You work hard. You deserve time off. Telling your clients is both a courtesy and a humanizing factor. It’s tough telling all your clients, but your core group of active clients should get some personal contact.
- Do get in touch, telling them the dates you will be away.
- Do downplay the luxury and expense. You are taking some time to spend with your spouse and family. Fill them in on destination details if they are interested.
- Do explain coverage in your absence. Who will be answering your phone? Handling trades while you are away?
- Do ask if they need anything done before you leave. They might have some money they’ve been meaning to put to work!
- Do let them know your office knows where to get ahold of you in case of emergency. You will be calling in a couple of times to touch base.
- Do let them know you probably won’t be checking e-mail regularly. They should understand.
- Do bring along a list of their phone numbers and mailing addresses. You don’t announce this, but you want to be prepared.
- Do let them know you will be sending them a postcard. That’s why you brought the addresses!
- Do ask about their vacation plans. You aren’t the only one that gets away.
- Do watch the market while you are away. Although you are decompressing, you want to be aware of sharp moves.
Here’s an observation from a 1989 trip to France. The market dives. We are watching French TV. We don’t speak the language. I figured out if the financial news showed people at screens and keyboards tapping away, the market was OK. If it showed people on an exchange floor throwing their hands in the air and screaming, things were not OK.
- Don’t hype the luxury and expense of your trip. Clients will connect the dots, realizing the fees they pay fund your lifestyle. They will wonder why you take better vacations than they do. They will wonder if they are overpaying.
- Don’t go for sympathy. You work so hard, the hours are so long. Your client works hard too.
- Don’t run down your clients. Don’t say many of your clients are demanding, unreasonable and rude. You are looking forward to getting away from them. Not you, of course.
- Don’t neglect to call the office. It will set your mind at ease. Your assistant will probably tell you things are fine.
Giving your clients advance notice you will be on vacation is another way of showing your value. You are letting them know you pay attention to the relationship. When you explain how coverage works, clients should assume you stay on top of things personally the rest of the time.
Bryce Sanders is president of Perceptive Business Solutions Inc. He provides HNW client acquisition training for the financial services industry. His book, “Captivating the Wealthy Investor,” can be found on Amazon.