25 – Do a super search for every client

This is not really a tax strategy

This is not really a tax strategy, but it’s a good business development strategy. So we thought we would mention it here. Super is a close cousin to tax, so it sort of fits in anyway.

You should get in the habit of completing a super search for every new client. It’s easy. You just log on to www.ato.gov.au/superseeker and search. You will need to get some client details first: it’s the sort of information that should be on your fact finder anyway.

A confession. I recently did this myself and was delighted to find an old AMP balance from my days as an article clerk (trainee solicitor) with a big commercial law firm back in 1988. I took great pleasure in transferring it into my SMSF and using it to buy some more (fully franked blue chip Australian) shares at what I hope is an all time low price.

You will be surprised how often clients have “lost” super account balances. Check for yourself and your family now, and use this simple tip as a great way to win friends and referrals in your practice.

A project for every new client

It’s a great way to get the new client relationship off to a good start. Your SOA might read:

“I checked the ATO’s lost super register and the good news is you have $3,000 in an AMP account dating back to 1988. I attach the forms you need to complete and send to the AMP to transfer these benefits to your new fund. I have completed the forms for you and all you have to do is sign where indicated and mail it to the AMP using the pre-addressed envelope”

And if your search does not produce any gold your SOA might read:

“I checked the ATO’s lost super register and the good news is you do not have any lost super.”

A project for every old client

It can make sense for you or, better, a junior staff member, to systematically go through each client file and check they do not have any lost super.

Let each of your clients know what you did and what the results were, using the paragraphs suggested above. This is a cheap and effective client happiness project. 

There is no downside, and your clients will really appreciate the thought.

A project for every potential new client

Write to your potential new client list offering to find any lost super. Don’t worry about a fee. Do it for free. It will bring the potential client one step closer to being an actual client.

It’s a great way to turn a potential new client into an actual new client. Its a double whammy: you get to show them how switched on you are. And at the same time you show them the old adviser is a washed up tired and lazy sloth who never thinks about anyone but themselves. OK, this may be taking the thought bubble a bit too far. But you know what I mean… Its great marketing, and its easy.

Further reading

ASIC’s Money Smart website includes guidelines for finding lost super and you can read them here: ASIC on Lost Super.

The Dover Group