15th June, 2022 - Webinar replay

12 easy touchpoints that will turn your clients into advocates

Phil Bray 0:00
Good morning, everybody. It’s 10 o’clock. It’s Wednesday, and welcome to our latest free webinar: 12 easy touchpoints that will turn your clients into advocates. In time honoured tradition, we’re going to hand over to Dan first of all, for a bit of housekeeping.

Dan Campbell 0:16
Thanks, Phil. So sure thing, a few housekeeping points from me. So I’m Dan, the head of branding and design here at The Yardstick Agency. And my job, as always, is to make sure everything runs nice and smooth. We want to be kept on track, and on time. But there’ll be plenty of time at the end, to follow up on questions. So I’m sure Phil will stick around for a few minutes, for any stragglers. I’ll also be keeping an eye on any technical issues. So if our sound goes out, let us know, the same for our video or the screenshare, too. And I’ll also be asking the questions that you guys put in the chat box or the Q&A box. So we’ve got a lot of familiar faces in the crowd today. And as you’ll all know, these sessions work best with lots and lots of input. So ask your questions, share your experiences of what has and hasn’t worked. Tell us if we’re speaking sense, or speaking the opposite. Don’t be shy! These sessions are absolutely designed for you to take as much away with you as possible. So just get involved. And there are two ways to do that. So, as I mentioned earlier, there’s the Q&A box there. So you can add your question into that, I’ll be monitoring that. Or the little chat function too. And you can choose who you share that with. So whether it’s just myself, Phil, and Abi, or everybody as well. And speaking of Abi, Yardstick’s very own Abi Robinson is on the call, too. So she’s gonna be taking notes of anything that Phil mentioned, whether it’s useful links, assets, resources, things like that. She’ll compile them all. Put them in the follow up email, along with a recording of today’s session, too. So if you do miss anything, don’t worry. You can watch it later at your leisure. And before Phil explains how to turn clients into advocates, I believe he’s got a bit of a State of the Nation Address on this webinar series. So Phil, over to you.

