A Little Gratitude Can Go A Long Way With High-Net-Worth Clients And Plan Participants You Advise Hot

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Advisors have many reasons to be grateful. Your clients have chosen you over your competition, and a little gratitude goes a long way towards keeping your clients happy.


As the year presses on, it's wise to extend thank your high-net-worth clients and plan sponsors. Some ideas:

  • Send handwritten thank you cards
  • Host a client appreciation event--maybe a wine tasting or reception with a guest speaker
  • Hold a golf outing with an industry expert
  • Send out gifts--maybe  a book you know the client can benefit from

Demonstrating your gratitude to 401(k) plan participants may take a different path than your high-net-worth clients or plan sponsors. Since most participants’ retirement plans suffered during the past few years, a sympathetic ear may be all it takes. This is where the 401(k) Participant Gratitude Challenge comes into play:


1.  Make a list of 100 401(k) participants. This list can be comprised of participants from one or several plans.


2.  Meet with each participant on your list over the next year to ask how their financial situation is compared to the last several years.


3.  Listen to their stories, not to sell them a product or provide a solution to their situation, but only to hear what they have to say.


4.  Learn what their goals are and how they fit into their new financial future. Ask them how they view their financial future.


5.  Ask them to write down their fears, opportunities and strengths. Have them circle the top item in each category.


6.  Ask them about their favorite books, authors or subjects.


7.  Send them a note regarding your conversation and list the items they wrote down for them to reflect on. Enclose a book that you think they might like to read (not on finance, unless that is truly their interest).


8.  Watch the response and impact your gratitude will have.


In our hectic society, listening to your plan participants can give you a competitive advantage. Lend your ear and point them in a positive direction.


By taking time to demonstrate genuine interest in their personal situation and gratitude for working with you, you are truly expressing your value as a financial advisor. Not only will clients and participants want to continue to use your services, but they will also refer you business.


Sometimes a little gratitude goes a long way.

Charlie Epstein, CLU, ChFC, AIF® is the founder of The 401k Coach® Program, which offers expert training for financial professionals to develop the skills, systems and processes necessary to excel in the 401(k) industry and facilitate successful retirement outcomes for plan sponsors and participants. Charlie Epstein has frequently been named to 401kWire’s Top 100 Most Influential People in the 401(k) Industry List and Top 300 Most Influential DC Advisor List. He was recently named to the Legg Mason Retirement Advisory Council.


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