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Start the New Year with a Sharp Focus on Clients


Have you made your resolutions for the new year? Here’s a suggestion: resolve to spend more time being strategically focused on your clients. Whether you have an established base of customers or are looking to develop new business, personalized service is essential for managing the finances of high net-worth individuals.

Already, the demands on your time are daunting. Tactical details can take up much of your day, making it tougher to meet strategic client needs with the level of attention you’d like. You want to spend more time interfacing with customers or prospects.

The start of the new year is an excellent time to do something about it.

What could you do if you had more time?

If you could streamline some of your administrative tasks, you could use more of your time to advise clients on investments they are considering, or help them organize their finances in a better way so that their spending is more under control. Maybe a major client is working more and earning more money, but has less cash available. That client needs your help to better understand his or her financial picture and build a plan around it. But the more time you spend on day-to-day office work, the less time you have for high-level strategic decision-making with your client.

If you’re building your business, you could use more time for in-person contacts. To win new customers, you have to make calls personally and meet people face to face. You need to sell your knowledge and skills and the tools you have on a competitive basis. And with new clients joining your roster, you’ll need the ability to scale as you grow.

The challenge is that you’re required to be at the office because of processes that need your involvement or in-person oversight. Too much routine work is done manually, shackling you to your desk.

3 keys to increasing client engagement

There are three types of actions you can take to free up more time for focusing on client relationships:

1. Streamline processes. You can automate time-consuming and labor-intensive processes, digitize more of your stored information for easy access, and build automated controls into your company’s workflow. For example, automated security can ensure only authorized people see sensitive client information. You can save time, reduce risk, and maintain a very efficient operation.

2. Build in scalability. The idea is to scale with technology, not with people. Instead of having to dig through a physical file cabinet or that pile of papers that haven’t been filed yet, what if your back-office personnel could rely on software for the visibility and searchability they need to react quickly to client requests? With productivity increases like that, you can easily scale as you grow your client base, while maintaining a lean organization.

3. Make use of connectivity. Many high net-worth clients regularly travel, yet want to have visibility into how their money is being spent. With a web-based system, you could have bills, checks, or proposals scanned in digitally for clients to securely review on their mobile device. Today’s connectivity means you can be anywhere and they can be anywhere—on a plane, in an airport or hotel, or in a café on the other side of the world—and still take care of business. They’ll like the convenience, and you’ll save time you can spend on those occasions when a face-to-face meeting is really needed.

The new year is traditionally a time to make resolutions. This year, you could resolve to streamline processes, build in scalability, and make greater use of connectivity to help forge strong customer relationships.