What We Have Here Is an Enduring Failure to Communicate


Experience enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again.”
Franklin P. Jones (1908 –1980)

Our lives present us with countless opportunities to come across situations that remind us the fundamental importance of learning from past experiences. Regrettably, on many occasions, we miserably and dependably fail to recognize a mistake when we make it again. This seems to be the sad conclusion we can derive from the results of a couple of recently published industry surveys.  

According to a poll conducted by SEI, a provider of wealth management platforms, nearly 62 percent of financial advisers do not maintain regular communication with their clients. In addition, when it comes to solicit referrals, about 42 percent of advisers surveyed declared to have asked less than one-quarter of their clients.

As I often repeat to our adviser and wealth manager clients, there is no substitute for a proactive and ongoing client communication effort to increase the odds of improving overall client relationships, getting more business and earning referrals. Lamentably, despite all the bad media coverage advisers and money managers have received for not effectively communicating with clients during the financial market meltdown, the results of this study point to a serious case of enduring failure to communicate.

Further proof of the dangerous consequences of poor adviser/client communication is provided in a study by Spectrem Group. The survey reveals that the top reason among affluent investors ($1 to $5 million net worth) for leaving their advisers is that the adviser did not return phone calls in a timely fashion (cited by 73 percent of those polled). More importantly, about 26 percent of these investors expect their calls to be returned within two hours and 14 percent within one hour.

In the highly competitive environment in which you operate, failing to maintain ongoing communication to anticipate and satisfy your client needs naturally empowers your competitors to reach out to your clients and win them over by merely fulfilling those needs.  Make the extra effort to connect with your clients as often and as proactively as you can.

One of the best ways to increase client communication is by leveraging the power of social media and using videos to reach out to clients. Video messages enable you to deliver timely information—your comments on breaking news, market updates, new products/strategies, anniversary wishes, etc.—in an innovative and engaging way at any time and under any circumstances. (See my January post Video Messaging: An Effective and Innovative Client Communication Tool)

Continuing communication is indeed a time- and resources-consuming effort. However, what may seem like a challenge is actually an opportunity to build stronger and, in many instances, multigenerational relationships with your clients

As always, I welcome your comments, ideas and suggestions.

Claudio Pannunzio
i-Impact Group Inc.
Greenwich, Conn.

2 thoughts on “What We Have Here Is an Enduring Failure to Communicate

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