Phil Bray 2:07
Thanks mate. I think you’ve built me up there, we’ve gotta let everyone down. Really what I wanted to do, was just say thank you to everybody who took part in our webinar survey. So I think it was after May’s webinar? We asked everybody who attended, just to complete a short survey, asking what we’re doing well on webinars, what we’re not doing well, and what do you want to see on these webinars in the future? Because we’ve got loads of ideas, but we want to make sure that we’re giving you, what you want to see. So first thing we asked, “Would you recommend other advisers and planners come on to these webinars?” And we’ve got a net promoter score of 76, which I was really pleased with. Net promoter scores are often quite difficult things to explain. It’s why we don’t tend to recommend advisers and planners use them with their clients, because they take a lot of explaining. But I’m led to believe that anything above zero is good. It means you’ve got more advocates than detractors. Anything above 50 is excellent. And anything above 80 is world class. So we’re not quite world class yet Dan, we need to do a little bit better. And we’ll work on those extra four points over the course of the next six months. But what we’re going to be doing on these webinars – from July onwards – we’re going to be doing more stuff on LinkedIn, there was quite a lot of demand from that. And we’ll be doing LinkedIn webinars, but we’re also going to launch a paid-for LinkedIn workshop as well. Anybody who has previously been on our recommendation workshop, will hopefully have got huge value from that. And we’re going to roll out that concept, maybe over the course of a couple of workshops, on LinkedIn. So watch out for that. We’re going to be doing webinars on client events, we’re going to revisit, we’re going to revisit recruitment, because that was a really popular webinar; I think that was May? So we’re going to revisit how you can use LinkedIn, and marketing in general, to help you recruit more of the right type of people for your business. And then we’re going to be looking at producing and promoting content, and producing and promoting videos as well, including the different types of videos. So those are a little teaser for what you can expect from us later on in the year. It’s not too late. If there’s things that you want us to talk about on the webinars, that we haven’t got on that list, then do please put it in the chat. We’ll be happy to try and add that in as well. But as I say, I just want to say thank you to everybody. Really pleased how our net promoter score came out; it shows that these webinars are adding value. And those are the sorts of things that we’re going to be talking about in future events. So, without further ado, into today’s session. And, as Dan says, please do question, comment, share what works for you. I think the webinar we did on recruitment and marketing? There was some really good practice, shared among everybody who was on the call, so please do share what works for you. I’m going to be throwing a few questions out there again today as well, and do just put some answers in the chat, that would be great. And we don’t have all the answers, and we’ve got a few, but we don’t have them all. So, if there’s something you think we could add into this presentation – something that works for you, that could work for your peers – then please do mention it. Because we can all learn from each other that way. So I want to start with a definition. And we talk a lot about suspects, prospects, clients and advocates. So I just want to deal with this straightaway, with a definition. And forgive me, some of you may have already seen this. But this is a journey, this suspect, prospect, client, advocate, is a journey we want to take people on. Now, a suspect is somebody who knows you, but you don’t know them yet. So they might have been recommended to you by an existing client. They might have been recommended to you by professional connection. Seen something that you posted on social media, received your newsletter, been on your website, even driven past your office. But they know you. They think you might be the person, who can solve their trigger. Remember, your trigger is the reason why the person needs financial advice, or financial planning; it’s the problem that they want solving. It’s the aspiration they want to achieve. So suspects are people who know you, but you don’t know them yet. A prospect, is a suspect who’s made contact. They’ve filled an online form out. They’ve walked into your office. They’ve sent an email. They’ve picked up the phone. But they’ve got in touch, and you’re starting to have the conversation with them, about whether you are the right fit. Are you right for them? Are they right for you? A client is fairly obvious, it’s somebody who pays you for ongoing service. And an advocate, is a client who becomes an advocate, and they will literally advocate on your behalf. And, in terms of advocacy, there are huge benefits. And we want to turn as many clients… well, we want to turn any suspects into prospects, prospects into clients – assuming they’re right fit – and then clients into advocates. And the benefits of advocacy are huge. Advocates – they give praise in public, and they give feedback in private. So, for example, in public, what will they do? They’ll leave online reviews. We talk a lot about Google and VouchedFor, and advocates will happily leave reviews on Google and VouchedFor. They’ll appear on video for you. They’re talking about their experiences of working with you. They will talk to prospective clients as well. Now occasionally, you might have a client who – or a prospect – who’s a bit on the fence, about whether to proceed with you, for whatever reason. Get them to talk to an existing client, about the benefits of working with you. Something we use quite a lot here, at Yardstick, and prospective clients will be very happy to pick up the phone to existing clients, just to understand how it works, and the benefits of working with you. And of course, it’s your advocates who will be happy to have those conversations. And then, they’ll come to client events as well. It’s brilliant having existing clients, come to client events, especially when you’ve got prospects there. So if you imagine a table at a client event, and you might have somebody from your business there, you might have a couple of existing clients, a prospect and a professional connection. That prospect, and that professional connection, can talk to those existing clients, and existing clients will talk about the benefits of working with you. So advocates will give praise in public, through online reviews, videos, etc. Just as beneficially, they’ll give feedback in private as well. And that feedback might be things you’re doing well, or things you could improve on. And, I mean our best advocates at Yardstick, will praise us to the hill in public. And in private, they’ll come back and say, “Actually, this is really good. But have you thought about doing this, this or this?” And that’s really valuable feedback. And you can get it from your advocates, in one-to-one conversations. Client boards. I’m seeing a lot of firms use client boards, where they’ll get four or five clients together. Maybe on Zoom, maybe over a meal, maybe over a drink, or a coffee. And we’ll start talking about the business, and the things that they can do, to improve the business. And of course, client surveys. Client surveys are a fantastic way of getting feedback, in private. So advocates will get praise in public, give feedback in private, and of course, they will recommend you to other people; really, really important. So, how do we understand how successful we are, in turning clients into advocates? Now, one of the things we need to remember here, is that client retention doesn’t equal client advocacy. So just because somebody is staying with you, doesn’t mean they will advocate on your behalf. And there are plenty of other examples of this, in our wider lives. For example, I know who Yardstick banks with – clearly – and I know who I bank with personally. Am I changing banks? No. Would I advocate and recommend either of them, equally? No. Think about in your lives, your back office system? Would you go to the hassle of changing your back-office system? Yes? No? Maybe? Would you advocate on their behalf? There’ll be a bunch of you out there who probably won’t change your back-office system, but probably won’t advocate on behalf of it either. So we need to be aware that client retention, people staying with you – and financial advisers and planners have very high client retention rates – doesn’t equal client advocacy. And we’ve got two options to understand what proportion of your clients, are actually advocates. And the first, is what I would call an accumulation of evidence. So you would look at your recommendation rate. And again, for any people who have not been on the webinar previously, your recommendation rate is the number of recommendations you receive during the year from existing clients, divided by the number of clients that you’ve got. So if you’ve got 150 clients, and you’ve received 15 recommendations in the year, fairly obviously, your recommendation rate is 10%. Maths even I can do! So your recommendation rate, is part of a picture. If you’re accumulating evidence to understand advocacy, your recommendation rate is one thing to bear in mind. Your client survey results. We’ve talked a lot about client surveys, and we might do a specific session on them later on in the year. Your client survey results, to questions such as Net Promoter Score, if you go down that road, or a very simple question, “Would you recommend us on to other people?” We always follow that up with, “Have you recommended us on in the past 12 months?” And so, your client survey results, will help you to understand advocacy; as will your online ratings and reviews. So what proportion of your clients have left you a review on VouchedFor? What proportion have left you a review on Google? Just factoring in, it’s harder to get reviews on Google, than it is VouchedFor. So the first way of understanding, whether you’re turning clients into advocates, is just an accumulation of evidence. The second, is to use something like VouchedFor Elevation. And this is a new product, that’s come out from VouchedFor. We’re going to be doing more and more on this. But as I said on Twitter on Monday, or Tuesday – I forget – I’m a big, big fan of what that’s doing. It’s using data from clients to just pinpoint where firms can get better. So Im a real big fan of VouchedFor Elevation. And then as I say, we might do another session with VouchedFor; get them along and talk about this on a webinar. Because I’m a big fan of it. And one of the reasons I’m such a big fan of it is, it actually shows you what proportion of your clients are passionate advocates. And it gives you their names. It’s really, really powerful stuff. So those are two ways of understanding whether you are turning clients into advocates. And, there is definitely a link between the number of touchpoints, the number of touchpoints you have with clients, and advocacy. There’s research – lots of research – to show this, including research from VouchedFor; which anybody who’s been on our recommendation workshop will have seen. And, every interaction and touchpoint, enhances or diminishes your brand. I can think of a really good example of that over the past few days. I interviewed somebody recently for a job. They weren’t right for the job. We knew pretty quickly they weren’t right for the job. But I didn’t want to close the interview down quickly, because I wanted them to have a good experience. I wanted them to leave that interview – even though it wasn’t right, we weren’t right for them, they weren’t right for us – I wanted them to leave that interview with an enhanced impression of the Yardstick brand. So every interaction you have, every touchpoint you have, from simply somebody picking up the phone, to how quickly you reply to emails, enhances or diminishes your brand. And the other thing that enhances your brand – and again, it can help turn clients into advocates – is the frequency and the quality of touchpoints. There’s lots of evidence to show that increases advocacy. So our aim on this webinar, is to help you maximise the proportion of clients that become advocates. Particularly through the route of increasing the number of touchpoints. So the next 12 touchpoints we’re going to go through, are really designed to give you practical hints, tips and ideas, that you can go and implement in your business. Now, some of these you can start implementing this afternoon. Some will take a bit more planning. But our aim, over the course of the next 45 minutes or so, is to maximise the proportion of clients that become advocates, by improving the quality and the number of touchpoints you have with them. So, diving straight in number one – newsletters. So newsletters are a fantastic way… They’re almost the foundation of all other touchpoints, and are a superb way of touching your clients, on a regular basis. Now there is value, from just them seeing your brand on a regular basis. But clearly, it’s better if they engage with the content that you put in your newsletters. So content must add value and be relevant; be relevant to them and add value. And if you get it right with your newsletters, you will add value. You will demonstrate expertise. So for existing clients, that reconfirms why they’re with you. But for prospects and professional connections, who also should be receiving your newsletter; the fact that you’re adding value and demonstrating knowledge, positions you as a go-back to expert. It’s one of the reasons we say, you should be recording every single new enquiry that comes into the business. Because they don’t all get converted, you will want to convert some of the ones that don’t immediately become clients. And one of the ways of doing that, is staying in touch with them by newsletters, adding value, demonstrating knowledge and expertise, and positioning yourself as a go-back-to expert. So touchpoint number one is newsletters. Send them monthly; quarterly really isn’t enough. Now, whenever I say that, I completely get that a majority of people will take that with a pinch of salt, because you know – guess what? We sell newsletters. Yeah. And we charge more frequently for monthly, than we do quarterly. But there is an accumulation of evidence that monthly, is better than quarterly. First thing. If you’re adding value, and you’re demonstrating knowledge, and people are opening and interacting with your newsletters, why wouldn’t you want to do that 12 times a year, rather than just four? Then the second, open rates, click to open rates, unsubscribe rates and spam reports are equal equal on monthly and quarterly newsletters. So you’re not annoying people, you’re not hacking them off. You’re not bombarding them by sending monthly. It genuinely works. So monthly newsletters; valuable, relevant content. And there are three types of content I would include. Personal finance: things about what you do, you you know, the sorts of things they would expect to get from you. Lifestyle pieces: not suggesting we turn your newsletter into GQ or Tattler, or Horse & Hound, or something like that. But lifestyle articles really do work well. And then – news about your business. Again, if you’ve got things going on in your business, charities you’re working with, people joining, people leaving ,marriages, good news stories – all that sort of stuff – put it in your newsletter. It goes down really, really well. So your first touchpoint, the base for everything else is newsletters. The second – how you follow up your review meetings. Now, we’re going to use “review meetings” just as a general, catch-all term here. I know some people on this webinar will call them forward planning meetings. Some will call them review meetings. But we’ll use review meetings for the moment. Now, we know again – from VouchedFor’s research – that two things, really move the dial in terms of advocacy; really improve advocacy. The first one of those, is making sure that clients know, or clients couldn’t be more confident, they are on track to achieve their goals. They couldn’t be more confident, that they’re on track to achieve their goals. Now, if you’re going to do that, if you’re going to confirm that to them, of course, you need the second thing – which is their goal in the first place. And Carl Richards talks about this really well. He talks about when he was a financial adviser over in the States, how he would make really clear – big bold letters on the front of the financial plan – what the purpose of the plan is. So, if you can show people what the purpose of their plan is, what the purpose of working with you is, what the goal is of working with you, and that they’re on track, that helps turn clients, into advocates. Now, clearly, you’re going to have that conversation at your review meeting. But, reconfirming in a follow up, after the meeting is just, again, incredibly powerful. We’ve seen some clients – some financial planning clients – use fantastic, really appealing one… maybe one, two, three page summaries. But the first page is the thing that socks the client, between the eyes. Really appealing, visually appealing, one page summaries, to show purpose, and then demonstrate whether they are on track, or off track. And so your second touchpoint, is your review meeting follow ups. Do you send a pack of paper that big? Or do you send two or three sheets that are really punchy, and really show whether the client is on track, or off track to meet their goals or not? And on this point, I’m just going to digress for a second. We need your help, but we’re going to give you something back as well. So Dan, myself and his really talented branding team, are going to be spending some time creating one page meeting follow up templates. And we’re going to sell them on the Yardstick shop. For anybody who doesn’t know, we’ve got an online shop, which sells guides, animations, that sort of stuff. But to get this right, we need some input from advisers and planners; people like you on this call. So what we’re going to do is we’re going to put a focus group together of five firms, advisers or planners. We need two or three hours of your time, over the course of a couple of meetings, to get together, and start talking about what might go into this one page meeting follow up. Help us create this document. In return, as a thank you, we will give you free lifetime access to that document, which will of course have your colours, your logo, your branding, your contact details on it. We’ll give you free lifetime access to the document, plus all revisions. So who’s in? Who wants to join us on this journey? We’ll help you with this touchpoint, if you help us. Now, please, if you want to be considered for the focus group, please just register your interest with Dan, in the chat now. Just put something like I don’t know, “Dan, I’m in, Dan, please, please, please let me come into this focus group. Dan, we’re ready to help.” Just put something in there. We’ll collect the responses. And we’ll come back to you. But we’re really excited about what the possibilities could be here, to create a really visually engaging follow up, which ticks those two boxes – of reminding clients about what the purpose of working with you is, and whether they are on track to achieve it. And we know those two things, turns more clients into advocates. Dan, what have we got?

