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Wild ways advisors win over clients

The relationship between advisor and client can often grow from strictly professional to more familial, but this doesn’t just happen overnight. Planners have a hard road of trust building to navigate before investors come to view them as more than a business associate.

Planners who successfully navigate that road can gain deep personal fulfillment from 60% more of their client relationships, according to a recent FPA survey. The study, called “Know Your Client,” was designed to identify specific behaviors and techniques advisors can use to “evolve their client understanding approach.”

“Financial planners who define a specific client audience tend to be more proficient in know-your-client behaviors and see stronger outcomes,” the survey says. “This suggests that planners who focus and go deeper with a single client type can use that client understanding to more efficiently attract similar clients.”

The question remains, though: How exactly can you better connect with a client on a more personal level?

Some planners believe they have the answers. Scroll through to see what your peers are doing to stand out in their clients’ lives within and outside of the wealth management industry.

Excerpts below.

Quincy Kennedy, chief compliance officer, Signature Wealth Strategies, Florence, South Carolina.
“Skydiving, or jumping out of perfectly good airplanes, has always been a part of my life,” says Quincy Kennedy, chief compliance officer at Signature Wealth Strategies in Florence, South Carolina.

“My initial interest came from my father who was in the paratroops during WWII. I started jumping more than 20 years ago. Through the years, I’ve had several clients jump with me, as well as wholesalers and coworkers. Having a client in the air with you is quite gratifying.”

“Generally, you’ve worked with them for years and helped them with their financial planning and future. As you get to know them, they invariably ask about jumping,” Kennedy says. “When they commit to join you in the air, it reflects the confidence they have in you as a professional in their lives. It creates a bond and experience that is quite amazing.”
Kim Lee Kenawell-Hoffecker, Avantra Family Wealth, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
Kim is a volunteer firefighter and critical response team member.

“Financial advising is not unlike emergency services or crisis responses — in all of those situations we’re entering the unknown and making quick, strategic decisions,” she says.

“As a young firefighter and EMT, she felt the tremendous satisfaction and personal rewards of helping people at their most vulnerable moments,” says Sally Cates, Dynasty Financial Director of Public Relations and Communications. “It’s a passion that has grown and flourished into past leadership in the Hampden Township Fire Department and expanded as she is a member of the South Central Critical Response Team, and a senior peer and executive team member — a special forces unit supporting emergency services personnel who have suffered traumatic experiences in service.”
Mark Vander Linden, RIA Professional Financial Management, Little Chute, Wisconsin
Staff members from this firm show up at clients’ doors on the Monday or Tuesday after Thanksgiving with Poinsettia flowers rather than sending a holiday card or gift.

“People get inundated around the Christmas season,” Linden says. “We work with a local greenhouse who grows the poinsettias for us.”
Chip Munn, managing partner, Signature Wealth Strategies, Florence, South Carolina
“Each year, on the day before Thanksgiving, Signature Wealth Strategies holds a community Day of Thanks event at our local homeless shelter,” says Munn.

“We distribute awareness flyers throughout town to community groups and solicit local businesses to make contributions and participate. We all participate in serving a hot lunch to the folks and invite our clients to come out and serve with us. Our clients love it so much. Last year, we fed over 400 people.”
Jensen Seear, Signature Wealth Strategies, Greenville, South Carolina
“Recently I was given the privilege of serving on the Make a Wish Board of South Carolina,” Seear says.

“It is truly an amazing organization and I wanted to share my excitement by hosting my very first fundraiser for my area and inviting all of my clients. After careful deliberation we hosted a cycle-thon at a local facility. It was essentially a spin class with 60 bikes that people purchased for $35 each. We raised a lot of money and awareness for the organization and I got to mingle with a lot of great people.”
Doug Boneparth, Bone Fide Wealth, New York
“While this might sound typical to [most people], it’s atypical for advisors,” Boneparth says. “I personally connect with my clients on social media. I do this to further connect myself to their lives. It deepens the relationship as well as provides information about what’s going on with them, which is very helpful in our conversations.”
Lydia Sheckels, Wescott Financial Advisory Group, Philadelphia
Her firm gives out highchairs to clients that are about to have children or grandchildren. The chairs are engraved with the child’s name.

“It’s a nice little memento,” Sheckels says “It seems to be really appreciated.”
Peter Lee-Summit Trail Advisors-101718
Peter Lee, Summit Trail Advisors, Chicago
“A lifelong Chicago Cubs fan himself, Peter recently hosted clients for an exclusive insider tour of the new Chicago Cubs locker room and clubhouse ahead of celebrating the firm's third anniversary at a restaurant overlooking Wrigley Field,” says Sally Cates, Dynasty Financial Director of Public Relations and Communications. “The celebration also included a performance by Taylor Hawkins of The Foo Fighters, one of Peter’s favorite bands. The event created a nice opportunity for Peter to share some of his favorite things with clients and was an evening enjoyed by all.”
Jim and Paul Eagleton, Wells Fargo affiliated firm Eagleton Brown Investment Group, Tulsa, Oklahoma
“In Tulsa, our clients love barbecue — and we serve it up to them at our annual client event, which had more than 600 people attend this year,” the brothers say. “This not a catered event, but rather, we do all of the cooking, serving and clean-up. And to cap off the event, all of our guests leave with a custom labeled bottle of Eagleton Brothers barbecue sauce.”