Back in January, when we first heard about the Coronavirus we were all clamouring for information – where did the virus start? how many were infected? how many were dying? News stories replete with charts and tables and graphs sprung up virtually overnight, not only about our health but the economy as well. Everyone from politicians to health care officials and news media were endlessly discussing and sharing a dizzying array of numbers, both actual and projected.
Several months into this pandemic we now know it is likely to last for many months. We have become accustomed to the daily barrage of news – and, for many, it has become background noise. What we crave now amidst the social isolation isn’t more statistics – it’s stories – it’s the human connection. More and more, we hear about heroic deeds of ordinary people. We hear about personal experiences and we read about the lives and families of those who have succumbed to this relentless scourge – that is what moves us.
So what does all this have to do with you as a financial advisor? We think plenty.
Those of you who follow us know that when we talk about connecting with investors, we always stress the importance of engaging on a human level. We believe it is more important than ever not only during but after this pandemic. The new “normal” will see people connecting on a less formal, more personal level. We have grown accustomed to seeing CEOs in casual clothes chatting from their living rooms or kitchens. We see how they live — and the more we see about who they are, the more we are inclined to trust them.
Just as the news media is increasingly featuring inspiring personal stories to help people cope with the pandemic, so too you can use stories to calm your clients’ nerves and forge stronger relationships with them.
It is more important than ever to reach out to clients – but understand that now is not the time for spreadsheets and in-depth market analysis. Now is the time to support people, to engage them in conversations about their lives, to share stories from other people you work with, to tell your own story – who are you? How is this pandemic affecting you and your family? And, what are you doing that’s different and new? Women in particular prefer a more personal type of service but your male clients will appreciate it too.
Although we have frequently emphasized the folly of trying to “sell” during the pandemic, with time on your hands – it’s actually an excellent opportunity to learn new skills and think about how to incorporate stories into your practice.
We’ve seen some creative advisors talk directly to anyone who is interested, including their clients, through video blogs, even open ZOOM chats. They discuss subjects that might be of interest to many – like how to plan for reopening a business, how to think about retirement post pandemic, how to manage on a reduced income, even how to stay safe when shopping. Others are creating fun ZOOM diversions where there is no talk of finances – just an interesting topic such as “the history of wine making” or some such topic.
Through these shared platforms these advisors are sharing of their stories and allowing others to see them as real people.
Think about it – not just during the pandemic but even after, what can you do to show your humanity to the clients you serve and the prospects looking for an advisor?
For more information on working with women who invest, visit our website www.strategymarketing.ca, sign up to our mailing list and order our book INVEST(in)HER – The Smart Financial Advisor’s Guide to Winning Female Clients in 6 Easy Steps