Owning up to your errors
will cement an advisor-client relationship, says Shashi Verma, a Kolkata-based
My first client was a vice-president at a big corporate.
One of my friends who was a CA told me that the VP was looking to invest in
some tax-saving vehicles. In the first meeting, he simply told me to invest his
money in PPF and LIC for tax-saving purposes.
I then shifted the discussion and introduced him to
a tax-saving infrastructure bonds - their product details and risks. During the
90s, people were not aware about mutual funds. I had a long discussion with him
on different kinds of mutual funds and the risks associated with each category.
He was impressed by my knowledge, but he did not go
ahead with the investment as he wanted some time to choose. I followed up with
him and he called me for a second meeting.
In the second meeting, he said, “I am quite
satisfied with your knowledge on financial investments; I shall give mutual
fund investments a try.” He invested Rs 20,000 in Kothari Pioneer (now Franklin
India) Bluechip Fund.
The small initial token size actually helped me to win
his trust. During this investment, a memorable incident took place. I had
handed over the application form to my back office staff for submission, as I had
an urgent assignment the next day. However, my office submitted the form only four
days later and this delay caused a loss of Rs. 2000 to my client. I accepted my
mistake and told the gentleman that I would pay him back the difference.
He said, “The difference is not a big thing for me,
as I am looking at long term investment. But I wanted to hear from you, your
acceptance of the mistake. Your sincerity is incredible.” I currently manage a Rs
75 lakh portfolio for him.
clients properly, sales will automatically follow
Manoj Garg, MD, Simply Invest, says that clients
will stay with you even if investment returns are subdued, but they will not
tolerate shoddy service.
My first client was Vinay Jain, who owned the property where I started
my first business venture. The software market was booming those days and I had
joined this business with a partner.
I wanted to also run mutual fund advisory business. Vinay knew that I
had worked with a few AMCs before becoming an entrepreneur, so it was he who
made the initial move on the very first day.
While handing over the keys, Vinay asked me, “Can you suggest some funds
where I can lock my money?” I was not expecting this query from him but I
explained the concept of mutual funds and the risks and returns associated with
each MF category. After listening to me patiently, he said he was interested in
equity mutual funds.
Vinay invested Rs 20,000 in an equity fund. Over time, his family
members have also become my clients. He taught me a big lesson in life—never
take your client lightly. Vinay believes me blindly, but he will not accept any
slack when it comes to service. He maintains his composure even if his
investments don’t give him good returns, but he always wants prompt service.
Through him, I have learned a dictum which I will never forget: ‘If you
serve your clients properly, sales will automatically follow’. I will always
respect my first client.