How well do you know Bob Barking?
Martha: We know him well. Fred
and I and Bob and his wife play Pickle
Ball every Saturday.
You: With your permission, I would
like to mention to him that you have been
a client for the last seven years. Can I
suggest he give you a call?
Martha: You don’t even have to do
that. I will see them both in a couple days.
I’ll put in a good word for you.
The Answer to a Tough Question
Your CRM may well contain some insights
on what you should or should not do.
Let’s take a contentious topic — getting rid of small accounts.
Perhaps it doesn’t feel right to you.
Perhaps some of the people who’ve helped
you come to the party fall in to the very
category you are being urged to jettison.
What should you do?
Let’s do a bit of analysis.
You have already looked at a map
with your list of first-quintile clients
and fifth-quintile clients turned on. That
might already suggest some people not
to chuck overboard.
But there’s another bit of analysis we
can do that does not require a map.
Go back to the Excel spreadsheet in
which you assigned a quintile to each of
your clients. Write down another number in a separate column beside each of
your top-quintile clients.
You should be asking this question:
What percentage of my top clients were
formally bottom-quintile clients or referrals from bottom clients?
If it’s a large percentage and you throw
out these “bottom feeders,” aren’t you
shutting down one of the feeder lines
into your “top clients” group?
Let’s find out. Sure, emotion may play
a part in the final decision, but let’s do
Beside each client’s name, write down
one of these numbers:
1. Referred by a top client; based on as-
sets acquired in Year One, this client
went immediately to the top 20%.
2. Acquired through an introduction
made by a center of influence; im-
mediate top 20%.
3. Acquired by networking with wealthy
4. Came from public seminar.
5. Referred by a “medium client.”
6. Former bottom-level client who in-
herited or otherwise acquired wealth.
7. Referred by a bottom-level client.
This little exercise will take you 10 or
15 minutes. The key question to resolve is
how many assets came from the answers
to questions 6 and 7?
One of my clients is being pressured
by his firm to get rid of his smaller clients.
I had him do this exercise.
He reported that about 55% of the
assets in his top tier came from clients
with a 6 or 7. As you do this exercise,
keep this question in mind: Could you
have predicted which of your 6 and 7
clients would one day be in the top 20%?
The Little Data can help you make
Let’s take one more example of how to
use Little Data in your CRM.
If you don’t have an “employment status” field in your database, you should.
This would be a single choice field (as
opposed to a multiple choice).
The choices should be retired, professional, business owner, employee, corporate executive, teacher/clergy, pension
If you cannot add such a field to your
CRM, then just export all your clients to
an Excel spreadsheet. In the header row,
you just need two columns for name and
You already know your clients’ employment status. Take an hour, and by looking at each client’s name, decide how to
label his or her employment status. Note
it in the “employment status” column or
field if you can create one.
Sort your spreadsheet by status. Or,
if you have just a little bit of Excel skills,
go to your data menu and make a pivot
table. This will give you a count for each
You: Now what?
Me: You know the bulk of your clients
are retirees. Let’s see where they live.
Export your retirees to an Excel spreadsheet. Create a new map. Import.
Does this suggest the best location for
a luncheon event? Should these clients
bring a guest?
Import the clients who are business
owners. Do you see any pattern? Is there
any way to get more of what you’ve got?
There’s no news here. But what if you
notice that 15% or so are professionals?
These would be your doctors, lawyers,
engineers, etc. Are there any more professionals where those came from?
You can use these maps for planning routes to visit clients and prospects, for delivering care packages to
CPAs during tax season and for doing
whatever else your fertile mind can
come up with.
The prospects are endless!
Bill Good is chairman of Bill Good Marketing. His Gorilla CRM System helps advisors
double their production or work half as much;
see www.billgood.com. His seminar program,
“No More Pies,” helps advisors manage ETF
portfolios using technical analysis; see www.
nomorepies.net. And his blog, financialadis-
orsmarketing.net, has useful information for
advisors who need to beef up their marketing.
To preview Bill as a speaker, see his You Tube
You should be asking
this question: What
percentage of my top
clients were formally
clients or referrals
from bottom clients?