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Industry Spotlight > Broker Dealers

The 2020 IA25: Ed Slott

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Ed Slott, CPA, is president of Ed Slott and Company, and a nationally recognized expert on IRAs and other retirement issues.

Top advice

Call your clients! Every advisor must be communicating with their clients. They are desperate to hear you — your voice. You!

I mean actual talking, not mass emails, like I am seeing, which only says you’re too busy, soulless or unconcerned, and that includes emails that say “We’re concerned, and we care.”

It’s time to get off the tech and show them — don’t tell them. Call them and reassure them that you are there and on top of things.

They need to know not to panic or worry and to look at the long-term big picture and all the things they have done right with you to protect them.

We already are doing videos and virtual programs for advisors and their clients, and they are being very well received — and appreciated.

Clients will remember how you responded during this critical time. You need to let them know you are there for them. They will talk about you one way or the other after this, but if you don’t call them, they will find someone who will — their new advisor.

Biggest challenge

Our business is mostly live advisor and consumer training programs. Now, due to this new world reality, all of that is being switched over to virtual events.

They are instantly becoming the new normal and a completely different model. To me, there is nothing like being live in front of people to get our message across, but that is no longer possible and may not be for a long time.

Companies like ours are quickly adapting to these changes. We already are finding that we are reaching many more people with our Zoom, GoToMeeting and other virtual programs.

We now are reaching thousands at a time from all over the country, as opposed to maybe hundreds in a specific geographic location.

The old saying was “location, location, location.” But in a new virtual online world, location really doesn’t matter anymore; plus, the efficiencies in time that was spent traveling in airports, hotels and schedule arranging are immense.

We used to plan these programs out a year in advance. Now, we can schedule an online webcast program for later this week or next and reach more people from all over.

Nothing will ever replace live meetings, but our business model is changing before our eyes and working well, mainly because people are more accepting of the new normal.

Bottom line is you need to make quick changes to keep up with the world environment. Of course, most important is helping people stay healthy, physically and financially, wherever possible — another new normal.