Will you survive or thrive in the new normal?
A lot of financial advisors today are holding their breaths and waiting for the COVID 19 stop light to turn green so they can go back to business as usual. Unfortunately, it’s not going to happen. There will be no “all clear” signal given announcing a return to business as usual.
Different Is The New Normal
Times changed. People changed. The world has changed. And it is still all changing. The reality is no one can accurately predict when, or even if, life will return to normal. The only thing certain at this point is that more change is on the horizon and financial advisors need to prepare for what’s coming next.
There is no way to honestly sugar-coat the tough times financial advisors have experienced in recent months. Communities, cities and even states have gone into various stages of lockdown, making face-to-face client meetings difficult and even impossible in many cases. Toss in roller coaster markets, business cutbacks or closings and plunging interest rates and it’s no wonder why many investors are jittery enough to consider making drastic moves.
When Times Change, So Must You
The important thing for advisors to know about change is there are only two ways to react: resist it or adapt. The best advisors have already evolved. Rather than play the waiting game and hope against hope, they chose the proactive path and pivoted their client service and acquisition strategies. While many advisors hunkered down in their home offices and fell prey to domestic distractions, high performance advisors did the opposite: they became more disciplined and honed their time management skills. They communicated early and often with clients and prospects. They talked less, listened more, and made sure that everyone felt understood and cared about.
Top advisors allocate more time to new client acquisition efforts during recessionary periods because that’s when many investors question the value they are getting from their current advisors. When markets transition from bull to bear, clients want greater service, not less. They demand more transparency, not song-and-dance act explanations that add to the angst they already feel. It is the perfect time for elite advisors to explain their proactive strategies and processes and why their wealth management approaches are as sound today as they were yesterday.
Use Your Technological Tools
Advisors may not be able to interact with clients in person, but face-to-face meetings are still possible thanks to web-based video conferencing platforms such as Zoom or Skype. A video chat can enhance the client experience because it’s a more humanized form of communication as compared to phone calls, text messages or emails.
Top advisors embrace video conferencing as a new, powerful tool in their selling arsenal because it enables them to do things never possible before. Clients with multi-generational wealth considerations typically find it difficult to get all family members together for a financial meeting because they are often disconnected by geography or circumstances. Video conferencing solves the problem by making it possible for everyone – advisor and family members – to meet simultaneously and share information back-and-forth. It also magnifies the advisor’s ability to connect in meaningful ways with subsequent generations of family members, something that can help an advisor retain assets as they transfer from one generation to the next.
Think In A New Way
Client facing meetings may have been put on hold for the time being due to social distancing restrictions, but this is not a reason for advisors to be less accessible. To the contrary, high performance advisors continue to maintain their regular work schedules and they let their clients know they are also available at non-traditional times due to their more flexible work-at-home situations. Top advisors continue to take care of business as usual, but they are exceptional because they know it’s not always just about business. They strive to learn what individual challenges their clients are experiencing beyond their balance sheets and their ability to show authentic empathy for these concerns is what builds trust and loyalty in their client experience.
Adapt, Evolve And Excel
Recessions have historically been opportunistic times for high performance advisors and culling periods for the less capable. Top advisors excel regardless of the circumstances because they do what their less accomplished peers cannot do – adapt to change. To them, the “new normal” is already a familiar place.
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