Socialise with key clients and get more business

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There’s a solid chance that you can become genuine friends with your clients and that makes business and life all the more enjoyable for everyone.

We know intuitively that when we socialise with key clients it builds trust and ultimately we get more business.

More conversations create more opportunities, right?

What we don’t know though is how much more business it leads to…so we often wonder how much more we should socialise with key clients, right?

I came across some interesting statistics on the effect of socialising with key clients and centres of influence that suggest the positive business impact is quite significant. There was no referencing unfortunately for how big the sample size was for the data, or anything which could lead us to say “aha…evidence!” – and I suspect it was a  pretty limited data set which led to some of the conclusions. However, even if the sample size was just a few advisers there is correlation between the different behaviours and the different performance.

It seems that advisers getting 5 or more referrals from a key account which result in genuine new business in a year are doing a LOT more work and generating a lot more revenue than those who get zero referrals. Hardly surprising or insightful stuff there.

It is what they are doing which triggers those referrals though that is interesting.  Here’s what the advisers getting referrals that convert into new business are doing differently:

  • they spend twice as much time with key accounts compared to average advisers
  • they socialise with the key accounts 5 or more times a year
  • they send small gifts to key accounts each year (apparently 39% send 5 or more gifts in a year)
  • they send lots of referrals TO key accounts or COI’s
  • they connect on social media
  • they “like” and share the content of their key accounts on social media
  • they are 3 x more likely to research the key accounts online before meetings to get up-to-date with what’s happening
  • …and as a result, not surprisingly, they are four times more likely to say that they know the key account “very well”.

This strikes me as a pretty good checklist for “how to strengthen and build a great relationship with Key Accounts” even if the research methodology was a bit sketchy.

More importantly though the difference in results – being a significantly higher number of referrals being generated, and a high proportion of those referrals converting into new/high value clients – suggests that any adviser wanting more business should be spending a LOT more time and focus on those Key Accounts of their own.

At the very least a conclusion that can be drawn from this is that if you are not getting 5 or more referrals a year from your key accounts, then you should probably double the time you spend with them.  Not billable time….socialising time. Spend twice as much time with them so you get to know each other really well…there’s even a solid chance that you can become genuine friends and that makes business and life all the more enjoyable for everyone.

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