients and deliver ongoing value to them.

Take a look and let me know your thoughts.

I am delighted to say that I will be presenting at this year’s Irish PortfolioMetrix Investment Forum which will be held on October 13th at the Royal Marine Hotel, Dun Laoghaire in Co. Dublin. If you would like to come along and meet like-minded peers who are tackling similar issues within their business, then email to register your interest.