Is your objective to survive until we’re able to get out from under “life in the pandemic?” Or, is your goal to capitalize on the opportunities presented? Before you answer, take a long look in the mirror and an assessment of your team’s activity over the past few weeks.
We understand the challenges presented. Most of you have been working remotely for most of 2020. You’ve been busy helping your clients. You may have school-aged children, elderly relatives, or loved ones with compromised immune systems. This is a stressful time, and for some, the stress factor is approaching a toxic level.
If you’re stuck in a less-than-ideal mental state, stagnation is often the result. There is very little proactive behavior, rather the routine is simply trying to hold on, keep everything together.
We’d like every financial advisor to thrive right now. We’re convinced this is your time to shine, not only with client service, but with client acquisition as well.
I’ve recently written about advisors who are truly capitalizing on the opportunities presented in these unprecedented times. The follow-up question I’ve been getting is “How are they doing it?”
You accomplish this by being very strategic and executing well thought-out tactics, all of which requires being proactive. This involves taking the time to step back, assessing the new realities, establishing clear goals, and developing a game plan that is complete with tactics (fixed daily activities).
These activities might appear like common sense, or old news, but they’ve definitely not become common practice. So let me segment the strategy of those who are thriving into two camps:
- Relationship Management
- Relationship Marketing
They are playing the long-game; investing the time, energy, and resources to strengthen the relationships of every affluent client and referral alliance partner. There is no magic formula, rather a mosaic of professional and personal relationship-building. We’ve seen these take the form of:
- Having lunch delivered for a non-business videoconference lunch with a client
- Engaging with clients on Facebook and LinkedIn
- Setting up small group educational or social videoconferences
- Sending small, thoughtful gifts
- Being a resource for pandemic-related information (high-quality face masks, local COVID-19 testing protocols -- including minimizing out of pocket expenses, etc.)
None of this rings the cash register in the short term, but all of this epitomizes relationship management. Which, if you’ve been following our research you know, is directly connected to relationship marketing.
Relationship marketing is where many financial advisors are falling short. As a result, not only are they missing out on the growth opportunities that have materialized as a result of this coronavirus crisis, many have unwittingly fallen into the trap of stagnation. They are not in a growth mode.
Here are some actions I think you should take:
- Asking clients for emailed introductions to those in their circles that you’d like to meet (i.e. I’ve always wanted to meet your colleague Susan. Would you send a joint email to introduce us?)
- Being visible with your COIs by calling them, inviting them to your webinars, and sending small gifts.
- Doing more with digital by creating your own videos, putting energy into your content, and advertising on Facebook and LinkedIn.
There’s not one financial advisor I’ve communicated with during this crisis who, in my opinion, is incapable of capitalizing on today’s opportunities. But there is one hard and fast requirement, flipping that switch we all have to the growth mindset setting.
It’s easy to assume that you have a growth mindset. And believe me you, I understand that we’re in a serious economic state of affairs as we continually hear the drumbeat of people losing their jobs and businesses going bankrupt. Which is why it’s easy to forget about your growth mindset.
That said, the solution is simple. Set a new asset goal to be accomplished by January 1, 2021, and get active by doing something every day that could potentially lead you to a conversation with a new prospect. Make no mistake about it – they’re out there!
Matt Oechsli is author of Building a Successful 21st Century Financial Practice: Attracting, Servicing & Retaining Affluent Clients. www.oechsli.com