While it will always be about anticipating ways to create value, it’s more than that.
The best relationship managers serve as a consultant to the client, delivering not just new products and services, but working to ensure client DELIGHT, loyalty and increased profitability for both parties. These often include service offerings beyond defined contribution, such as payroll services and personal investing services.
Here's a short list of other ways Relationship Managers are “Meaning More” to plan sponsors:
- Develop strong partnerships based on shared commitment to mutual goals. Get them articulated!
- Expand the relationship to include the highest level of decision makers such as the head of a business unit leadership team, the head of HR and other influential “Accountable Executives” within an account.
- Acquire a clear understanding of the client's perception of their issues. Seek feedback and opinions on what the client sees as relevant.
- Set the strategic direction for the plan and demonstrate ultimate ownership and accountability for the client relationship.
- Anticipate issues and/or concerns to proactively provide solutions. Verify client agreement about various issues and options before implementing them.
- Cross-sell and consult on product and services consistent with your firm’s business objectives through effective promotion and positioning of key solutions.
- Consult with clients about the legal and regulatory environment and how it impacts the customer's plan(s) or benefits. Facilitate discussions with clients regarding legal, regulatory and design issues across the plan.
- Coordinate internal resources to provide analysis and recommendations to clients on design alternatives. Understand and connect your firm’s objectives to current benefit design trends.
- Analyze the client's investment architecture and provide appropriate alternatives. Identify key drivers and maintain consistent formal/informal contact with key client decision makers. Actively facilitate Investment Review meetings.
- Understand the client culture and wear it like a second skin – make yourself indispensable by recommending solutions that can be executed within that culture.
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