Bad news is never as easy to impart as good news. However, during periods of economic or stock market uncertainty, it’s even more important to communicate with your clients and ensure that they feel fully informed and – hopefully – reassured.
- 24-hour news and technology mean that your client is already likely to be aware of developments, so it’s important to act quickly
- Contact at an early stage will help your clients to keep matters in perspective
- Your proactive attention will reassure your clients, strengthening your long-term relationship
Any half decent business plan will involve regular contact with clients, whether it be face-to-face meetings, email campaigns, or even via social networking sites. This is, of course, made infinitely easier when the news you have to impart is of the good kind, and less so when everything seems to be all doom and gloom. However, we would argue that this is when communication is most important, and that all financial advisers should seek clients out despite the negative news.
Firstly, the average client will not be ignorant of developments in the industry – 24 hour news, twitter feeds and imposing headlines reporting one crisis after another are now very much a part of everyday life. As such, the days of a quick cover-up, or taking the ostrich approach, are simply no longer an option.
And as the world becomes increasingly media savvy, regular, standard information is no longer keeping the reader’s attention. Headlines need to be bigger, better and bolder if they don’t want to go the way of the News of the World. Consequently, if clients don’t have your expert hand to guide them, they’re going to think that the situation is far worse than it actually is, and are likely to reach out to anyone who can offer a reasonable explanation.
Finally, clients who feel valued will talk about you with their friends. With a bit of patience, you may find that those who have been neglected by their current advisers may come to you for advice, leading to a long-term partnership.