3 Ways to Grow Your Business through Existing Clients

Marketing • Posted on May 8, 2020

3 Ways to Grow Your Business through Existing Clients

At the end of April, around 15 million American small businesses said the pandemic is to blame for revenue declines. With so many businesses experiencing financial loss, how can your business grow during this time?

As a financial advisor, you’re in the best position to utilize your expert knowledge to help protect people’s financial futures. Not just throughout this global pandemic, but into the future against the next recession, virus, or whatever it may be.

In case you missed it, make sure you check out  How to Attract Business During COVID-19 and Top Marketing Tactics for Advisors During the Coronavirus Pandemic. In the current climate it's equally important to pay attention to opportunities within your existing client base in order to grow your business. 


There are two main ways to grow your business; by looking at your existing clients as well as gaining new clients. Let’s focus on your existing clients as there are three main ideas that you can implement right now for immediate growth. 

1. Upselling and Expanding Your Business Offering

Upselling is the process of getting an existing client to purchase additional products or services or upgrade to a higher cost product based on complementary needs.

The thought of upselling can seem icky, but there are more professional ways of upselling than  the “would you like fries with that?” approach. Don’t think of the upsell as additional revenue for you, but instead, remember it’s a way to help your client with what they actually need! Go into this step with the intention of bridging the gap of what  your clients might be missing from their portfolio right now.

The best place to start is to write a list of all your services. You can use this list to see if there are any areas you could potentially expand your business. The more services you offer, the more opportunities you have to cross-sell or upsell to your clients.

Once you have your service list, write out a list of clients who have a real need for additional services from you. To help you identify clients, you’ll need to understand what success means to them. What are their goals and ambitions and how can you help them achieve it? Are there any additional or elevated products they would qualify for based on their needs? These are your cross-sell and upsell opportunities.  For example, a client that you’re helping with a retirement portfolio may also need life insurance. And you may actually help to save them money by bundling it together.

Whichever you choose, you want to be able to provide value to your client as soon as possible to make sure they’re happy and satisfied with their greater investment. Where possible, make the upsell or cross-sell measurable.

2. You Can’t Make Money from Clients You Don’t Have 

When you have a client, you’re receiving revenue. When you lose a client, you’re losing revenue. It’s as simple as that. As a business owner, you want to be doing everything in your power to keep all your clients.

This tip isn’t so much about growing your business by taking on additional clients, instead it’s ensuring it’s not shrinking due to losing clients.

It costs a company 5 times more to attract a new client compared to retaining an existing one. In addition, 44% of companies have a greater focus on client acquisition compared to 18% that focus on retention. For more statistics on client Acquisition Vs. Retention Costs, click here for the full infographic.


When you focus on retention it gives you the opportunity to learn from past mistakes. Find out the reason why people leave your business and put actions in place to fix those problems. 

A Spectrum Group study revealed that 58% of high-net-worth investors have switched financial advisors within their lifetime, and 23% have done so within the past five years. That’s a lot of recent movement that is preventable! No one actually wants to go through that process, unless they’re very unsatisfied with their current advisor - make sure you’re not that advisor!


The two most common reasons people leave their financial advisors is due to poor portfolio performance or lack of communication. A lot of the time, a poor performing portfolio isn’t even the main problem and can be rectified through communication. When an advisor is able to communicate the dip in performance, like during a global pandemic, the client is less likely to leave as the loss isn’t a shock to them and they understand the market cycle and that it’s temporary.

Check out these articles for further reading on ways to communicate with your clients:

Right now, with the ongoing global pandemic, it’s actually the best time to focus your business efforts on retention. It may seem obvious, but the best way to keep receiving money from clients is to keep them as a client. 

3. Ask for referrals 

Asking for referrals is something that many financial advisors are not comfortable doing. Similar to upselling, it may make you feel uncomfortable (but only at first!). Like we said before though, you have a service that can help people, and it’s important to remember that!

There are also ways to ask for a referral without explicitly asking, “Do you have a colleague, friend or family member who may need some financial guidance at this time? I’m happy to offer a complimentary introductory call on any referrals.”

A simple and effective way to approach your clients for referrals is to invite them to a free online seminar or webinar. Putting yourself in the shoes of your client, it’s easier to approach a family member with an invite to join a webinar about building a stock portfolio or steps to a financially stress-free retirement, compared to reaching out randomly to see if they’d like to speak to an advisor. Anything educational that will add value to your clients and their guests is the best approach.

You could also consider a referral incentive program. Before you do this, make sure you speak to your compliance officer to stick within their regulations. Incentives could be known, such as a $50 Uber Eats voucher as a thank you when you have a friend or family member attend the online seminar with you. Or incentives could be a surprise to your client and you could randomly send them a bottle of wine as a thank you.

Referrals, or word-of-mouth, can be the lifeblood of growing your business. In fact, referral marketing is the most influential form of advertising with 84% of people saying they trust recommendations from people they know. A referral has a 37% higher retention rate, and a referral is four times more likely to refer more clients to you. Referral statistics source: Invesp.

Before you focus on growing your business with new leads, it’s important to utilize your existing client base. We’ll say it again, don’t forget about the incremental ways you can help your clients and their networks. As a financial advisor you have a very unique opportunity to help people during this global pandemic - extend your services!



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Disclaimer: The content of this article is for informational purposes only. If you are planning to implement a new marketing practice and are unsure what the regulations are, always contact your compliance department first.

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