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Charting the choppy waters: Tips for staying on top in tough times

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No one ever said staying afloat in a down market is easy. To survive and come out on top, you’ve got to think smarter, harder, and with more creativity than the next guy. For Jay Grubb, a financial, retirement, and estate planning specialist with Key Financial Partners in Gwinnet County, GA, taking advantage of these attributes can turn a tough market into a golden opportunity.

Undoubtedly, one of the first concerns on the minds of clients in a shaky economy is, “Will I lose everything I’ve planned for?” Grubb suggests take the lead on calming your clients’ fears: “Go over your clients’ plan again to reassure them that they are still on course. I always show them if they stayed in their previous investment how much money they would have lost if they didn’t make a change.”

Grubb also provides several staple tips any advisor would be lucky to have when times are turbulent. To keep ahead of the game, Grubb recommends the following:

  1. Look for opportunity. “Use the negative media and market as an opportunity to talk to people. An opportunity to talk to someone about their finances like this doesn’t come around that often. Take advantage of it.”
  2. Think preventatively. “Develop safe money strategies for your clients.” Knowing that you’re in the market for their best interests will help your clients realize that you’re really in it, for them, for the long-haul.
  3. Gather your resources. “Get referrals from existing clients.” Boost your prospecting ability, and your ego, by collecting good words and great advocates.
  4. Reassure with competence. “Meet with existing clients and go over their statements.” Stay with your client in their time of need. Keep appointments diligently and refresh your connection often. A personal touch with dash of competence goes a long way in tough times.

What’s the last word for advisors with worried clients and dismal prospects? Grubb’s advice is simple: “I think [it's time] for people to wake up, take a deep breath and relax.” Times may be tough, but just as the Beatles said once upon a time, “Here comes the sun.”


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