There’s a new trend in marketing and advertising. You’ve probably noticed it if you’ve watched live TV commercials or seen ads on a streaming service. Big brands are doing something different in the wake of the COVID-19 induced financial crisis.
Car companies are offering delayed payments and home delivery. Beverage brands are letting customers know their factories are still churning out products they need and want while staying home. Businesses, especially B2C businesses, aren't just “selling” right now, they’re comforting.
Sure, they’re overusing phrases like “in these uncertain times,” but there is something for financial advisors to learn from these world-renowned brands: Customers need reassurance right now. This especially includes your current clients, who are watching the volatility of the marts spike, the economy take a massive hit, and many of their friends and family lose their jobs.
You may think that your clients have enough to juggle right now between keeping their fridge stocked, their kids on track with school work, and everyone’s cabin fever to a minimum and you don’t want to add to their load. That’s a mistake. They need to hear from you in some form. So, to help you out, here are five ways you can communicate and comfort your clients right now:
1. Go Old School
Picking up the phone to have a good ol’ fashion chat with your clients can help you assess their current situation on a deep level.
Did they lose their job or are they currently furloughed? Are they needing to dip into their savings? Do they need to momentarily stop automatic contributions to their investments?
These kinds of questions and answers may be hard to get to through other channels, especially for your older clients or those who are technologically challenged. Be sure to include some inquiries into their personal life as well. Ask if they’re still able to get groceries and other essential supplies. Show you care about them as a person, not just as an investor.
2. Fire Up the Blog
You are an expert in your field and that knowledge is worth sharing with the world. Or at least with your clients (at a minimum). A blog is a perfect place to show off your thought leadership any time, but right now it is a must-have for disseminating tips for reassurance.
Remember, your clients look to you to guide them. Whether you compile statistics and make some graphs or simply put your own commentary out there, your clients will appreciate having your perspective. Just make sure you are updating the blog on a regular basis so they don’t think you are unreliable or inconsistent.
3. Get Social
If you’re going through all the work to write your commentary and publish blogs, you may as well share it wherever you can. Social media is the place. Not only is it free, but it's where Americans are spending hours upon hours a day while quarantined in their homes.
Even if your clients are busy corralling the kids or working from home, chances are they’re still logging onto social media. Instead of reading downer headlines and feeling anxious, they need to see your reassuring content.
Just remember that social media is social. It can be light-hearted and fun. Don’t be afraid to make your clients laugh, but stay on brand in messaging and tone.
As you are publishing on social media, make sure you are also monitoring your accounts, responding to comments, and answering any direct messages. If someone is taking the time to engage with your content, you need to show the same courtesy and respond in timely manner. For example, always thank someone directly who shares your content.
4. Hit Their Inbox
According to stats from OptinMonster, some Americans check their email as many as 20 times per day! So, sending an email can also work to facilitate a deeper discussion that allows them to read and reply on their own terms.
Email may also be the most effective way for you to educate your clients. A roundup newsletter with multiple blog articles (both your own and those from a reputable third-party) will not only help inform, but keep you and your services top-of-mind for clients and prospects.
Ongoing email campaigns and newsletters are invaluable habits to establish even when there isn’t a global crisis. The return on investment (ROI) of email marketing is second to none. According to research done by HubSpot in 2019, email generates $38 for every $1 spent.
5. Stamp It
Right now, we’re all relying on technology to stay connected, but don’t forget about the effectiveness of snail mail when communicating with clients. Sure, they might need to spray your letter with Lysol before they open it and wash their hands after reading it, but receiving snail mail remains a joy for most people.
While personalized letters are great, they are also time consuming. Reserve these for top tier clients or for clients with whom you are particularly close. But, there are other, less-time consuming options, as well. Consider turning your digital emails and newsletters into printed mailings to maximize the impact of that content. You could create a helpful guide or checklist — perhaps a financial wellness checkup — that will provide enough value that it stays out of the recycling bin and maybe even finds a place on the fridge.
Need help communicating with your clients during these...dare I say it...UNCERTAIN times? Schedule a call with me here to discuss how I can help you cross this task off your list.