It is a basic principle of business and marketing to first know your competition in order to know how to market yourself. An example of this can be found when you are building out your website. When considering SEO, otherwise known as Search Engine Optimization, it is typically a healthy practice to begin by looking at the competition. One can glean helpful insights such as similar key words to determine strategies for making your site appear higher in the search engine results either before the other firms or within a similar ranking. While this mindset may make sense for traditional firms, the idea of scoping out the “competition” outside of SEO is not actually a helpful step at all if you have an ongoing client care program. Of course, there is value in examining what others do well and see what you can learn from them, but ultimately the typical view of competition no longer applies when you have already implemented this totally differentiating program. The principal of knowing your market, applies here, it is time to recognize that in this market – you are totally unique.
Having an ongoing client care program means that you will be establishing relationships and customizing estate plans for clients, not fitting them into a one size fits all estate planning structure. You are no longer working in the same paradigm as every other firm, trying to bring in as many clients as possible. Instead the program will allow you to be much more selective about your clients, because this kind of work is all about working with people that you will be able to authentically invest in relationships with, resulting in more financial stability. It is a classic case of quality over quantity, working smarter – not harder. Your ongoing program means saying goodbye to the wasteful, painstaking, and ineffective revenue generator of hourly billing. Instead, by implementing an annual price for each client which includes the tracking assets ownership and values, updating the estate plan and meeting with the client and the family, you will have long term recurring, consistent, and predictable revenue.
Most firms who might be “competition” are stuck in the old mode of estate planning, which is drafting documents, little if any conversation about aligning assets and almost no thought of making sure the financial institutions have actually changed ownership consistent with the new estate plan. With this model, some clients might reach out through the years to update their documents, but they get billed for this additional time, and many won’t feel that it is necessary. The families at these types of firms are not really taken care of, which is certainly not the case in a client care program that tracks asset ownership and values, incorporates law changes and life changes in the client’s plan and gets to know the people who will implement the plan when the clients die or are incapacitated.
When your firm starts changing the game – there are new rules to play by, the first of which being the way you view “competition”. In this new game, focusing on asset ownership, the people who will implement the estate plan and what is most important to your clients will take your firm and team to the next level and eliminate competition!
Email our Program Coordinator, Megan Davitt, to sign up for our Foundations Workshop today so you can design your own ongoing client care program and shake off the competition today!
Check in next week for “The Paramount” where we dive deeper into the importance of the relationship aspect of an ongoing client care program and how that will elevate your firm and generate better referrals.