Investors struggle when risk is imminent, and fear and doubt lead to questioning whether they made the right decision in their financial plan, and possibly even with their advisor. They’re asking their friends and family, “Are you happy with your financial advisor?”. This is where the best Financial Advisors shine by capitalizing on uncertainty by getting referrals from their best clients.
So how do you turn volatility into referable moments? Here’s a checklist of our process that will lead to an increase in introductions during turbulent times.
1. Get Out in Front
Be proactive. Call, email, and get in touch however you can with your favorite clients. This isn’t the time to hide from those important conversations, so be prepared to answer the tough questions and have actionable suggestions, void of emotion. Your clients’ minds are drifting towards “worst case scenario”. They’ll fixate on certain products or performances rather than remembering why that path was chosen in the first place. It’s your job to steer them back to the bigger picture, the full plan of action towards their long-term financial goals.
2. Focus On the Why
When you first met your client, they had (and probably still have) financial goals in mind. During these conversations, you need to be able to bridge the gap between the “how” and the “why”. The “how” is the financial plan you’ve crafted for them. The “why” are the people, organizations, and memories that are important to them on their path towards financial independence. Remind them that volatility is temporary and get them to focus on their reason for trusting you with their money in the first place. This part of the conversation is essential. Keeping your clients focused on what matters and what they can control will help secure their worry.
3. Remind Them of Your Value
Before you end these conversations, remember – you’re not the only one your clients are speaking with. Their friends and family are looking at the future with apprehension rather than anticipation, and you’ve just rerouted your client to thinking about what matters. If you can help them, you can help their friends and family members who are struggling at this time. Offer to be a sounding board for those people. If they matter to your client, they should matter to you. Let them know you’re not selling your services, and their friends and family don’t need to become your clients to take advantage of the offer you present.
4. Act On Their Permission
Most of your clients will thank you for your comment, and some of them will even give you permission. It’s important to let your clients know why you’re offering to speak to their loved ones, who you do it for, and let them know how they can make the introduction. If you don’t know the answers to these questions, stop and think for a moment. You provide financial services because it provides you with a sense of purpose. You’re helping people navigate their money, and you enjoy seeing happy outcomes. You do this for people like your favorite clients. These are your ideal clients, so think about what makes them important to you. Remind your clients of your process. This is how they can make the introduction.
5. Follow Through
You’ve made the offer, and they accepted and introduced you to their friends or family members in need of guidance. Regardless of whether or not they become your clients, it’s important that you don’t squander the opportunity. Remember, the impression you leave on them will trickle back to your favorite clients, and you don’t want to rush them through a meeting or be overly salesy about your services. Let that first meeting be exploratory and offer to set up a secondary time, if they’d like, for them to sit through your process. While they may not be ready to make the transition at this time, they’ll remember you if you can demonstrate value rather than selling them services. And when the markets swing back to a steadier state, they might come back for that second or third meeting.
Volatility isn’t always a bad thing, and with the proper process in place any advisor can take advantage of uncertain times in the market. Remember to keep your clients focused on their long-term goals and continue to pursue an approach away from products, pricing, and performance.
If your clients are too focused on products, pricing, and performance and you are constantly playing defense check out our guide titled “Three Client Questions That Could Instantly Improve Your Practice” for simple ways to shift your mindset and increase client introductions.