As an adviser, the more information you have about your clients, the better. You want to know their goals, their interests, what makes them tick, as well as details about their personal finances and their attitudes towards money.

How you store and utilize this information can make a big difference in the success of your client communications strategy. So today, we are going to discuss the immense value to be found in building rich client profiles.

Why profile clients
Every client is different. Most, however, will carry various demographic markers and fall into different subgroups. If you understand what these are you can tailor your communications accordingly. The outcome is that clients will only receive information that is relevant to them. In this way, they are more likely to ingest the information you send to them, and subsequently, come to you for advice.

Start with a game of tag
The first step to building rich client profiles is finding a simple method to separate and sort your clients. The easiest way to do this is to make use of tag functionality. Tags are a really helpful feature available on most CRMs and email service providers (ESPs). They allow you to group people by various categories and then sort accordingly.

As a financial service professional, details you want to be tagging are:

  • Life stage – Building wealth, consolidating wealth, transition to retirement.
  • Family status – Dependent children, independent children, no kids, partnered.
  • Wealth – Net wealth, profession, salary bracket, future earnings potential
  • Business status – wage-earner, business owner, sole trader
  • Interests – Sports, health and fitness, arts and culture, fine dining, thrill seeker.
  • Goals – Euro holiday, family home, kids through private school, comfortable retirement
  • Readership rate – Your ESP will allow you to tag users who always read your content

Once you have all these details tagged you can very easily target your content accordingly. What this means is that you avoid spamming people by only send them content that is relevant to their personal financial situation, goals and interests. For example, you might send an article about succession planning to those marked ‘high net wealth’, ‘business owner’ or ‘partnered with kids’, while you might send an article about saving for a family home to those tagged ‘building wealth’ and ‘family home’.

You can also dig deeper by clicking into each client’s profile on your ESP, and taking note of which links they’ve clicked/emails they’ve opened. This will give you a good idea of what content interests them.

Milestones
Birthdays, anniversaries… the date they first started seeking advice with you. These are all examples of milestones you want to keep on file. You can then automate templated emails to celebrate the occasion. It’s as simple as creating a birthday card template and triggering it to send on your client’s birthday. Use the same process to automate emails for many different milestones.

Surveys and client forms
If there are any holes in your data you can now very easily create online surveys to send out to your clients. It is best to keep surveys short (Complete times between 2 – 5 minutes are reasonable). You can also incentivise the survey’s completion in some way. There are plenty of online resources out there for survey creation. We generally use Survey Monkey.

Record your consultations
This probably goes without saying but you learn the most from your clients in your face to face consultations. Make sure you are keeping a record of all these interactions and updating your client profiles accordingly. If you make a habit of updating profiles as soon as the meeting has happened you will soon have a stockpile of information you can use to tailor your communications strategy.

Uniform data
Making sure your data is uniform across different applications is essential. Spend a day cleaning up the details stored on your CRM and ESP, to make sure they both have the same data, removing any duplicates and filling any gaps.

It might be worth exploring whether the two platforms are integrated in which case the process could be even simpler and profiles update automatically.

Final words
Clients all have different demographic markers, but they’re also real people with different fears, hopes and dreams. Understanding and tailoring not just your communications strategy but also your consultations accordingly will help build trust and integrity in your brand.