Be armed with at least three solid stories of your clients who weathered bad or volatile markets in the past and came out ahead using your advice. The reason your clients panic during market downturns is due to emotion, not logic. Don’t try to console them only with logic, as they won’t stay convinced. They can’t remember the logic and are again consumed by emotion. That is why you should always use solid arguments followed with stories the clients can remember. If you can do that, you won’t have to say the same things over and over to the same clients.

An effective time to ask for referrals?

At the end of the conversation, ask for referrals. I am sure the last thing you think of in a market downturn is to ask for referrals. It’s like asking a car crash victim to buy life insurance while still in the ambulance.

Yet while most advisors don’t even call their clients during downturns, you will be able to pick up more market share from clients who are terrified about losing even more money.

According to one study, 57 percent of your clients would leave you if another advisor approached them. This means that many prospects would love to meet with you if you had the courage to ask.
In another study at the University of Connecticut, researchers discovered that 89 percent of clients cared more about the relationship with their financial advisor than about market return.

The right words

When all is said and done, here are some words you can use to gain referrals:

  • “I really enjoy working with you. I am always trying to build my practice with my best clients. Who do you know who could benefit from the kind of relationship we’ve had so far and possibly is worried about losing money in the markets right now?” Who isn’t worried about their investments right now and could benefit from a great client-advisor relationship? This script will secure two referrals and one new client from each referral request.
  • Contrary to common sense, your clients depend more on your ability to communicate than your ability to pick stocks. There is no rule that you have to lose clients during volatile markets. In fact, most of the clients I coach who sell fixed annuities are having a record year.
  • They are gaining clients and assets because prospects are scared and need someone to keep their money safe. Seventy percent of these prospects don’t have an advisor and the remaining 20 percent have absentee financial advisors. This is the best time since 2003 to protect your client base and gain more referrals.