Let us begin this article by acknowledging we are running our business during a pandemic and it has gone on far longer than expected. Advisors and financial professionals are using every means possible to stay connected with clients and that is a good thing. The one thing we cannot forget during a pandemic; however, is we are still responsible for delivering an exceptional client experience. So how do we conduct virtual client meetings during COVID-19?
With everything going amidst market downturns and Corona, how you interact with prospective clients and position your message is key. It is tempting to leverage digital marketing platforms to reach new clients; however, your message needs to be about serving your clients’ emotional needs, not just their economic needs. This is the key to client development in a tumultuous market.
There are many effective strategies for acquiring referrals and introductions from your existing clients and relationships. This holds true even in down markets or a crisis. The key is to not come off as optimistic or tone deaf, especially when your client is expecting you to focus on their needs during a crisis. What you can do is socialize the conversation and express your willingness to help people like them during this time.
With everything going on right now with the market and Corona, how we interact with clients is our main competitive advantage. To be a first-class winning organization, you need to know how to serve your clients’ emotional needs, not just their economic needs. When we have an exceptional and elevated experience, it stays with us. This is the key to surpassing competitors in a tumultuous environment.
Every interaction a client has with you is part of their client experience. Not every contact is positive, and sometimes there will be a negative experience or client complaint. It is everyone’s job to be prepared and above all else, protect the client experience. An upset client is never fun, but if you avoid the conversation, deflect or shy away from the responsibility of the situation, it will only escalate. Escalated complaints can quickly lead to a public relations issue, legal or regulatory consequence.
Every member of your firm is part of the client’s experiential process. Leaders and staff members who create exceptional client experiences are the professionals who rise to the top in a value-compressed environment. Once you recognize this fact, you can integrate common strategies to personalize and humanize the client experience. One of the most personal aspects of the client experience is greeting clients in the office.
Client etiquette is your manner of professional conduct. It exemplifies the image and expectations clients have when doing business with you. Whether you are a top executive or a new hire in the office, clients will be observing and assessing you. They are watching every and all aspect of their experience. Good or bad, they are formulating opinions and judgments about what they see. If you want to elevate your client experience, it begins with the right practices for client etiquette.
It’s that glorious event. A time when your team comes together to discuss your firm’s strategies for the coming year – the annual strategic plan. Opportunities and challenges are discussed. The virtual whiteboard and yellow pads are a bounty of ideas. It’s a celebration of motivation.
And then you look up…and it’s June.
For some firms, that beautiful strategic plan you created has not been looked at for months. We go to the common drive to print it off and say, “How are we doing?” The problem is there may be a missing component in your strategic plan.
Financial advisors are always trying to set themselves apart in this crowded marketplace. One of the ways they attempt to do this is through a strong value proposition. A value proposition is a statement that articulates in clear terms the value you and your firm provide. It is one of the most powerful elements of your brand. The big question is: Is your value proposition valuable?
Communicating your value for Fee-Only advisers has become a competitive undertaking. It is complicated by fee pressures, access to affluent clients and an ever-evolving service model. Advisers try to set themselves apart from others, but in many cases, the message is missing the mark.