Five unusual ways for advisors to attract clients

Want to bring in new investors? We spoke to five advisors about some “outside the box” ideas

Five unusual ways for advisors to attract clients
Almost every advisor wants more business – more high-net worth clients to ramp up their assets under management. However, beyond relying on word of mouth, setting up a website and other basic marketing ideas what can you do to get new clients on board?

Wealth Professional challenged five leading Canadian advisors to put forward their “outside the box” ideas. Here, in no particular order, is what they came back with.

1: Develop a media presence

Suggested by John De Goey, portfolio manager at Burgeonvest-Bick Securities Limited.

“I made a decision over a decade ago that I would be ‘an attracter, not a chaser’.  As such, I made it my mission to develop contacts within the media and to be sought out as an expert on industry trends and developments.  When people see your name in the paper a few times, the perception (rightly or wrongly) sinks in that you are an expert.  Most people would prefer to work with an industry leader and, as a result, I sometimes get to the office to find a phone message or an email from a complete stranger asking me about minimum account sizes and whether or not I’m taking new clients.”

2: Create events to get some buzz

Suggested by Brent Vandermeer, portfolio manager and director at Vandermeer Wealth Management.

“I have done one event recently that created some buzz – I did a whiskey tasting event as we wove in the investment theme with the concept that supply and demand was going to shape this market considerably in the years to come. The ageing process of at least 10-15 years, combined with surging demand recently, will mean a significant shortage in a few years as production wasn’t ramped up early enough to keep up. There are some funds even being setup to invest in this space.  So we kept it fun and light hearted and really all about the whiskey, but we spoke briefly on the investment component to show a little about who we are, philosophy, etc. 

“We’ve also done a lot of charitable work and always make donations rather than big client gifts and we use social media and our investment newsletters and emails to communicate this with our clients. It creates goodwill and we hope increases our refer-ability index.”

3: Correct the mistakes of others for free

Suggested by Brad Jardine, president and senior financial advisor at CIC Financial Group.

“In the early days we would do an income tax preparation/review on a no-charge basis to determine if any errors were made with previous submissions.

“When we review a prospect’s tax information, invariably we will discover many items that can be ‘fixed’ or ‘improved’ either in the past or going forward. For example, capital loss carry backs, missed RRSP contributions, disability tax credit, missed pension splitting, inefficient income sources, etc.

“When we advise that this is part of our comprehensive service offering we normally get the client about 99 per cent of the time - even from another advisor’s client base.”

4: Give them a treat

Suggested by Mallory Greene, marketing manager at WealthSimple.

“We send gourmet donuts (in support of a local bakery) to existing clients workplaces and include personalized referral cards. It’s an awesome way to delight our current clients and they can distribute the donuts and referral link that has a special bonus for signing up.”

5: Don’t try to attract new clients

Suggested by Victor Godinho, president of PANGEA Personal Financial Planning.

“Some of our most beloved clients are the ones who were referred to us through our personal network. We love working with these clients because we already share similar values and also have a number of other lifestyle things in common e.g. sports, food, travel. Working with a client that ‘gets you’ is energizing and the relationship feels like a partnership.

“We recently helped a client with her first home purchase which she described as a daunting process, if she had to do it alone. One of the things we did to help was assist her to get comfortable with the neighbourhood before she purchased. I invited her and her dog to take a walk with me around the neighbourhood while enjoying a latte together. Even though she is a successful legal professional, our client was very grateful that we made the time to do this for her as it helped reduce the stress of one of the biggest financial decisions she would make in her lifetime. She is a strong advocate of our services and has referred several new clients us - none of which we had to try to attract.”

What do you make of the suggestions of our expert contributors? And do you have any tips of your own? Leave a comment below with your thoughts.