Today, we’ll continue with our look at John Templeton’s memo from 1953 on how to keep clients happy. This is part two of what will probably be a four-part contribution to our Templeton Letters Series.
4. It is human to be subconsciously influenced by appearances. Those banks which inhabit marble palaces usually attract the most customers. This means not only appearances of officers but also size or organization, age, clothing, automobiles, stationary, telephone handling, booklets, and many other things. The feeling of optimism and prosperity is contagious. The counselor whose manner and words reflect uncertainty or disappointment will quickly give the same feeling to the client; and the counselor whose manner and words reflect confidence and prosperity will quickly give the feeling of confidence to client.
5. The majority of clients are interested in safety of income and growth of income more than anything else. We should make this a major point in talks with clients and in letters. For example, we should show a client not only the income percentage based on current market prices but also the percentage based on capital originally listed with us.
6. Clients are also interested in capital gains, some more and some less. Trust companies and most large investment counsel ignore this subject completely; but in my opinion we should not overlook an opportunity to point out a good capital gains record. From experience, it appears that the client is most influenced if his record is compared with that of some other investor or firm of high reputation. There is a wide variety of methods for comparing capital changes, some of which were listed in the memo I wrote a couple of years ago concerning the results letters.