“It’s the disaster everyone has been predicting for years,” Bob, an advisor in Ann Arbor, Michigan, told me during our online coaching session. “My income is going to be down and who knows how many clients I’m going to lose,” he continued.
In California, Rick, one of my clients who has been advising against investing directly in the market, and instead has been using insurance products with his clients, was more concerned about how he could continue doing annual reviews and other client service in the time of the corona virus.
(Related: Knowledge Is Not Power)
“I’m also a little scared about meeting with new people right now,” he told me. “You just don’t know if they’re going to be the ones who give me and my family the virus.”
Let’s talk about Bob’s issue first. The question I asked him was, “What do we do when the market is throwing us into a recession?”
“Panic!” was his initial response. Then, he gave me the classic, “Isn’t that what I have you for?” (And the answer to that is no.) But then we talked about communication.
“At times like these,” I told him, “many financial advisors are hiding under their desks when the phone rings, terrified that a client may be calling to sell everything. But what’s the advice you would give those clients?”
Bob answered instantly, “Stay the course. If you sell now, you’ll realize the losses. The market is bound to turn around. Oh… and… with everything selling at a discount, this may be the time to add to your investment.”
“Exactly!” I responded. “Now, get on your phone, and starting with your best clients, call all of them. Find out how they’re doing and ask if there’s any way you can help them. And tell them that you’re monitoring the situation and that the best thing they can do right now is to stay the course.”
If your clients have invested money with you and you haven’t already started calling them to find out how they’re doing and to give them your best advice about what to do in this market, start calling today.
When things turn around, you’ll be their hero.
Rick needed different advice. For him the answer is technology. There are many web-based conferencing tools that can help you meet people face-to-face online. Assuming you are not restricted by a relationship with a carrier or broker-dealer, you can use my favorite, Zoom. I find it to be more stable than the free applications like Skype and with a WordPress web site, I use “Pretty Links” to brand my Zoom account. Clients type in my website, followed by “/conference” and go directly to Zoom.
In these scary times, clients and prospects will appreciate that they can meet you face-to-face without the risk of swapping microbes with you.
Sandy Schussel has been a coach and practice development consultant for insurance and financial professionals for the past 20 years. He is an approved MDRT coach and has served as the national sales training director for First Investors and Foresters. He is the author of two books, The High Diving Board, about overcoming fear and Become A Client Magnet, about attracting and keeping clients. Schussel‘s scheduling calendar is available.