Dan Campbell 23:18
We’ve got an influx of very helpful people in the chat, who are volunteering their time. So thank you, everybody that’s put their name down. What we’ll do, at the end of the call, we’ll collate all of the names. And then we’ll just put together a broad focus group sample, and we’ll start contacting people for availability. Thank you very much.

Phil Bray 23:38
Thank you, everybody for that. Dan, any questions yet?

Dan Campbell 23:43
Interestingly, just before this slide, Adam asked whether we had any examples of visually appealing one page summaries. So, we absolutely do, Adam. So put your name down for that focus group, and you could potentially be involved in creating the future ones. But if not, we can send you through those separately as an aside.

Phil Bray 24:04
Right. So, number three – thank you for everybody for your participation in that, it’s much appreciated. Number three of our touchpoints – marking special occasions. Now, what does everyone do? So a question to the group? Do you send birthday cards? Do you send Christmas cards? What do you send out? Just put some notes in the chat, as I work through this? But for me, a touchpoint – an obvious touchpoint – is birthdays. Now do you do every birthday? Or do you do significant birthdays? Do you send a card on every birthday? And maybe a gift on significant birthdays? I think every firm needs to make their own decision. Personally, that might shoot me down. But personally, I’m not a fan of corporate branded birthday cards. I would much rather… Dan, what do you think?

Dan Campbell 24:57
I’m not gonna shoot you down on that, no. I think that it’s… I’ve seen examples of them being done exceptionally well, where, for example, we’ve got a client in London who do Christmas cards, and they introduce their branding into it. And it’s always really well done, there’s always a concept, and it’s always got a design to it. Whereas others have just got a logo plonked on the front of a card, something broadly neutral behind it as to, you know, not offend or upset anybody in particular. And they just tend to sit as almost a, rather you didn’t, you know? The effort’s better extended elsewhere, isn’t it?

