Your Clients Can’t Hear You!

Posted: February 6, 2020

Woman with hand to ear

Let’s begin with a bold statement: we suspect no financial advisor (or asset manager, for that matter) has ever been fired for over-communicating with their client. But according to a recent study, a lack of communication is perhaps the easiest way to get replaced. Even the best advisors sometimes forget this.

A survey of individual investors revealed that 64% of clients with assets greater than $500,000 report being contacted infrequently or very infrequently by their financial advisor. As we enter the 11th year of the longest- and best-performing bull market in U.S. history, there has potentially never been a better time for a proactive review of your client communication strategy.

Clients Want More Engagement with their Financial Advisor

The data shown below is from the aforementioned report released by YCharts, which is titled, “How Can Advisors Better Communicate With Clients?

This study concluded that most advisory clients feel they are not appropriately engaged.

In my view, it could be that some financial advisors are not necessarily forgetting to communicate; rather, they may be overvaluing what little communication they are providing. Regardless, given the availability of a multitude of highly efficient digital communication channels, it may be that a quarterly meeting or monthly check in is simply not good enough anymore.

Client Reporting About Communication With Their Advisor

Pie charts showing clients desire for more frequent communications from their financial advisor

A Financial Advisor’s Communication & Ideas Are Marketing Tools

Steady communication is important, not just for client retention, but because it can be an advisor’s most viable path to growing their business.

Consider that the survey found 85% of respondents said communication style would be considered when deciding to retain their advisors. Even more (88%) said frequency and style of communication would impact whether they would refer an advisor’s services to someone else.

These days, an easy way for clients to make referrals is by sharing useful content from their advisor with their friends and family. In other words, why not make it easier for your clients to refer you?

The study even shared some tips for how financial advisors can improve their client communications:

  1. Commit to a cadence: Create a rhythm for client communications where blog posts, videos, newsletters, and personalized emails are generated regularly and at predictable time intervals.
  2. Create new touchpoints and opportunities: The status quo of client communications is not ideal for most clients, so financial advisors should increase opportunities to connect to keep themselves, their services, and their value at the top of their clients’ minds.
  3. Segment your clientele: Some high-value clients will demand more high-touch services and personalized attention. However, make sure lower-tiered clients do not slip under the radar, as they deserve regular communication as well.
  4. Hone in on understanding clients and their goals: Understanding and empathizing with client goals and wishes is the foundation of effective engagement.

Practical Applications & Next Steps for Financial Advisors

Some of these tips are more practical than others.

For financial advisors managing less than $500 million, we recommend focusing on the first two items above: your cadence and touchpoints. To be more specific, start with a monthly blog. If your website is hosted on WordPress or Squarespace, for example, you have all the tools you need, provided you are patient enough to learn how to use them.

Another practical starting point is to create a content calendar and service matrix based on your different client segments. The matrix below provides a simple, logical framework for having a clear and organized client engagement and communications strategy.

Sample Client Service Matrix

Sample client service matrix
Source:, “11 Action Steps To Design An Extraordinary Client Experience,” 5/14/2018

Conversations = Relationships

“The conversations are not about the relationship. The conversation is the relationship.” 

Susan Scott in “Fierce Conversations”

If Susan is correct, and I believe she is, then the relationships you attempt to form with clients are only as good as the conversations you are having with them – whether digitally, over the phone, or in person. Step one in having these conversations in a consistent, sustainable way is creating a process and platform on which to deliver efficiently. In my opinion, it’s best to learn, test, and fail quickly now, so you’ll be ready to go on the offensive with your communication strategy during the next recession or large drawdown.

Let's Talk

If you’d like to discuss how Blueprint Investment Partners can support your communication with your clients