Winter is here. There are workdays when you can’t leave the house because the roads aren’t plowed. School is closed and the children are yours for the day. You are in the office, snow is falling and a prudent person waits until it stops and the roads are clear. What can you do?
1. Start scheduling portfolio reviews. January is coming. Newspapers will run helpful articles like “Top Performing Funds of 2019.” Clients tend to be reflective at the start of the new year. They are also open to making changes. Which reviews will be in person? Who gets an over-the-phone review? What will you need to send the second group ahead of time? Start scheduling.
2. Build a list of clients who left. Everyone loses clients. It’s often an event we want to forget as quickly as possible. Often it came as a surprise. Did you care about these people? Probably yes. When the client relationship was severed, did you stop caring about them as a person? Probably no. Would you take them back? Yes. If you cease all contact, they may likely assume you only cared about their business. Give them a call. Did everything work out for them?
3. Who hasn’t heard from me for a while? We tend to provide service in tiers. Clients who ring the cash register get lots of attention. Ditto clients we like. Clients who complain get attention for a different reason. What about those clients who aren’t that big, don’t do much business and never ask for anything? Call them. Has anything changed in their lives?
4. Finally get hard-to-reach clients. Some people are impossible to get on the phone. They are traveling for business. (Planes are grounded today.) They are always in meetings. (With who? The roads are closed.) They are in surgery. (Many were canceled because patients can’t get to the hospital.) Build a list. Have something to talk about. Take a shot.
5. Engage on social media. You signed up with LinkedIn. You built a network of sorts. You quickly learned the firm could put your posting activity on autopilot if you let it. You hardly ever visit LinkedIn. Sign on. Start by visiting “Messages.” Choose the “Unread Messages” icon. Be startled with the number! Answer them within the constraints of your firm’s rules. Visit notifications. Wish lots of people happy birthday or congratulate them on new jobs. (Is there a rollover there? Hmm….) Send out invitations to connect.
6. Leads that went cold. Everyone has them. Build another list. How can you market to them or otherwise get onto their radar screen? How did that story end? Did they buy something elsewhere? Were they doing research for money they would be receiving later?
7. Find ideas to talk about. Why do people work with financial advisors? There are lots of reasons, but a major one is your role as an industry professional, someone who sees the big picture, a person with a research department behind them. If you did financial planning, helped them build a portfolio of managers and call to schedule quarterly reviews, they are still missing out on something. Find a couple of really good ideas you can get excited about. Call and tell people about them. You like everything they own; this idea requires new money. Suggest an amount, stop talking. See what happens next.
8. Make calls you promised to return. There’s a switch inside our head. You see an incoming call on your smartphone. You think: “I can deal with this later.” Later never comes. There’s a business version of these calls. They come into your office. Someone writes them down, sends you an email or they go to voicemail. It’s a snowy day. Return some of those calls.
9. Conduct portfolio reviews for smaller clients. You talk about doing these semiannually or quarterly. You have clients with simpler holdings that don’t require lots of preparation. Coincidentally, they are fully retired. They don’t get out much, especially during a blizzard. Call them up. Review their holdings. You can likely get them to access their account onscreen.
10. Clean out emails. Like dust, they get delivered daily. Lots don’t require attention. Some important ones do get lost. Pour a fresh coffee and work your way through. Review your junk folder in case something important was redirected to the wrong place.
Snowstorms are a form of found time. Thanks to remote access, lots of these projects can be done from home. You can make the time productive.
— Check out Should I Take Time Off Over the Holidays? on ThinkAdvisor.