Phil Bray 25:37
Yeah, absolutely. And I would much rather see a nice handwritten card, handwritten envelope, and some time and care taken over it, as opposed to just a corporate card in the post. Notwithstanding that they can look good, like you say Dan, if the logo’s introduced in a subtle way. So start thinking about what could you do on birthdays? Could you, let’s say, send the card on just normal birthdays, and maybe a small gift on significant birthdays, but maybe do something to mark birthdays. Anniversaries; their marriage, you probably know when they got married, if you don’t, then it’s easy enough to find out. So again, you’re probably not going to send them an anniversary card every year. But on significant anniversaries, I think it’s maybe fair to mark that. And maybe your relationship with them? So every year, Dan reminds me of the date, we first met in a Starbucks in Darwin. And Michael, who’s head of digital, does exactly the same. And we have a little chuckle about that it’s the fifth year of our relationship together, or whatever. But you could mark the date that your client, became a client? Maybe, I don’t know, “You’ve been with us 10 years now,” thank-you card, “I hope we’ve helped you over that time.” Maybe a small gift as well. But something to mark your relationship with them. I’ve never seen an advice firm do that. It might because, it’s a really bad idea. It might be because, it’s a good idea, and nobody’s just done it. And then events. Holidays. if your clients are going on holiday, and it’s a big holiday – let’s say they’ve retired, they’re going on a big holiday to celebrate their retirement – send them a couple of travel books. It’s touchpoint, where you can show that you really know and understand your client. And for me the best touchpoints do that. They show you know and understand, but also have a bit of a surprise as well. Everyone loves getting a bit of a surprise through the post. Another event; retirement or business sale. Positive; they’re positive events. Bereavement; clearly not a positive. But again, important that you mark that. So, have a look down that list. Think about what you could do, to implement in the business. And there’ll be other things as well. Dan, what are people saying that they do in terms of birthdays, and that sort of stuff?

Dan Campbell 27:48
So we’ve got plenty in. So, we’ve got a mix of flowers, cards. We’ve got… Adrian mentions that they call, or email on birthdays, adding that personal touch, which is nice. We’ve got Jason, who runs a… so they’re based in Sydney, providing UK pension advice to Australian residents, and they donate to sponsor a koala on the day a client arrives in Australia, which is quite nice.

Phil Bray 28:15
That’s cool. That’s really cool. So think about what works for you. Use some of the ideas on here, and you’ll have ideas of your own. But marking special occasions – I don’t see many firms doing this. So you’ll separate yourself out. You’ll wow clients. You’ll provide them with a really high quality touchpoint, that’s probably unexpected. And again, that helps turn clients into advocates. Really important, we don’t forget the kids either. My nine year old daughter helped me write this slide. Writing at the weekend, and she came along and gave me a few ideas. So don’t forget the kids, either. Again, this creates… two reasons for this really… it creates… a client… their parents… your clients will get to know about it. So another high quality touchpoint. But of course, depending on the age of the children, they’re going to inherit your clients wealth. So, intergenerational wealth planning is something, that is really topical. And you clearly want to form a relationship with the children, if at all possible. So, think about when you could interact with the kids. Birthdays; always nice to pop them something, or a present. Exams; my daughter’s doing SATs soon. If you know about it, and you know your daughter, or your clients daughter or son, is doing SATs, GCSEs, A levels, then a little note your clients to say, “Hope they’re okay, thinking about them during this time.” Your clients children passing a driving test, leaving school, graduating from university, are all opportunities for you to mark the occasion. And then clearly as they get older, weddings, children, etc. Just think about how you can mark it. Sorry, how you can mark special occasions, in your clients’ children’s lives. It will impress your clients, and get you closer to the children. Number five – ad-hoc messages. Now, spontaneous – there’s a couple of ways of doing this – spontaneous, but planned, check-ins. So ideally, you should be checking in with your clients, in between your review meetings, your forward planning meetings. And of course, these can be scheduled. So you can schedule them in your back office system, in Outlook, or whatever you use. But make it feel to the client, like it was a spontaneous check-in. And WhatsApp is incredibly helpful here. So we ask the clients of financial advisers and planners, on client surveys, “What social media do you use?” And about 85% use WhatsApp on a regular basis. Penetration of WhatsApp is immense. And it’s your friend. I know there’s some compliance issues with it potentially, on sensitive information, but there’s absolutely no reason why you can’t use it. Or as Adrian said earlier, maybe just a quick call to check-in with clients. But again, no reason why you can’t schedule this. If you’ve got 100 clients, that’s a couple of check-ins a week, and there’s no reason why you can’t schedule this, or someone in your team can schedule it on your behalf. It might be a call, it might be an email, it might be a quick WhatsApp message, “Hey, hope you’re okay.” And, “I saw this and thought of you,” messages. Another really useful way of checking-in with people. I got one last night, from somebody who is somebody we take services from, we buy services from. He just sent me a message saying, was I at Trent Bridge yesterday, to watch the cricket? I’ve responded. And we’ve had a little conversation, but it’s just a little touchpoint with me. Where he knows, he’s not even… he’s kind of demonstrating that he knows I like cricket, I live in Nottingham, putting those two things together and just checking-in. So it’s little spontaneous, “I saw this and thought of you,” messages. And it works really well on social media, as well. You’re scrolling through your timeline, on a Saturday morning on Twitter, or Facebook or LinkedIn. And you see something, whatever it is, you see something that immediately makes you think of a client. It immediately makes you think, that that client might be interested in what you’ve seen. And on social media, of course, you can easily send it to them via a direct message – whether it’s on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. But as you scroll through your timeline, just start thinking about people who will be interested, and share the messages with them. That works really, really well. Emails still work, of course, as we’ll see in a bit. It’s the it’s the shortest distance, between your mouth – where your ideas come out of – and your recipients ear. So emails still work, and short videos; we’re going to talk about videos in a lot more detail shortly. But short videos work really, really well, for ad-hoc messages. Just start thinking about how you can deliver ad-hoc messages to your clients, that will increase the number and quality of touchpoints you have, with your clients. Dan – anything else in, while I take a quick sip of tea?

Dan Campbell 33:39
Only Matthew, who was asking whether you did in fact manage to get to the cricket?

