Some advisors don’t have a niche market, instead working with a broad section of clients without any particular parameters.
Plabita Priyadarshi is not one of those advisors. Rather, the eight-year MDRT member from Mumbai, India, handles retirement planning for 2,000 clients who all work for the same company in the oil industry. The proximity allows Priyadarshi to meet with up to 15 people in four hours, and before the 2020 COVID-19 crisis, she was traveling to that office four times per week. However, each trip took four hours total, so the recent, pandemic-driven shift to virtual meetings has increased efficiency by avoiding massive traffic issues.
Regardless, there’s no doubt there are benefits and challenges about having all of your clients in the same place. If you’re ever thinking about taking the same route, Priyadarshi offers these tips:
Meet with people alone. It may seem like working with so many clients in the same place would provide opportunity for a lot of group meetings, and Priyadarshi says that one person’s positivity in a meeting definitely can be contagious for other clients. But the opposite can be true as well. So while she does hold the occasional workshop, Priyadarshi prefers one-on-one client meetings to ensure a personal experience that has no potential to impact other clients negatively.
Run toward, not away from, difficult conversations. Since everyone in the company knows who works with her, Priyadarshi says problems can occur if an investment goes down and people start to chatter. That’s why she makes sure to connect with concerned clients and communicate the importance of patience when the market dips. “Then they will tell other clients, ‘Plabita
is so positive,’” she said. “Many other advisors in India will run away and not call their client if the market is falling, but if you go and face the client, it will have a positive impact.”
Use referrals. This one is self-explanatory but worth mentioning. Many doors have opened for Priyadarshi — who initially began working with people at this organization because they, like her, were Assamese — by hearing about other employees from existing clients. Sometimes that leads to meeting with multiple people at once, but, well, please refer to the first point above.
Don’t forget to prospect. Just because Priyadarshi has so many clients in the same place doesn’t mean she ignores business growth. Every day, she spends one hour calling existing clients and two hours calling prospects. This dedication and discipline has led to three Top of the Table qualifications.
Avoid becoming complacent. Priyadarshi knows that her standing with these clients in this company is not a given. Before the pandemic, she’d send a cake or flowers for clients’ birthdays, and sometimes she sends customized gifts like cookware, jewelry or monogrammed pens depending on how well she knows the client and their family. “The children remember me and call me ‘Auntie,’” she said.