Give your clients their own “football”

When I was in college and law school, I had this fancy leather bound DayRunner that had all my contacts, business cards, and notes. For 1992-1998, it was state of the art because I didn’t have the shekels for a Palm Pilot. I called the DayRunner, the “football” in recognition of the “nuclear football” attaché case that stores all of our nuclear launch codes. I’m sure somewhere in my head, I though the name and number of the recruiting coordinator at the Irvine, CA office of Ernst & Young was as important as a launch code, it wasn’t.

To differentiate yourself as a plan provider, it maybe wise to give clients their own “football”. Their football wouldn’t have codes, but the important stuff that all plan sponsors need. That would be copies of the plan documents, the investment policy statement, fund menu, minutes from fiduciary meetings, materials that were handed out at enrollment meetings, or some other things that you may deem worthy. These days, it doesn’t even have to be in a fancy binder because a USB flash memory key can do the trick.

It maybe a gimmick, but it’s a good gimmick. It allows yourself to differentiate yourself from the competition, and a little gift to a client goes a long way. I knew of an advisor who did this many years ago, probably to justify the 75 basis points he was charging at the time. Regardless of what you charge, I think it’s an effective tool.

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