Go Ahead And Talk With Clients About This `New Normal World
by Linda Koco
Our nations leaders, including our business leaders, seem unified in urging the country to “return to normal,” devastating though the Sept. 11 attacks and now the anthrax cases may be.
Normal, as in resuming everyday activities–work, family, education, travel, community, etc. And, as in everyday buying and selling.
As a provider of insurance, annuity and other financial products, you are in a pivotal position to nudge this restorative process along.
As you do this, you may find the process brings you to new ways of tending to the financial affairs of clients. Far from going back to business as it was before Sept. 11, you may find yourself moving your clients and your own firm forwardto a “new normal.”
Well look at some examples in a moment. First, lets see why this subject is worthy of your active consideration.
The rationale behind the calls for restored normalcy is boilerplate logic. By resuming normal activities, citizens and businesses actually contribute to the war against terrorism. They do this by helping keep our society and economy strong. This shores up the publics optimism and future directedness. And it sends a loud and clear message to the world: “We wont be defeated.”
The strength, hope, and future orientation that flow from this must surely resonate with you, for these are among the very building blocks of the financial services industry. The more you emphasize these messages in your work with clients, the more you yourself contribute to the war effort, even as you help others to do so.
This is the back-to-normal our leaders are seeking.
No one can erase the loss and pain of Sept. 11, of course. Nor does any sober-thinking person suggest the country should function as if the attacks never happened. Hence, the back-to-normal calls are actually calls to draw people into the “new normal” mentioned abovei.e., into business and personal activities played out in full awareness of recent events.
As a financial professional, you can make a vital contribution to such an effort. Here are a few ideas that may aid you in establishing a “new normal” discourse:
Acknowledge the emotional impact of the events.
Respect that some people may be more focused on straightening out family or work issues, or reordering priorities, in light of the attacks, than on financial talk.
The discussion about this may establish a more somber mood than in prior planning days, but its grounded in the new reality. Most clients will no doubt appreciate your sensitivity and willingness to give them “space” to think/feel their way to reviewing their financial needs.