Everyone wants to kick back in December. Lots of parties to attend. It’s easy to put your business into cruise control. There’s an old Russian joke: “They pretend to pay us; we pretend to work.”
Let’s make the case why you should approach the holidays as an opportunity to stay on your client’s radar, get business and line up business for 2020.
Let’s assume your practice includes insurance, investments and retirement planning.
1. Bonuses are coming.
Your client will likely get their year-end bonus, probably sometime in the first quarter of the New Year. If you wait until it arrives, they may have already spent it.
2. Year-end tax selling.
There are people who literally wait until the last minute! Call your investing clients earlier in December. Either make suggestions based on their holdings at your firm or ask if they need to look at their outside holdings and give this some attention. You might mention life would be easier if they consolidated their outside holdings with you.
3. You are a hard worker.
Your clients might leave the office on Christmas Eve telling their workmates “See you in the New Year!” You let your clients know you will be spending the holiday with your family, but you will be at work. Some clients have year-end retirement plan issues or tax selling to address. They wonder if their advisor at their other investment firm is saying “See you in the New Year!” to their colleagues.
4. Visit with your clients.
If they are home for the holidays, this is a relaxed time to visit over coffee or a glass of wine. You can set a date for a portfolio review in early 2020. You can chat about their future plans.
5. Meet your client’s extended family.
In many families, the clan gathers for the holidays. If you buy holiday gifts for clients, call and mention you would like to stop by and deliver it.
6. Retirement plan issues.
Required minimum distributions (RMDs) are an obvious example. Have they made their current year retirement plan contributions? Although you can make IRA contributions up until the tax filing deadline, it’s logical to do it in the current year.
7. Horses at the starting gate.
Your client wants to invest, but they haven’t committed. Suggest they get everything in place before Dec. 31. When they watch TV and see the performance of the stock market reported, the reference point is often “Year to Date” performance. If they are fully invested by Dec. 31, it’s easy for them to compare their performance v. an index because both are measuring YTD.
8. Clients are relaxed.
When you meet during the rest of the year, clients can be stressed. They have a big report due. Their firm announced a reorganization. They are getting their children ready for the new school term. Things slow down around the holidays. It’s easier to get them to focus.
There are many reasons you should take working during the holiday season seriously.
— Read How to Order Wine Like a Boss (Without Paying Like One), on ThinkAdvisor.
Bryce Sanders is president of Perceptive Business Solutions Inc. He provides high-net-worth client acquisition training for the financial services industry. His book, “Captivating the Wealthy Investor,” can be found on Amazon.