This pandemic started so suddenly that we’ve all been blind-sided. Now, in the thick of things, without a clear understanding of what will happen next it is hard to imagine a recovery, let alone plan for it. Yet this crisis will end and life begin again, albeit it may look different.
With time on your hands this is a great opportunity to give some thought to how your practice might look moving into the future.
Some of you nearing retirement might see this as the incentive to do just that – retire. Maybe you were already thinking about it and even planning how you can “hand-off” your clients in the most professional way. This could be a good time to “test” the waters and reach out to colleagues looking to grow their practice.
Change of career?
Not everyone is cut out to be a financial advisor. We have met some advisors who have segued their knowledge of finances into other careers or realized they wanted to pursue something altogether unrelated — and that is OK too. Now is an opening to start researching some alternatives. Think about what your “dream” career might be and talk to people in that field. Is it realistic? Can you see yourself in a new role?
Toughing it out?
But for those of you who love being a financial advisor and are determined to continue – maybe it’s a moment to think about growing your practice – think about revisiting what you do, how you do it and what impact this pandemic is having on the lives of your clients, their family, their health and finances.
With the markets tanking and clients calling concerned and scared – growing your practice may not be top of mind. But this is actually a terrific time to imagine coming back stronger and better than ever.
Start with existing clients
What you can do right now and when things settle down:
1. Reach out to each and every client and really listen to their fears. Sympathize and be empathetic, don’t try to dismiss their concerns.
2. Leave pretences behind, be more authentic – this is not the time to talk about your successes or fail-safe investing strategy or even how the markets are doing.
3. Consider being more candid with clients, more human and show that you are able to have difficult conversations and be genuine about your own experiences.
4. Talk about more than their financial situation when you meet (virtually for now). Ask about their families, their health and maybe ask how you can help in the moment – do they need groceries, a pet walked, someone driven to an appointment.
5. Finances inevitably will come into the picture – so whether you rethink portfolio construction or establish more conservative norms for people’s finances, one undeniable truth will survive – people are at the heart of what you do and who you do it for.
Don’t lose this “unprecedented” time in in your life to reinvent yourself to be more caring, more empathetic, more human – to be more than just the person whose handles their financial matters.
Given the catastrophic collapse of the markets, regardless of what you do, some clients may leave, but do it right and you will forge a life-long bond with those who remain.
Think about investors who need help
Women are more apt to value you for who you are, not just the rate of return you get, they are the ones who will most appreciate a more personable advisor. By all reckoning, there will be more single, divorced, and widowed women in the future. You may be pleasantly surprised that women will reach out to the kinder, gentler new advisor that you become.
Think about what you can do to focus on female investors who are set to control an even-larger proportion of wealth following the crisis.
Get yourself ready
If you do decide to reach out to more women you could start by doing something for yourself and take a course “Four Steps to Succeeding with Female Clients” We are offering it for FREE until April 30, 2020. (On the order page for payment option, use LEARN as your Coupon code)