To say that the last 8 to 10 days has been unprecedented, confusing, challenging and emotional doesn’t quite capture the time period and the sentiment of Americans and investors. COVID-19 has made all human beings around the world live, act, interact and think differently. Emotions are running high as we watch the markets and consider the impact on the economy, jobs and our financial future.
As an advisor to the industry, Red Rock Strategic Partners has a wide-lens view of not just what is taking place, but how our industry is weathering the storm and what will be left in the end. One of the most interesting takeaways for us has been the discussions we have had with wealthy investors. We have heard everything from, “I’m getting out of the markets completely” to “I am so grateful that I have an advisory team that talked me through everything and made me feel better.” As a result of these comments, we have a few thoughts for you to consider as you plan and run your business going forward.
We believe strongly that future success in our industry will be determined by the level of "humanness” that you inject into your client relationships. Perhaps we can create a “humanness quotient,” or score, but clients will never forget this time, how they felt and what you did for them. In fact, Bain Consulting released a follow up to their Elements of Value pyramid on March 17th. Bain found in their recent survey results that of the 30 Elements of Value, consumers most appreciated three specific values in times of volatility and uncertainty. Those included:
Reducing Risk – We should be having those in-depth conversations with clients each day. Taking advantage of tax loss selling opportunities, market moves, low interest rates, refinancing to reduce debt, etc.
Reducing Anxiety – Pinpointing specifically how a client feels about certain aspects of their financial plan or financial future and offering specific changes now. The anxiety reduction comes from action, not from information.
Affiliation and Belonging – Social distancing is not how we as human beings have survived and thrived. Our clients want to know that we are together at this time. Over-communicating and using technology to communicate is critical but going forward our client experience plans have to bring people together.
These three Elements of Value are human elements. We must embrace these elements as we serve clients now and in the future.
Perhaps a few next steps when calling clients might include:
Asking them to share what specifically concerns them relating to their current financial state. Try to narrow the issue to one specific, focused place.
Share your concern and then highlight a specific step or two that you and the client can take together to address their concern. Anxiety is reduced when a controllable step is secured.
Let your client know how long the step will take to implement and that you will keep them informed along the way.
Set a next call time within 2-3 weeks to talk more about the current environment.
Over the coming weeks, Red Rock Strategic Partners will offer additional suggestions and recommendations to more fully utilize our humanness to change the trajectory of our advisory relationships and enhance value coming out of this amazing period in our history.