When I began my career as a financial planner, I was doing everything, and I really mean everything.
From answering phones to meeting clients, to organizing paperwork to handling administrative duties — I was truly a jack-of-all-trades.
As my business grew, so did my team; I knew it was time to start transitioning my clients to my team members, so I didn’t have to work IN my business.
However, for the transition to be successful, my clients had not only to be comfortable working with my team, rather than me, but they needed to be delighted to do so.
It took some time and much-focused effort, but here’s how I managed to successfully transition my clients to my team members and keep everyone happy in the process.
Begin to teach and train your team members in handling the little things, the servicing items. For example, handling forms, check requests and so on.
Although you can naturally handle these things on your own, it’s a great place to start and will instill confidence in your clients, your team is knowledgeable and well-equipped to handle their inquiries.
All incoming calls are directed to my assistant, so I never directly pick up the phone. If a client asks for me specifically, my assistant will usually say I am in a meeting or otherwise engaged and will take a message.
At the beginning of this transitional phase, my clients would occasionally ask questions my assistant or other team member didn’t know the answer to.
In these moments, they would simply say, “I’ll go ask Erin and get back to you with her answer.” They would then call the client back and relay the correct information.
Slowly but surely, my team stopped needing to check with me so regularly — they already knew what I would say and were well-equipped to handle client questions.
The next step I took was to always invite another team member into client meetings and calls. I would inform the client, my colleague would be taking notes and would be the go-to follow-up person.
During the call or meeting, I very intentionally deferred questions to my team member, to build rapport with the client and demonstrate my full trust in them.
This may sound silly, but hear me out. If I happened to answer the phone accidentally and the client had some sort of service questions, I would pretend I had no clue how to handle their inquiry and thus relay them to a team member.
Eventually, the client would catch on and stop asking for me and simply go straight to the source.
You should always be prepared to answer bigger ticket items about investments, strategies or big-picture items, but if you truly want to build the business of your dreams, you have to stop working IN it.
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