Client contact: A method to the madness

By Julie Littlechild | April 8, 2004 | Last updated on April 8, 2004
2 min read

(April 2004) It seems that after every RRSP season comes to a close, the familiar refrain among financial advisors is, “Next year, I’ll do it differently.” Translated, that means that rather than squeezing a year’s worth of client contact into eight weeks, advisors want to feel more in control of the process, they want to ensure that their client contact goals are being met and that they distribute the contact more evenly throughout the year.

Beyond lack of time

When it comes to a failure to meet client contact goals, advisors often say they are disorganized or simply don’t have the time to be more disciplined in the client contact process. In fact, there are two other factors that support the common feeling of being out of control:

  • Many advisors have not clearly defined their client contact goals by client segment — that is, they have not drawn a straight line between client value and client activity. As a result, client contact is often ad hoc and more time is spent on lower value clients than is warranted. In this situation, ill-defined priorities are the problem, not lack of time.
  • Another more insidious problem is that many advisors are simply operating at overcapacity. Based on the client contact goals they have set, they are physically incapable of delivering that service, given the number of clients with whom they work.

Controlled contact

The solution to more controlled and effective client contact starts with taking stock. Do this by performing the following steps:

  • Define client contact goals that are reasonable, given the value of the client.
  • Assess the implications of those contact goals by calculating the associated investment of time.
  • Based on that assessment and available resources, redefine your contact goals.
  • Set weekly meeting goals to ensure that your contact goals are being met throughout the year.

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Be sure to check back to next month when Julie explains how to focus your client meetings to ensure that you are maximizing the value of your client relationships.

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Julie Littlechild is president of Advisor Impact, a firm that helps financial advisors improve profitability and productivity. For more information, go to


Julie Littlechild