Phil Bray 33:42
I didn’t sadly. So, it might have been on, in the background in the office yesterday. But I was there on Sunday when Joe Root scored his 100. So that was really rather nice. But thank you for the concern. Nice touchpoint! So, recommendations – touchpoint number six. After you’ve received a recommendation from an existing client, we always recommend saying thank you. And there’s a couple of ways traditionally, you could do that. You could send an email, or you could pick up the phone. Both of those aren’t particularly out of the ordinary. We all get phone calls every day, we all get lots of emails every day. And if it’s a phone call, it might go to voicemail, if it’s an email, clearly it goes in the inbox, and it can create a bit of a sense of obligation that the person who receives it has to reply. So, for those reasons, and because we’d like to stand out and create a really high quality touchpoint, we recommend sending a thank you card after you have received a recommendation. So if I’m a financial planner, and Dan is an existing client, and he recommends me to Abi, when Abi gets in touch and says, “Dan’s said great things about you, I want to come and see you.” I’m going to want to say thank you to Dan. So the way we would recommend you do it, is get a thank you card. Not a corporate branded thank you card. But going out to Paperchase, buy yourself a dozen thank you cards, really high quality, really nice. Handwrite it. Handwrite the envelope, put a stamp on it, and put it into post. But it’s received at the other end, it creates, again, a sense of wow, that you’ve taken the time to handwrite a card, handwrite the envelope, put it in the post. You’re saying thank you for doing it, it might sit on the mantelpiece for a while if it looks really nice, as well. So it’s just a point of differentiation, and a high touch… high-quality touchpoint with a client to say thank you for the recommendation. If Abi then becomes a client of mine in this little fictional story, I would then send Dan a thank you gift. Not a big gift, just a token, something as a surprise. And that might be… I might know Dan likes whiskey. Put a bottle of whiskey in the post to Dan. I might know Dan likes red wine. Put a bottle of red wine in the post to him. But as long as I know Dan, and he’s my client, so I should, I can send something really personal to him, that doesn’t cost the earth, that actually just shows how grateful I am to him. The wrong thing to do here, the wrong thing to do, is have a box of champagne, or a crate of champagne in the corner of the office and you just send one out to every client who makes a recommendation to you. It’s not personalised, it isn’t high quality. And in some ways, if you don’t like champagne, it can differentiate negatively as well. Then still on recommendations, we would recommend sending a quarterly recommendation update out, especially if you’re linking recommendations to charitable donations. So a recommendation update that just says thank you to the clients who have recommended you. So, “Thank you to Dan, Mike, John, Jane, for the recommendations we’ve received that from you over the past quarter. We’re really grateful for that.” A couple of stories about how you’ve helped people, a reminder about who you want to be recommended to. All these sorts of things go down really well with clients. So in terms of recommendations, three touchpoints, will continue to help turn clients into advocates. Client events. We see more and more events being run now, clearly the restrictions of COVID, hopefully permanently are behind us. And that obviously put a stop to client events, to a large degree, in 2020 and to a certain degree in 2021. But client events, again, can help turn clients into advocates. It can also be very helpful in turning prospects into clients. So these could be educational events. We’ve seen firms run investment seminars, for example, or seminars on specific topics to educate their clients. It could just be social events, thank you events. We’ve seen firms who run a summer garden party. We’ve got some firms who run events to market specific anniversaries. I was chatting to a firm on Monday who recently ran an event to mark their fifth anniversary. And they invited clients and some professional connections. And then if you’re running an event, you need to think about who you’re going to invite. Do you invite all clients? If you invite all clients, it gets a bit more expensive, depends on the size of your client bank, it gets a bit more expensive. If you don’t invite all clients, it can be quite difficult to publicise the event, and to, you know, show photographs and that sort of stuff afterwards. Because if you didn’t invite everybody, you might put a few people’s nose out of joint if you then start talking about what a great time you had. You just need to think about that. Whether you invite all clients or selected clients. Invite your professional connections as well. And think about plus one events. We’ve seen quite a few firms do really well in turning prospects to clients by running client events, but they’re plus one. Simply because if I’m going to… I’m… back to my fictional example… I’m a financial planner. And Dan is my client. I invite him and with a plus one, he might bring Abi along. Now he’s probably going to recommend me to Abi at some point in the future anyway. That might be 2, 3, 4, 5 years away. The client event actually brings forward the date when I can engage with Abi. So client events, really high-quality touchpoints. And webinars as well. Webinars are more likely to be educational rather than social. We did have a few firms run webinars as social events during lockdown, and they went pretty well. But it is quite difficult for people who don’t know each other to interact with each other on a webinar or a large online meeting. So, webinars are probably likely to be more educational in nature. And, again, you can invite clients, prospects, and professional connections. They’re cheaper to organise than face to face events, clearly. And, if necessary, they can be organised at short notice. So markets fall, that’s the obvious example, isn’t it? Markets fall significantly, you could have organised a webinar within 24 hours’ notice. And that’s a really high-quality touchpoint with clients. You’re making yourself available, you’re giving the opportunity to come on to the webinar and join you. It’s a really high-quality touchpoint. One of the things I would say on webinars is try and present yourself rather than bringing in an investment manager to do it, or a provider to do it. There’s often a feeling amongst advisors and planners that they can kind of delegate presenting on webinars, but it’s nowhere near as effective as if you do it yourself. So webinars, likely to be educational rather than social. Cheaper, can be organised at short notice, but significantly, significantly less interaction. We’ve always talked about videos. We’ve got a couple of slides on videos, because videos can be… they’re not something that I tend to see advisers and planners use, as touchpoints. They are used educationally. So, we’ve got advisers and planners using the Money Alive video sets, for example. And of course, we have advisers and planners who record videos, you know, About Us; it might be a brochure video, or getting some of their clients on video, to talk about the good work that they do. So those are the types of videos we absolutely do see firms use. What I’m talking about here is short, almost off-the-cuff videos, using a system like Loom. So, Dan is a big fan of Loom. I’m a big fan of Loom, and we use it a lot. And Abi, if we can put a link in the follow up email to Loom, that would be good. So, we will work through these couple of slides, but I’d be really interested on the chat to know if anybody on this call already uses Loom videos, because I’d like to get your input. But videos, these short videos, recorded on Loom, or something similar, create an immediate connection, or builds on an immediate connection. Because you’re seeing the person presenting back to you on a video, it’s a bit like people watching the recording back here. It’s far more interactive, if they watch the recording, rather than say, read a transcript. Because the person receiving the Loom video, receiving the short video, probably won’t have received such a thing in the past, they’re used to receiving emails that are written, and it immediately grabs their attention. And, of course, videos can be watched multiple times. And with Loom, the joy of it is, you can see who has watched it and when they’ve watched it as well. So that’s really, really helpful. And using videos, using Loom, we can save a massive amount of time. Because, it replaces the need, often, to write long emails. I find myself, you know, writing 100 word email, and I think, “I’ve got another 900 words to go.” It’s probably easier just to record a short Loom video, of me presenting whatever it is, rather than writing it out. And therefore, it can also save some meetings. It can help you work in a way where it eliminates diary conflicts, it can move things move forward more quickly. And it’s a really wonderful touchpoint. Really wonderful touchpoint with clients, because as I say, it grabs attention – it’s not something they’re used to doing. And the last reason it can save time, is because you can create a series of explainer videos. Let’s say for example, you spot that you’ve got clients struggling to log in to your platform, or your portal. Well, create a little video to explain it, and send it to them. Send it to them every time that that request comes in. And there’s so many different ways you can use Loom videos, to create a really high quality touchpoints with somebody. Replying to emails – as I say – if you find yourself thinking, write 1000 word email to explain, then why not just record a short video. Five minutes of watching you on video, is easier for you to produce, and it’s easier for the person on the other end, to consume it. Explaining tricky topics, where you’ve got to really think carefully about what you’re writing. It’s often easier to say it off-the-cuff. Apologising when things go wrong. Again, another way of just trying to impress people with a high quality touchpoint. Sharing a screen; Loom isn’t just you presenting, it can be very useful when you’re sharing a screen. So for example, that example I gave about not being able to log in to your online portal, then why not just record a short video, showing people, “Click here, click here and click here. Problem solved.” and then you can use that video, multiple times. It creates a high quality touchpoint, because it’s explained solving a problem for somebody in a visual way. Thank you videos. You want to say thank you to someone for doing something? Send them an email, but you can also record a video and send them that. Meeting follow ups. We talked about the one page summary, earlier. Why not create a Loom video? A Loom video, to talk them through that one page summary. So all your email is, is, “Attached is your one page summary. Here’s a video explaining it. Give me a shout if you’ve got any questions.” And that one page summary probably replaces quite a long email. Showing clients how to complete tasks, the example I gave earlier. And anniversaries. So, we’ve got some clients who send out a… if someone’s become a client after a month. Send them a video, saying, “Thank you for being a client for a month. It’s your one month anniversary with us. How else can we help? Hope the process has been okay, anything we should have changed?” etc. And then, of course, reacting to events. Markets drop, inflation, new rises, interest rates rise, whatever it is. Pandemics – dare I say it – or whatever it is. Record a short video. It works really, really well. I think one planner – I can’t remember if Andrew is on this call or not – a few weeks ago, when markets were extremely volatile, one Monday, he took himself into a room, and recorded the Loom video on his phone and got it out to his clients that day. It’s really reassuring to your clients, it’s a high quality touchpoint when you’re reacting so quickly. Really reassuring to them. So Loom videos. Does anybody use Loomive videos at the moment on the call? Dan, how are you using them? Does anybody use them right now

