The Ten Door Approach
Here’s a mindset shift to help you accelerate the growth of your business. I call this approach the “Ten Door Approach”.
This mindset helped me to build a $120 million book in a little over 8 years, when the average advisor managed $3 to $5 million.
When I met a new prospective client, I had a greater goal than to simply open a new account for that person or family. It was to provide a level of advice and service that would lead that new relationship to help me open ten doors to opportunities within their personal or business networks.
From our first meeting, we started discussing how we help people to achieve their personal goals. We talked about what they did in their personal and business lives. We talked about their children and the their activities and interests. I knew what social clubs they belonged to and why involvement in these clubs was important to them. I knew if they were golfers and what club they belonged to. I learned about their friends that they travelled with. More than 50% of time we spent in meetings was talking about them.
People enjoy talking about themselves.
Today, I would check them out on LinkedIn. Last week, I established my 500th connection on LinkedIn and have 137 members of Advisor Collaboration, a group that I manage on LinkedIn. It is amazing what you can learn about people on the Internet.
Editorial Note: There are some great quasi CRM programs: www.connectedhq.com and www.gist.com, which aggregate LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook information into a single page so you can quickly read up on what your clients are up to. I wouldn’t use them as my CRM but I would set up an account just to do research on people.
If a client wrote a blog, I would read it. I am genuinely interested in people and am interested in what they are up to.
There is a fine line between being interested and being creepy. That is why I like LinkedIn vs. programs like Facebook and Twitter. That is not to say that people who use Facebook or Twitter are creepy but it is sometimes too much information.
Through this approach, I received invitations to speak to service clubs. I also was invited to speak to a retiree’s club for a fairly major corporation. I met professionals, like accountants and lawyers, with whom they worked. Those were pretty big doors through which I met some interesting new clients.
The secret to opening these doors is staging consistently superior client experiences. The information that you obtain by being interested in your clients’ lives is vitally important in achieving this goal. Each client experience must be unique and be based on their interests, preferences and priorities. It must include special touches that make them feel special.
If you survey your clients, you need to receive scores of 9 or 10 to Fred Reichheld’s Ultimate Question: “How likely is it that you would recommend us to a friend or colleague?” Scores of 7 or 8 aren’t good enough.
If you can achieve this goal, your clients will help you build your business by opening doors to friends, colleagues, business associates and groups to which they belong. Ten doors is a reasonable target over the lifetime of a client.
If you still believe that the reason you do not get an acceptable number of client referrals is because you don’t ask, you are dreaming. If your clients do not open doors for you, it is because you haven’t earned it. It is a clear sign that there is something wrong with your client relationship management systems.
Do the right things for the right people and be consistent and patient and the doors will open, even during bad markets.