Forward by: Laura Hanichak Gregg
Director of Practice Management and Advisor Research
FlexShares Exchange Traded Funds
This is the first in a series of Special Guest posts designed to share ideas from industry consultants and financial advisors. The insights from these industry leaders, we believe, may be helpful as you consider next steps to managing through this crisis and coming out stronger on the other side.
Susan Danzig has been in the business of coaching and consulting with advisors across the country for more than 25 years. She is a National Board Member for the Financial Planning Association.
Susan joined us on in a recent episode of The Flexible Advisor podcast to talk about how she is coaching her clients through this difficult time. We found her insights on obtaining referrals even in this uncertain time made a lot of sense and we asked her to address the topic in more detail here. Listen to the full podcast here.
By: Susan Danzig
Principal, Susan Danzig, LLC
Business Development Coaching for Financial Services Professionals
This is an unprecedented time, and financial advisors are under unique stress trying to maintain their business during the quarantine. Though some aspects of your day-to-day business will change, you still have opportunities to delight your existing clients and attract new ones. Ultimately, if you proceed strategically, you can place your business in a better position than it was even before the crisis.
#1: Maintain Client Relationships
Though you are likely working remotely, you should still stay in contact with your entire book of business. Talk with every one of your clients and offer them guidance through this changing financial market, as well as asking about their family’s health and wellness. This is where you may have the biggest impact by sharing your perspective on their situation. These actions may also encourage client loyalty and future referrals.
Given the unpredictability of the market, any clients who were thinking about changing advisors are more likely to do so now. The bottom line: if you can’t be present for them during a challenging time, then you need to reevaluate your service model.
It’s also worth noting that younger investors haven’t seen this volatility before. This is an opportunity to establish yourself as a trusted partner in these matters and to deepen your relationships with your younger clients, which will likely reinforce the added value you bring to the table.
#2: Don’t Disregard Opportunities for Growth
Though it may not seem like it, this is perfect timing to be focused on growing your business. When you are doing a great job of servicing your clients, you have the opportunity to grow your business with money in motion from your existing clients, as well as referrals. Given that everyone is experiencing the volatility of the market, many are looking for financial perspective during this unprecedented time. When clients feel taken care of, they may frequently express gratitude for your time and reassurance. This is the perfect time to let them know that you have the bandwidth to talk with their friends and family members who might have questions or concerns about their financial situation.
#3: How to Connect with Referrals While Maintaining Social Distancing
Though social distancing has changed the way you connect with referrals for your initial conversations, you can use technology to make a seamless introduction. Invite both parties (your existing client and their referral) to a zoom conference, and then your existing client can step off the call when appropriate. Alternatively, you can use conference calling, but don’t discount the personal touch of a video call.
After the referral signs up for your services, take the time to write a personal thank you card to your existing client. To encourage future referrals, I recommend including a gift card for Postmates or a similar food delivery service. Your client may appreciate this gesture and this action might also encourage future referrals!
Though this is an unexpected situation, it provides the opportunity to truly develop relationships with your clients. By adjusting your business model, you can continue to deepen your client relationships and establish yourself as a trusted resource in this challenging time.
If you would like to learn more from Susan, please contact her directly. To hear and read more content like this, subscribe to The Flexible Advisor Podcast or to receive an email when new briefs go live.
*These special guest briefs are meant to provide information from a variety of industry experts, and are not an endorsement by FlexShares Exchange Traded Funds of any firm, service or product.