Dan Campbell 48:04
I get a crazed look in my eyes, whenever I talk about Loom. I love Loom. I’m a bit of a fanatic. So, from my experience using it, it’s very much – as you mentioned, Phil – when an email’s likely to get over a certain length. I’m, I’m far better at showing somebody something, than telling them something? So, I can just get my screen up, and just go through it. And an eight minute video, is quite a long video. But that on an email, would have been paragraphs and paragraphs, right? And also, it feels more personal than an email, when perhaps you’re not given the best news. So, people can look into the whites of my eyes. Perhaps in my situation, perhaps a client has said, “Well, we’d like this on a document, or this to be included in the design.” And perhaps it’s not looking good. So rather than me email work across, that I know isn’t working, I can record a video, and explain why I think it’s not working, and then perhaps, put some suggestions in place as to what might work. And it’s all about just… you are breaking that down to them, in a much more of a personable way that they are… they feel like they’re there with you. And they’re much more involved, much more on board, than receiving something through as an attachment, and saying, “I hate that, nope, don’t like it.” It’s a completely different emotion that they have, when they receive it. And as well, the real hack for Loom is, as Phil mentioned, recording those “explainer” videos. Often clients will ask me very similar things. It could be mostly technical things, you know? “How do I change a master slide in PowerPoint?” “How do I upload this logo file to provider platform?” and I’ve got a bank; a big library, of very useful videos, that I just send them a link to – and then that saves me doing that. But if it’s something that I’ve not been asked before, they could technically Google that. And they haven’t. They’ve sent me an email, asking me how to do it. So rather than me Googling it, and just sending them a link to some obscure article with instructions – that’s fine, but it’s quite cold, isn’t it? So, it takes me three minutes, just to quickly hit record, do the thing, and say, “Here’s the thing.” So it’s just using it like that really, and it’s a game changer. People are always so happy when they receive one. And in fact, I mean, I know Francis is in the crowd. He said, myself and Michael, our head of digital, have sent a few Loom videos in the past. And he stores them for later, you know? Rather than get lost in his inbox, it’s there on his Loom account. Like I say, crazed look in my eyes. So I’ll stop now.

