An Article that Resonated with Clients
A common complaint among advisors and clients is that they are drowning in emails. Given how busy everyone is, getting clients to spend time reading our emails is challenging. That’s why I was struck by an email from an advisor named Joan, about an article that she’d sent to clients that had nothing to do with their investments.
She received a response unlike anything she’d seen before.
Regular readers will know that I am based in Toronto. The article appeared in a column in the Globe and Mail, Canada’s national newspaper, in which readers submit short personal essays. Under the headline Letters from Dad, it talked about my experience writing my daughters an annual letter on their birthdays.
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On the Wednesday that it appeared, Joan sent a note to her clients with a link to the article, suggesting they might find it interesting. On Friday afternoon, just two days later, she sent me a note explaining that she had been overwhelmed by the number of clients who wrote back thanking her, saying that they had read the article and were planning to act on it.
What business are you really in?
One of the all-time most reprinted Harvard Business Review articles is Marketing Myopia. In that article, which appeared in 1960, Harvard Business School marketing professor Ted Levitt argued that the most important question that any business can ask is, “What business are you really in?”
The way you define your business determines the focus of your communication with clients and how you are viewed as a result. Defining your business narrowly as providing investment advice and achieving positive investment outcomes is an absolutely legitimate choice that will lead to one type of conversations, communication and relationships. Defining your business more widely as providing broad financial advice and helping clients and their families achieve financial success will lead to a different set of conversations, communication and relationships.