Resources to help go-to-market leaders adapt to changing business conditions. Learn More

Tom Fross, President of Fross & Fross Wealth Management, gave the afternoon keynote today at the 15th annual PAICR conference in a talk titled “From Marketing Ordinary to Growth Extraordinary.”

He got my attention when he talked about taking his firm from $2-4M in new AUM per year in 2004 to $50-60M today. His special recipe had nothing to do with performance and everything to do with service—- a mantra straight out of Tony Hse’s world.

Tom outlined 6 principles that his wealth advisory firm adopted in order to stand out from the competition, retain clients and generate more referrals.

Everyone in the golf course community of The Villages in Florida wears golf shirts and khakis—including the advisors.  Dress like a financial advisor if you want to be seen as one.  That goes for employees, too.

The décor of the office should also look nice.  “Book an appointment with yourself and sit in your own waiting room and then in your own office as a client,” Tom said. 

The same goes for printed materials and the online experience.  Tom recommends sending yourself your own collateral and going to your own site in the mindset of a 75 year old trying to find out information. How impressive and easy to access is your material?

When clients arrive at Fross & Fross the first time, they are offered a drink menu of 12 different coffee blends and a host of sodas.  The next time they arrive they are offered the same choice they made.  The employee that greets customers keeps track of their selection in CRM.

If they seem to take a fancy to the coffee table book, a copy is ordered for them and sent with a brief note.  If the client was looking at recipes in Better Homes and Garden and asked for a photocopy of one, she will receive a subscription to the magazine for a year.

The entire experience is built around fulfilling the unstated need in order to WOW someone.

Every piece of the client engagement process is written down.  Why? Because the client experience will only be uniform if there is a process in place. Plus, if an employee leaves or gets sick, everyone else knows how that person fits into the puzzle.

Client reviews happen at least 2x annually, and for top tier clients they happen on-demand (to the point where, if it’s urgent, the assistant will pull Tom out of an existing meeting). 

Anniversary cards are always sent out (why not include yourself in the close group of family friends that wish someone a happy anniversary).

A widow receives a call every year during the month that their spouse passed away, letting them know you are thinking of them during this tough time.

In order to maintain the premium level of service, clients must have the right chemistry, achievable investment goals and have a minimum investment amount.

Tom has had a massive amount of success with running events that bring existing and new customers together for educating and entertaining outings. Anniversary dinners, pitch and putt golf lessons, wine tasting, and ladies shopping day where 100 women are bussed to Orlando have all been successful.

Seminars on Protecting your Personal Identity have been well attended and followed up with annual Shred Day, which follows the tax season.  The first Shred Day had 600 clients show up to shred their personal documents in a rented Shred-It truck.  The next year they put an ad in the paper and opened it up to the public, with 4,000 attendees. That’s creativity in marketing.

Lastly, Frost & Frost decided to get serious about promoting themselves through ads, charity events, the local press and free public workshops.  Tom says he participates in an event every 3-4 weeks. 

1. Refine your image.
2. Deliver a WOW experience.
3. Detailed Systemization.
4. Genuine Exclusivity.
5. Quality Time.
6. Elevate Profile.

What are some other tips for delivering a WOW experience for your clients? Leave them in the comments below!