- Develop a Communication Game Plan
- Follow the Rules and Regulations
- Preparation is Critical to Success
There’s a lot of factors that go into an advisor choosing to go independent — and there are also a lot keeping them from breaking free and venturing out into the independent space. One of the biggest fears that many advisors have when going out on their own is client retention or client attrition (depending on how you look at it!).
And why wouldn’t you worry? If an advisor makes the big move and their clients don’t follow them after years of building a relationship and establishing trust with them, it would be disastrous on many levels. But that’s fear talking, and just like emotion-based investing, thoughts of that kind need to be replaced with logic and actionable insight. In fact, according to our most recent Advisor Survey, an overwhelming majority of advisors making the big move were able to retain 85%+ of their AUM.
So, if you’re considering breaking away and want your clients to come with you, consider taking these 4 Must-Dos to help them get on board and give yourself some peace of mind.
Know the Rules and Stay in the Guardrails
There are a lot of rules and nuances associated with an advisor leaving their current firm, many of which revolve around client contact and information that you can and can’t take with you. As you prepare to depart your current firm, there are strict rules against talking to clients about your upcoming move while you’re still employed at the firm you’re leaving. Since you can’t make contact until you’re working at your new firm, you should use the time you have to familiarize yourself with what information you’re allowed to bring with you and be sure you properly make the time to do just that.
Develop a Thoughtful, Well-Planned Outreach Strategy
It’s imperative to have a plan of action for client communication as you begin to approach your date of resignation. You want to be as prepared as possible and develop a list of clients and the order in which you should contact them. More importantly, you also kind to carefully craft the message you are going to send out. As a first step, you want to create and refine a persuasive message to your clients that explain your move and the benefits that it will bring them once you start at a new firm or open your new firm. Be sure to set aside sufficient time to address any and all client concerns that stem from your outreach. Often, fielding these concerns help you get more comfortable and confident for the next call or meeting.
Check-In. Touchbase. Hold hands.
You know your clients better than anyone — one email or letter may not be enough to convince many of them to make the move with you when the time comes to start your outreach. As you work through your client outreach strategy, be sure to include additional outreach for those clients that take a little more time to decide on what to do. Be sure to change up your methods of following up; if you started with an email, consider your next outreach to be via phone or even a handwritten letter. Since the firm you left will also be reaching out to try and keep those clients, it’s important that you continue to tailor your message and show the value of moving with you.
Be Prepared for the Transfer Process
You’ve gotten your clients to agree to make the move with you, which is a great achievement, but the work doesn’t stop there. To make the process run as smooth as possible, it’s important to know ahead of time the ins and outs of the entire process, including the paperwork and overall timing. Create a master spreadsheet with basic client information and a checklist of what paperwork is needed and what you’ve already gotten back. Some clients might see making this move as a potential risk, so knowing and being able to explain what the transfer process will entail can help put any client worries at ease.
Venturing into the independent space can be a nerve-racking, but also very exciting and highly rewarding. You’ve put in a lot of hard work to get where you are today and you want to see the client relationships you’ve made continue on with you after the move. While these 4 Must Dos can play a critical role in retaining your clients, partnering with 3xEquity can make it a lot easier. During the pandemic, one advisor, who we helped successfully make this change, was able to move 92% of his assets in less than 50 days. Want to find out how we helped? Click here.
Isn’t it time you teamed up with 3xEquity and started your own move to independence?
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