Demonstrating Leadership during Uncertain Times
Historically speaking, we also know that the more the media tends to stir the pot about such issues, the less impact those issues actually have on us. It’s often much ado about nothing. It’s the things that come out of nowhere that blindside us and offer real challenges.
The most successful advisors are proactive during challenging times by getting in front of topical issues and using them as a springboard to bridge to the concept of client introductions. This isn’t about trickery or tactics, but rather about leadership. If your clients are asking about topical economic issues, then you can bet they have friends and family that have similar concerns. After you have finished assuring your client, let him or her know that many other clients have had similar concerns.
From there, reiterate to the client that you will always be there if they have such concerns again. Not only that, let them know that you will also be there if the client runs into someone who is important to them that is expressing similar concerns.
As of this writing, the topical issue is still the fallout from the market melt-down and future uncertainty combined with some interesting developments in Greece. Tackle this topic with your clients proactively, and segue this conversation into an impromptu speech that discusses introductions and referrals.
Here is one example on how to go about doing this:
In a conversation with a client during a Call Rotation process, the client says to the advisor:
So should I be concerned about this (insert calamity here) stuff that I keep hearing about?”
To which the advisor responds:
"You know, with the velocity of 24/7 news and the volume of information on the internet, issues like this can often get blown out of proportion. I’m not suggesting that there aren’t some serious issues the government/world has to address, but the reality is that we need to tune out the noise and focus on what is relevant, and what we can control and plan for. The (aforementioned calamity) has become a brand unto its own and it has gone viral in the media.
I can assure you that I watch these things very closely, and to the best of my ability, I will take appropriate steps to weather any storm that comes our way. If you would find it helpful, I would be happy to address this further. We can book a meeting if you like, and we can discuss your current plan. Is that something you would like to do?"
Depending on the degree of trust you have developed with the client, often they will say to you:
You know what, if you aren’t too concerned about it, I’m not too concerned about it.”
It’s at this point that you demonstrate further leadership by saying something like this:
"As you know, I became a professional advisor for this very reason. To help people face the future with anticipation rather than apprehension and to create a plan that will help them navigate through uncertain times. And as you know, I will not only be here for you when these kinds of things make you nervous, I will also make my myself available to the people who are important to you, if indeed you encounter someone that is close to you that has similar concerns about the economy. If you are talking to someone who is concerned and they want to have a conversation with a voice of reason, let me know and I’ll make myself available.”
Again, it’s crucial that you consistently position the concept of you speaking to friend or family member of a client as service you are providing for your client, rather than as a favor you are asking of your client. Isn’t it the right thing to do to be there for your clients, and for the people that are important to them? That’s all you are saying, but you are delivering this information proactively, and in a way that conveys leadership. If your intentions are true when you deliver these words, your clients will smile and say thank you. They may even send you some introductions based on your offer.
Either way, the additional offer to meet with their friends and family has a secondary calming effect that your clients will appreciate!