Becoming a more efficient communicator now, during this time of crisis, will also help you be a more effective advisor going forward.
Over the last several weeks, with everything that’s been going on in the markets, we’ve seen a lot of information and ideas about communicating with clients. (I’ve put some of these out myself.) It’s imperative that we get in front of our clients to calm them, to settle them, and, yet, at the same time, understandably, they’re wanting to stay home and are being advised to do that. You need to be able to effectively gather around your clients and have them be at ease with what’s happening, or at least seeing that you’re aware of it and wanting to help them.
A great way to do this is by having a general town-hall meeting, but doing that virtually – doing that over the computer, online and inviting all of your clients to attend. You can do that using Zoom, by simply sending out an email invitation, and setting up your own Zoom room, and then having them click on the link (for many clients you’re going to have to explain this – walk them through the steps in that email for them to click on the link) and then meet you virtually. You can offer a 25-minute meeting for all of your clients. You can tape it, and you can replay it if you want. It’s a great way to communicate to all of your clients, so they’re hearing you and everyone’s hearing the same message.
Now, use this time also (as I mentioned people are being encouraged to stay at home – they’re being a little more isolated)…use this opportunity to show them how you communicate with them online, virtually. Use this time to get them used to seeing that so they’re going to become more comfortable with that and, after this is all past, will just really expect the same thing to continue, where you can be meeting with them more virtually now, and by doing so, increase capacity for you.
[As an alternative online platform], you can use JoinMe as a way, again, to have them tracking with you from their computer, seeing you work through their statements or seeing you work through a report, highlighting different things, as the advisor I was working with yesterday mentioned. (He does this all the time, especially for his elderly clients, whom he has trained on how to use JoinMe.)
Again, you can use Zoom, where you just share with a couple of people about what it is that you want them to see and then you can have that portfolio review or strategy meeting and have them be in the comfort of their own home.
Now all of a sudden a portfolio review meeting or strategy meeting that normally takes an hour to an hour and a half, if they come into your office, chances are, is now going to start taking 30-35 minutes. You tend to cut out all the chit-chat, all the idle talk, so to speak. You drill down into the details far sooner.
It’s great way to increase capacity. We’re hearing a lot about the greying generation and the number of people who are hitting Social Security [age] and needing retirement advice. We don’t have the number of advisors needed to service all these people. So, it’s incumbent upon you, as the advisor, to figure out a way to increase capacity. Now in doing that, obviously, you’re also going to grow your business, but it comes through training the client – through having them getting comfortable with those platforms.
- Use this time as an opportunity to get them comfortable with these platforms. Do a town-hall meeting just for your clients.
- When you send them these instructions, go that extra bit further to make sure they’re very, very clear – maybe follow it up with a phone call with those clients you think might be a little confused to help them get on the call.
- Make the call succinct, make it informative, and let them know at the end of that call this is how you’re going to be communicating a little bit more going forward. That way they’ll get comfortable with that, you’ll grow capacity, and then you’ll be able to grow your business while you’re still remaining effectively in touch with everyone.
I look forward to bringing you another Distraction-Proof Advisor idea next week.