Last month I asked a small group of clients to volunteer some time (a couple hours over dinner) to take part in an exercise designed to give me feedback on the service provided by myself and my company MoneyAdvisor.ca Financial Ltd. This group is called my Advisory Council. I wanted to hear directly from them what they think we are doing right, what we can do better and how to properly grow our business.
I asked a good friend of mine (and former assistant Michele) to moderate the meeting and keep the conversation going because I had chosen not to attend so that everyone could freely speak their mind! Needless to say I was a little nervous about what I was going to hear.
One of the suggestions of the group was that I share the results of the meeting and invite further feedback from anyone that wishes to give it! I agree.
What are we doing right? It’s always nice to start with the good news! This is straight from the minutes of the meeting.
Generally the participants felt:
1. They liked the relationship that we have built and feel comfortable with me and the way that I talk and act.
2. Flexible and easy to schedule meetings with.
3. They felt that I did a good job of articulating my suggestions and kept the conversation simple and uncomplicated whenever possible.
4. Empathetic and I do not discriminate based on income or assets.
5. They felt that I was a good communicator.
6. The council appreciated the market commentary and the level of communication.
7. Still feels like a small company.
8. There is a high level of trust in me. (much appreciated!!)
9. Low pressure and light pitch was appreciated by the participants but they commented that if I ever was pushy it was because I believed strongly in what I was suggesting.
It was a very good feeling hearing these nice comments about me and our business and I really appreciated hearing the “good”.
It is always a bit harder to hear criticism but I truly wanted to hear it so that we can improve.
Here is the summary of what the Council thought we/I could improve:
1. Returns – it was not surprising to hear that even with the improving markets lately, that there is still some “fatigue” from clients. How do we protect assets in bad times and more fully participate in the good times?
2. Shouldn’t we as financial advisors see “bad times coming” and be better at predicting the markets?
3. Too many statements – why so much paperwork!
4. Lots of changes over the years, moving offices and company names can be confusing.
5. What is the relationship between Worldsource, MoneyAdvisor.ca , Guardian Capital, etc?
6. Would like to hear from me on the phone more, felt the meetings were frequent enough but just a touch base call would be good every once in awhile.
7. Would like more of my personality and opinions in my newsletters. What do I think?
8. Are there other options that can pay higher rates of returns?
9. What is the right place to be invested over the short term?
This is a good start and I really appreciated hearing what was on top of their minds. Over the coming months I intend to address all of these concerns in detail. I am thinking about doing a commentary on each of those points. If someone on the council was thinking it, then more of my clients must be as well.
How do we grow our business and meet more people who could benefit from me and the rest of the team at MoneyAdvisor.ca ?
1. Having a better social media footprint such as Facebook, Twitter, and Linked In. etc. was suggested.
2. Creating a community of clients on-line so if someone had a comment or concern or question, others could see and respond etc.
3. Referrals from existing clients to their friends, families and co-workers are difficult or a “tough sell” when the market and returns are not fantastic.
4. We should communicate our entire advisory offering more effectively so that people have more reason to refer us!
Overall everyone on the council was very happy they attended and thought it was a good experience and that they would be happy to do it again in the future!
On that note, we had 6 wonderful people there, and we have room for a couple more for the next “Advisory Council ” meeting. I plan to have another one in the fall and would love some more volunteers! If you would like to help me shape the future of my business and how it will serve you in the future, please let me know!
Thanks again to the “Council”!! See you all again soon and definitely in the fall!