Do You Really Have Great Client Relationships?

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All your clients love you, right? The optimist in me thinks most planners have great client relationships—the kinds of relationships that exude trust and generate referrals. However, after reading Bill Bachrach’s latest article, the realist in me is aware that while many planners may think they have great client relationships, they’ve probably never measured those relationships accurately.

Venerable practice management expert Bachrach writes in his article “5 Ways to Measure Great Client Relationships” in the January/February issue of Practice Management Solutions magazine that planners often describe their client relationships more by how they feel than by tangible evidence.

“Much like a good golf shot is more effectively measured by where the ball lands than by how the shot feels, great client relationships are better judged by proof than by feelings,” Bachrach writes. “If you have ever hit a golf shot that felt really good but the ball didn’t go where you wanted it to go then you know what I mean.”

Indeed I do.

To help shift your mindset from gut feelings to solid evidence, Bachrach offers five criteria for measuring great client relationships, including:

  • Does the client do what you advise with little, if any, convincing, persuading or selling? In other words, do they trust you?
  • Is the client easily swayed by outside influences, such as what they read online or hear over the backyard fence?
  • Has the client told you the whole truth about where all his money is? Are you sure?

Read the article for more on this, and put your clients to the test. As Bachrach admits, his criteria are high standards by any measure, but imagine if all your clients lived up to them.

Carly Schulaka
Managing Editor
Practice Management Solutions
Financial Planning Association
Denver, CO

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