Phil Bray 50:46
Whenever, literally though, whenever I send out a Loom video – and you use it far more frequently than I do – whenever I send a Loom video out, I always get a reply. If the person has not seen a Loom video before, asking how I did it, and saying what innovative way of communicating it is. So I think it’s something that can be embedded, in a lot of adviser and planner businesses. And, judging by the reaction, most people aren’t using it right now. So if you start using it, it will create that high quality touchpoint that is a differentiator. Because other advisers and planners, and other businesses, are not using it. So, moving on, then we’ll come back to some questions. Social media. Social media is an incredibly useful way, of creating high quality touchpoints. We wrote a piece, last week, maybe the week before, about doing this. Now, the first thing you should be doing, is looking to connect / follow your clients, on social media. And it’s quite amazing how many advisers and planners, don’t connect with their clients, on social media, or online. And I kind of get it on Facebook. You may not want your clients seeing what you put on your Facebook feed. You might be perfectly happy with it. But if you are happy with it, then connect with them. Friend with them on on Facebook, on LinkedIn. That’s – as we’ve said before – networking, rather than social media. So, if your clients are on LinkedIn, and your professional connections, and of course prospects, really important to not forget professional connections and prospects, link with your clients on LinkedIn. On Twitter, of course, you follow them, and hopefully, they follow back. But there’s so many benefits for doing it. Start with the connection or follow. And that will mean that your clients, prospects and professional connections, can see your posts. So that’s starting to create new touchpoints, as well. And, we’ve done a couple of exercises for planning firms, where we’ve said, “Are you connected to all your clients?” One of them was on LinkedIn, and one of them is about professional connections on LinkedIn. And they say “Yeah, yeah, we’re connected with them all.” “All right, let’s just double check.” And we got somebody in the office of double check. And as the blog shows, there was large proportions of the list of clients and professional connections we were given, where the adviser wasn’t connected to them. So don’t take it as a given that you absolutely are connected with them. So that’s the first thing. Connect with them, then those clients can see your posts. And of course, you can see theirs as well, at that point. And that means you can engage with them, by liking and commenting. And if they’re using – especially on LinkedIn – they’re using the platform to try and generate business, you can provide some support to them, which of course will go down well. And, because you’re seeing their posts, you can understand what’s going on in their lives, and you can react. You maybe react on the social platform, you might react by a direct message, you might just drop them an email or call – or who knows, a Loom video – just to check in with them. And just check that they’re okay, congratulate them on whatever they’ve talked about, wish them a happy birthday. Whatever it is. All of this starts by making sure you’re connected to as many of your clients as possible, on social media. And of course, if you are connected to them, you can then send them direct messages, with the “I saw this and thought of you,” moments. Scrolling down on a Saturday morning, while you’re on the side of the kids rugby pitch, or hockey pitch or whatever it is. You see something, you know Dan’s going to be interested in it. You send it to them on the platform, “I saw this and thought of you.” Again, it’s just easy to do – if you remember to do it – but easy to do, high quality touchpoints. New client welcome pack. Very rarely see advisers and planners doing this. But a new welcome pack, you might think about sending. If Dan were doing this, he might call it a Swag Bag, or a Swag Box, or something along those lines. But think about it. Think about whether it’s worth sending, just a pack, a box, or a bag, or whatever, of goodies, to welcome people as a client. I think you’ve got to think carefully, about when you might send it, what might go in it, and how you might send it. But just a welcome box, of goodies to put a smile on somebody’s face. I’m not talking about your brochure, your business card and things here. I’m talking about, just things, that would put a smile on their face, and welcome them as a new client. Don’t see many firms doing it, it might be because it’s a really bad idea, it might just be because people have not thought about it. But again, it’s another high quality touchpoint. And then of course, reacting to events. There are certain events; investment volatility is often the one people think about. But there are certain events, where a swift response, or a quick response, is beneficial. And you could use blogs, you could record short videos on Loom, you could be putting social posts out there. But that high quality touchpoint – the immediacy of it – is really, really important. Being there, I know some advisers that back in February, March 2020, again, February, March this year, put the tin hat on, got under the desk, and hope clients didn’t ring. They might still be there. And it’s the wrong way to react. And you’ve got to be ahead of events, or at least keeping up with events. And being there for people, reacting to them. Again, another high quality touchpoint. One thing I would say there, is you need to make sure, of course, that the messaging is appropriate. And you know your client well enough, to know whether they need a call, or whether they need reassurance, or whether actually, that might make it worse. And we did a fantastic webinar a couple of years ago, with Carl Richards and Neil Bage. And we will put that video in the follow up today. We can’t recommend that enough. Carl and Neil were fantastic. Talking about how you react when markets fall, and preparing yourself, for the next time it happens. Really, really brilliant, they were really on form. And I recommend you watch it. So those are the 12 touchpoints. And those are 12 touchpoints that will add value, will hopefully wow clients, and will help to turn them from clients into advocates. And hopefully it’s given you some ideas of things you need to do. You also need, whatever those ideas are, you also need to do some of the groundwork. And that means reach clients. I think you’ve got to understand their short term plans. You know, where are they going on holiday? What do they enjoy doing? What’s happening in their children’s lives? What’s happening in their lives? So if you understand their short term plans, you can then react to them. What are their likes and dislikes? If you’re going to send a gift in the post, to mark an anniversary, or birthday, or receiving a recommendation, you’re going to send them something nice. Probably something they like, and that makes your life easier if you’ve got a list somewhere, of their likes and dislikes. And some of the firms that do this really, really well, will have a section in their back office system, whatever it is they use, they’ll have a section in their back office system, to record what’s going on in their lives, their likes, their dislikes. Things about the children, their anniversaries, their preferred social media channels; where are they? As well as, how the client reacts during times of market volatility. So this brings… you’ve obviously got to know your client, KYC obligation from a regulatory perspective. This brings it up to a whole new level, and really important that you do it. And we can do it, by using a whole range of sources of information. That might be conversations you have with your clients. Formal conversations at a review meeting, informal conversations over the phone, or wherever they may take place. Your client survey provides you with a whole range of information to help you do this. As do your clients social media posts. Someone posts, “Looking forward to holiday in a couple of weeks time – taking that COVID test to make sure I can go.” That’s useful information that you can use, to create those high quality touchpoints. And then just their events; data about their events, and dates in their lives, anniversaries, that sort of stuff. Put that on your back office system, and then use that information, to create those really personalised wow moments. And then finally, we just got to remember why you’re doing this. You’re doing it to deepen the relationships you have with clients, to create those wow moments, that’s going to turn them from a client, into an advocate. It isn’t easy. It is… there are some of these things you can do in the business, right away. But the first thing I would do, is to create a baseline for your current advocacy. We talked about the two ways of doing that. Using the VouchedFor Elevation or using the accumulation of evidence, then agree in the business, what touchpoints you’re going to use. One of those things we’ve talked about today. Other things that you might have thought about. What are the touchpoints you will use in your business? And develop a mini plan for each, to make sure they get done. Those firms that do this well, are the ones that build processes and stick to them. Then record all new enquiries. Because touchpoints off a prospect, as well as existing clients, your touchpoints will help turn prospects into clients. And if you getting it right, then it will move them into advocacy more quickly. Your client survey helps you to build your baseline for advocacy, and then adapt your back office, to make sure that you’re recording all the information that’s necessary. And then, regularly revisit this. You create the baseline, regularly revisit it, to see whether things you’re doing are moving the dial, and turning more clients into advocates. So, I really hope that’s given you some insight into why we need to turn clients into advocates, the benefits to doing it of your business, and how they will give feedback in private, will give praise in public, and of course will recommend you go onto other people. Hopefully those 12 ideas have given you things that you can go and implement in your business – either today or over the longer term – as part of a plan. And then those next steps will have given you, well, the next steps. Things that you should be doing. We’ve run over time by a couple of minutes. So, if anyone wants to stay in touch with us, there’s our website: theyardstickagency.co.uk . Come and connect with me on LinkedIn, we regularly put videos and marketing hints and tips on there. And the same on Twitter. But as I say, aware that we’ve overrun by a couple of minutes, but really happy to hang around and answer any questions that we’ve got. So back over to you, Dan.

