Jan 03 2023 / Round the Table Magazine
How to turn clients into advocates
By Matt Pais
You introduce yourself to prospects. You introduce clients to centers of influence. But do you ever introduce clients to each other?
For Ravi P. Rajpal, these client-to-client introductions not only create a new way for clients to make connections with each other, but also help him develop an internal pipeline of people eager to refer him to others.
For the 18-year MDRT member from Mumbai, India, building a stable of advocates starts with categorizing clients by a wide variety of factors — including profession, annual income and even loyalty to the practice — and allocating time each month to introduce clients to each other as well as his friends’ associates and contacts. This approach helps Rajpal solve problems for clients indirectly and leads to direct referrals from anyone grateful for his efforts.
“For me, networking answers three questions,” he said. “How can my clients benefit? How can I help increase their wealth? And how can I help them reach their personal and financial goals?”
These stories provide a snapshot of how effective these connections have been:
While planning for the retirements of three clients who work in the same company, Rajpal learned that their exit depended on the equity shares they held in the company. So, he introduced them to a client who is a chartered accountant and to other clients who lead private equity funds. Through these connections, the clients sold their stakes for $310 million, and they each had $8 million available to invest, which they did through Rajpal. The private equity fund managers also introduced him to other prospects who became clients and generated more income. Since then, these advocates introduced Rajpal to the new owners of the company.
After a client was promoted to senior director of a large pharma company, Rajpal asked his clients in the equity markets to study the valuation of this company. He shared this report with the senior director client and encouraged him to buy more shares in the company’s employee stock ownership plan. The value of the shares increased four fold, enabling the client to pay his 15-year mortgage in three years while his salary grew by 40% each year. Now the client continually introduces Rajpal to his colleagues.
Another client has a child with special needs and worried, “Who will financially support my child if something happens to me?” Rajpal met with a few clients who are lawyers to find out how a trust can be made to financially safeguard the child. The client invested in lifetime endowment plans for the child, and their subsequent recommendations of Rajpal to others helped him win more clients.
A client’s 50th birthday was a few months away. Rajpal called the client’s spouse and offered to arrange a surprise birthday party. He asked the spouse to provide contact details of the friends and relatives she wished to invite for this party and called them personally. At the party, they thanked him and asked the client’s spouse, “Who is Ravi?” As a result, the event led to 22 super-high-net-worth individuals becoming clients and advocates for Rajpal.
MORE WAYS TO SUPPORT CLIENTS
Every three to five years, Rajpal hosts a high tea gathering or dinner party and invites his top clients for a networking event. The party is simply meant to thank clients for their trust and provide a fun experience. Below are other ways Rajpal networks with clients. That event is in addition to four networking breakfasts or lunch meetings he hosts each month with two to three clients.
- Helps clients download the apps of financial companies they are investing with and coaches them on how to monitor their funds
- Sends links to information about where their funds are invested and a comparison of the competition
- Buys subscriptions to money magazines for clients’ spouses and teenage children
- Hosts seminars for clients’ spouses and children about how to monitor family wealth and encourage them to invite friends
- Invites clients to sessions related to saving
“You do not need to know anything about their business; all you need is an intention to increase their wealth, bring in value and relieve their financial concerns,” Rajpal said. “To gain trust and to stand out from the competition, we must do something which is quick, fast and impactful that touches, moves and inspires our clients and prospects.”