How a Teenager and Skype Deepened Client Relationships

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Dan Richards

Successful advisors are always on the lookout for cost-effective ways to deepen relationships with top clients. Last week, an advisor (let’s call him Peter) told me how he hired his son for the summer, and the two created an impressive offering that exceeded the expectations of his key clients.

“Dad, can you help me get a summer job?”

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Many parents are asked for help by their high-school and college-age children in finding summer jobs. After his 18-year-old son (Mark) had exhausted all other options, last summer Peter hired him to work in his office to do routine filing and administrative work.

The second week that Mark was in his office, Peter spoke on the phone to an elderly client with a $2 million portfolio. The client had difficulty getting around, and said he didn’t want to schedule any further visits in Peter’s office. Peter said he understood and was happy to meet at the client’s home twice a year and to speak on the phone in between those meetings.

Then, knowing that his client had children and grandchildren in other cities, Peter asked if by chance this client was set up on Skype, so that they could use this for their meetings. The client responded that some of his friends used Skype to communicate with their grandkids but that he wouldn’t know where to start in order to set this up.

Peter thought about this conversation over lunch and that afternoon called the client back, suggesting that his son visit the client’s home and set him up on Skype, and call his grandkids and Peter as a test. The client immediately agreed; the next day Mark came to the office wearing a jacket and tie and drove to the client’s home to set him up.