Dan Campbell 1:02:06
Thank you. So just wanted to… Sabina missed touchpoint three. And an eagle eyed Mike pointed out that it was birthdays and marking special occasions. So thank you for that Mike. And as Abi mentioned in the chat there to you, Sabina, if you missed that section, you can catch up with it on the recording, or the slides that we send through on the follow up. Then we’ve got a question from… let’s take a look. There we go. Ravensca, who says, “We have three different types of clients: transactional, standard, premium, and then new enquiries. Do you think we need to send the newsletter to all of them, or just one type of specific client?”

Phil Bray 1:02:49
100% all of them. If your newsletter is adding value, demonstrating knowledge, positioning you as a go-to expert, or reinforcing that, I can’t think… I might be wrong. By all things, I reserve the right to be wrong. But I can’t think of a reason why you wouldn’t send your newsletter to all your clients, prospects and professional connections.

Dan Campbell 1:03:14
Brilliant. Right. So Glen asks, “Simple CRM – any thoughts?” And we’ve got a comment in from Jonathan saying that Glen should look at Zoho. I’m aware that that’s probably enough for a webinar in its own right, isn’t it? But what are your thoughts on that, Phil?

Phil Bray 1:03:33
Yeah, my knowledge of Zoho is zero. But we use Pipedrive. And we have a few clients who use Pipedrive as a really simple CRM. The entry level cost of Pipedrive is about £11 – £12 a month, something like that. And it works really well for managing relationships. Managing the sales process, up to someone becomes a client. It doesn’t do the bit where the regulatory management. So we have some firms will use Pipedrive, up to the point of someone becoming a sale, sorry, becoming a client, and then … afterwards. But Pipedrive works well.

Dan Campbell 1:04:23
Thanks. Great question in from Sam, who asks, “Does marketing to prospects need anything obtaining from GDPR perspective?”

Phil Bray 1:04:31
This is, again, could be another a whole ‘nother webinar. But there is a myth out there that you need consent to be able to market to somebody. If you need to, make sure that your privacy policy has legitimate interest in there, as one of the legal basis for processing their data. Processing the data might be for example, an email. And if you’ve got legitimate interest in there, and if challenged, you can prove that you have a legitimate interest, you know, you just didn’t go and scrape their email address from Google or something like that, then that is generally considered to be fine.

Dan Campbell 1:05:10
Perfect. Thank you. So one final question. So get your last ones in guys, is from Nomi, who asks, “Meeting follow ups: email or phone – which is better, in your opinion?”

Phil Bray 1:05:23
Well, I think that’s probably a conversat… A question for other advisers and planners to answer. But as a client of a financial planner, I would rather have my meeting follow up, sent by email. I’d like it to be short and succinct, and to the point. I don’t particularly want to have to have to read a long email explaining it. So that’s why a Loom video might work quite nicely. But as the client of a financial planner, I have maybe spent two hours with him for a planning meeting. I’m happy to have the follow up by email.

Dan Campbell 1:06:03
Brilliant, thank you. So that’s it for questions. So, unless there’s any more for any more, we’ll wrap up.

Phil Bray 1:06:12
We’ll wrap up. Thank you. So thank you for everybody for attending. Thanks to everybody for your kind… kindly volunteering for our focus group. We’ll be in touch about that over the course of the next week, to 10 days. We’ll be back next month with our webinar. Otherwise, go and enjoy the sun! It looks like a lovely day out there, it’s supposed to be sunny for the rest of the week. See you soon everybody. Bye bye.

Dan Campbell 1:06:35
Take care guys. Thank you.

Hear from our clients

Working with some great businesses.

Ian Else

Founder & Financial Planner, 4 Financial Planning

"The brand, logo and website has hit the brief perfectly and I couldn’t be happier! I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them.”

Read More

Heather Hopkins

Managing Director, NextWealth

"They were a delight to work with – super responsive to our requests and also brought lots of good ideas to the table."

Read More

Rob Gill

Managing Director, Altura Mortgage Finance

"Best of all, their results driven approach is both refreshing and helping us achieve real goals. Thank you Yardstick!”

Read More

Tom Orchard

Director and Financial Planner, Annetts & Orchard

"I’m a big Yardstick fan now and look forward to working with them on future projects."

Read More

Alasdair Walker

Managing Director, Handford Aitkenhead & Walker

"We have felt like collaborators, rather than customers, and feel like Phil and his team has a vested interest in our marketing success that far exceeds his fee.”

Read More


Financial Planner, IQ Financial

We were lucky to be referred to Yardstick last year. We are delighted we hired them. They have specialist knowledge designed specially to help Financial Planning businesses like ours.

Read More


Head of Marketing, Ellis Bates Financial Advisers

Phil's style is informed, humorous and collaborative. The content is punchy, relevant, a go-to guide on how to create more recommendations and prompts action with no exceptions. Great workshop.

Read More


Financial Planner and Founder, Delaunay Wealth

I am absolutely delighted with all the work the Yardstick team has done for us and am very excited about how this will drive our new business/client acquisition in future. I would highly recommend them to any financial planning firm that takes their business seriously.

Read More


Director and Financial Planner, Insight Wealth

Great to work with a good professional outfit that had provided us direction and clear thinking in marketing our business effectively to obtain quality new clients.

Read More


Director & Financial Planner, Citygate Financial Planning

A thorough and excellent service. Phil and his team know exactly what to do, how to do it and when to do it. We very much look forward to working together more in the future.

Read More

Get in touch

Request a callback

Whatever your marketing challenges, we're here to help. Simply complete this form and we'll be in touch.