Independent broker dealer recruiter Jon Henschen Publishes “4 Ways to Give Clients a ‘Wow’ Experience”

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Jon Henschen’s article, “4 Ways to Give Clients a ‘Wow’ Experience,” references The Book of Wow and identifies four Wow experiences that work on both the advisor and broker-dealer level.

Wow experiences are similar to unexpected acts of kindness, which can be infectious and very gratifying when put into regular practice.

Featured February 24, 2021 on ThinkAdvisor.com, independent broker dealer recruiter Jon Henschen’s “4 Ways to Give Clients a ‘Wow’ Experience,” encourages advisors to read through the “The Book of Wow” to learn what other advisors have done to exceed normal expectations and to come up with their own Wow experiences for clients. “The Book of Wow,” is based on the Art of Wow program created by Knowledge Labs. According to the book, Wow experiences are unanticipated, surpass professional advice and involve actions that resonate on a personal basis with clients; they’re also often unique to each client.

Henschen opens his discussion noting that, “Words are cheap, and actions speak louder than words — as our industry spouts many cliché corporate platitudes. Few follow through with the necessary actions to bring about Wow experiences.” Henschen then identifies four Wow actions that work on both the advisor and broker-dealer level.

The first Wow action, according to Henschen, is to “concentrate your attention.” He comments how many advisors and broker-dealers think in terms of providing a service experience that’s adequate enough to keep clients, while these advisors and BDs go beyond adequate. According to Henschen, “For an advisor, if you have hundreds of clients, high levels of attention to your clients becomes logistically impossible, because the Wow model requires 25-50 qualified investor clients or 50-100 accredited investor clients. The article then tells the story of one particular advisor who maintains a list of 35 clients, and how this client list enables her to provide her high level of service.

On a broker-dealer level, Henschen observes that there are BDs in the small and midsized range that follow a similar model: They have a very high service level, are focused on high-end advisors and give them focused attention and high-quality service experiences that make them very sticky. One of these firms, which is at the 250-advisor level, has a growth cap of 500 for the same reason the advisors cap client growth: It would negatively impact the service culture they worked hard to cultivate.

Henschen continues that advisors at these firms also have strong relationships with management, and points to previous published article about high-attention BDs, “Is Your Broker Dealer a Screaming Eagle or a Box Wine?” Larger firms have their own version of this high-attention model — namely through a structure that lets large producer groups operate within their broker-dealer and points to his article, “How Super OSJs Bring Innovation to Broker-Dealers.”

The second Wow action, according to Henschen is “strive to impress.” As broker-dealers mature or advisors get accustomed to their client bases, Henschen observes that they can sometimes fall into complacency and take customers for granted. They might get lazy and stop making the effort to impress. However, he states, whether you are a BD or an advisor, striving to please will keep retention of these relationships high.

For advisors, knowing clients’ passions, hobbies, charitable concerns, sports interests and more importantly their children and/or other relatives brings opportunities for personalized gifts and planned activities that show you know and care about them. This also will help you keep them as clients and set the stage for retaining their children as clients in the future.

For broker-dealers, advisor counsels that let advisor concerns influence company policy, reward trips for those at multiple levels of production, as well as communications from management to advisors on an individual basis (not firmwide memos) make advisors feel significant. Firms that take these extra steps help build a culture that’s perceived as advisor driven.

Henschen’s third Wow “Pursue what is meaningful, not what is expedient,” is Rule No. 7 in Canadian clinical psychologist and psychology professor Jordan Peterson’s 2018 self-help book “12 Rules for Life: An Antidote for Chaos.” Henschen includes Peterson’s rule No. 7 in his top four “Wow” points, because he had found that the most successful advisors and firms have taken a path to pursue being meaningful.

According to Henschen, the financial planner who works slowly and deliberately, with all investing decisions supported by a financial plan and adhering to a fiduciary standard would be someone advising in a meaningful way.

For broker-dealers, Henschen characterizes self-serving expedience as prioritizing profit centers over their advisors’ ability to effectively adhere to a fiduciary standard; and implementing compliance policies that cater to the lowest common denominator, with paperwork and processing business considered “burdensome” at best. For BDs doing business in a meaningful way, their operating motives looks like this: If we do what’s best for advisors and their clients in the long run, we too will benefit.

Henschen’s fourth Wow action is to “Do many things extremely well,” noting that Technology, operations, processes and compliance have been refined over and over until they operate with such accuracy that mistakes and errors are rare occurrences. These firms and individuals are always learning and keeping up with changes, always honing their craft to deliver a better experience.

Jon Henschen is founder of http://www.henschenassoc.com, an independent broker-dealer recruiting firm located in Marine on St. Croix, Minnesota. With more than 20 years of industry experience, Jon is a staunch advocate for independent financial advisors, and is widely sought after by both reps and broker dealers for his expertise and advice on independent broker dealer topics. He is frequently published and quoted in a variety of industry sources, including WealthManagement.com, ThinkAdvisor, Investment Advisor Magazine, Wealth Management Magazine, Financial Advisor IQ, Financial Advisor Magazine, Investment News and others.

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