While I am not exactly plagiarizing, I am definitely re-purposing someone else’s ideas. Strike that – I’m actually re-purposing two other people’s ideas – Seth Godin and Elon Musk.
The takeaway from Godin’s message, is to take care of those that care about you. And Musk’s message is – when someone, particularly someone important, makes a request of you – you need to either respond or take action. In neither case is doing nothing an option. Nor is doing something – but doing it slowly.
The corollary to investor relations should be obvious. Client experience matters. A lot!
Lydia Tomkiv, in her Fundfire article entitled, “Clients Want More Than Money Management” drives this point home well. Bridgewater is legendary for the quality of its investor relations. It should be – they invest a boatload of resources into it. According to the article, Bridgewater has “approximately 270 clients [with] 130 people in client service roles.” For the arithmetically-challenged – that’s an average of just two clients for every one IR person.
1). Over-communicate and be transparent
Don’t go overboard and start annoying people with useless dribble – but be pro-active. In survey after survey with LPs as part of our Brand Strategy interviews, we are reminded that the biggest struggle investors have is getting the information they need without having to beg for it.
2). Be responsive. Like…really, really responsive!
I scratch my head why this even needs to be said. But based on investor feedback, it’s clearly an issue. I mean, it’s their money – and they are paying you a lot to manage it. Respond to their damn inquiries! Or even better, as Musk says, “execute.”
The response could simply be an acknowledgement of the request and a promise to get back later. Just be prompt and take ownership. Buying time is fine – to a point. They shouldn’t need to chase you down for information.
3). Add value
Performance is essential, but not sufficient. As Lydia says, investors want more. Find a way to be their partner. There are dozens of ways to deliver value. If you can make it consistent with your own brand values, it will be perceived as genuine and relevant while reinforcing those attributes that make your firm special.
Your objective is more than just a satisfied client. You’re looking to create loyalty. You’re looking for true believers. Because as Godin points out, with loyalty comes “repeat customers and ambassadors.”
If your strategy is as extraordinary as you think it is – then you shouldn’t be the only true believer of it, should you?