How can FX relationship managers and directors maintain relationships in a Corona world? – Op Ed
“The marketplace is cram packed with FX firms vying for business and the only difference is how their personnel approach and handle the clients” says Meir Velenski
By Meir Velenski, CEO of Velenski Financial Group. Meir is a market expert on FX and CFD trading and a consultant to firms in this market.
Many many hours and huge investment in time has been expanded and invested by various FX firms to either grab new business and or maintain good relationships with existing clients.
It is well known that it is far more cost effective to maintain an existing relationship then go and acquire (cost per acquisition CPA) a new client. As mentioned many times by many firms, the cost today is about $1700 via digital SEO and Digital lead generation.
Once this cost is laid out , surely an FX firm wants to get the client trading large volumes and help them to extend the longevity of the trading client.
Monday morning sales team meetings at the start of the week have now mostly been replaced by Monday morning Zoom calls, however the energy levels need to be projected via Zoom which is not always as practical as the physical meetings that once existed.
One of the other ways of attracting clients, normally the High Net Worth customers, or clients with larger deposits is to turn to the traditional route of employing a relationship executive that would target market a specific client and hopefully woo him/her to trade with the host FX firm.
This is a very successful route for the high touch clients and as long as the relationship executive knows how to operate then the clients normally will be quite loyal.
In my experience a lot of firms have relationship executives that are too shy to call the client or want to hide behind emails to avoid actual sales contact with the client.
Clients are not stupid and can feel if the executive is genuine or not. Often when the client is losing money the executive maybe too embarrassed or nervous to engage with the client as losses are an inevitable aspect of trading, and as such uncomfortable. I have come across a lot of relationship management teams that simply don’t want to call the client as they have “ nothing to say”.
I know one Business relationship manager that only calls his clients with bad news!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He should be fired.
Some strategies for client retention.
To me the obvious strategy for a team leader or Director of Client Relationships is to set specific target generated goals for the team, whether the team is 1 person or 20 people. You have to grab the bull by the horns and sett targets and client agendas. Now that the world has changed either Temporarily or permanently depends on your view then the only approach today is a no physical presence.
BUT ,think about it, until recently 90% of the contact was the same as it is now just there was the latent option to meet up with a client for a presentation, drink, coffee or lunch. That’s has been suspended for the moment.
What the Relationship Director or executive can do in its place is simple and the world has made it easy. What a client wants whether retail or institutional can be split into several categories.
1: Delivery of the goods
2: Fair Pricing
3; Transparent market place
4; Payment on time
These are to name but a few. Regular team work and brain storms with the relationship team will encourage the team and breed new energies and ideas. Routine, becomes boring and boredom breeds apathy and low energy levels.
Even as the team is detached physically there can be plenty of initiatives internally that can work and get your client base active. What about doing a zoom call with several clients that they can actually see and talk to each other like a Monday morning VIP breakfast on Zoom
Getting in touch with the client. Empathy
Sympathy is an emotion but slightly detached from what the person is feeling.
Empathy is a higher level of sympathy where you have experienced the exact emotion as the person you are inter-acting with. Today the level of empathy driven emotion is far greater as the whole world is suffering from the Covid 19 situation.
This immediately puts you, the account relationship executive, at a stronger connect point then before as clients are all locked in or locked down with little outside contact. The FX firm can start getting in touch with the clients and simply asking them how they are getting along. The client will be happy to get that phone call.
The phone call shows that at least you are interested in them. If you want to maintain your client base in an age of flooded options then the FX firm must engage more with their clients.
Maybe the Client Relationship Director should also get on the phone sometimes and call some clients, as this would go down very well.
The marketplace is cram packed with FX firms vying for business and the only difference is how their personnel approach and handle the clients.
Your old existing clients is someone else’s new client and be aware clients will move if they don’t see value.
Its time for the relationship team led by a sparkling Director to grab the bull by the horns and exploit the Corona opportunity of increased volumes and get those regular clients to VIP level thus retaining clients instead of paying fortunes for new ones.
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