We are more than halfway through 2017, and hopefully you are ahead of your annual sales and client retention goals. Even so, if you are like the majority of advisers, you likely are struggling to attract new client relationships while retaining your existing client base in light of the unsettled and unsettling regulatory climate. That’s why we want to talk about your marketing efforts and in particular the power of client testimonials.

Some of you are saying, “We already have a few one- or two-sentence quotes about how helpful our team has been.” I’m talking about creating a small library of client testimonials that address specific capabilities, attributes, outcomes and results. I’m advocating that you proactively incorporate client testimonials into your marketing efforts.

Bloomberg/file photo

Where should you start? Think about your best clients. That can mean the largest clients with local brand name recognition. Or that can mean your most loyal clients with the longest tenure with your firm. It could mean your fastest-growing clients. Or it could mean the clients where your team performed at an extremely high level and created enormous value. Hopefully it’s all of these, and those clients perceive you as their trusted adviser.

I am not talking about passively waiting for client testimonials that are written by an occasional client or two. I’m asking you to consider developing a proactive campaign to create client testimonials.

Make it happen
Once you’ve identified who some of your best clients are, consider the story that can be briefly told about what you have done for them and their employees. Consider it as a mini case study.

You know best what you did on the client’s behalf and what the results were. That’s why you or someone on your team needs to draft the testimonial, since you know what you want to emphasize from a marketing perspective. After all, you are promoting your business. Plus, you want to make it easy for your client to give you permission to use the testimonial and the client’s brand name. So do the work yourself and develop the marketing message.

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Consider some of the following situations as themes to be the focal point of your testimonials. Clients where you helped them to:

  • Revamp their major medical coverage and employer contribution to reward wellness plan participation
  • Develop a multi-year benefit strategic plan
  • Educate their employees to become more informed consumers of healthcare
  • Bend the healthcare cost curve and reduce their insurance premiums
  • Adopt an onsite clinic or alternative pharmacy benefit program for better service at a lower cost
  • Supplement their existing employer-paid benefits with voluntary benefits
  • Leverage technology to make benefit information more readily accessible

In a short period of time, you will have a small library of testimonials that will promote your team’s strengths from a number of different perspectives.

The best part of this approach is that your clients will be “bragging” for you with real case study examples. Being endorsed as a subject matter expert and trusted adviser is very compelling. Now that’s a winning marketing strategy.