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Coaching Your Clients Off the Ledge [Episode 17]

Episode description

The Perfect RIA hosts have a few action items for delicately dealing with clients during rough financial climates and circumstances.

[#1 Let Clients Frame the Conversation]

  • Let the client direct the subject of conversation during meetings. This way, you let the client bring information to you: concerns, figures, facts, charts, you name it. The point being that you can let clients take the wheel and frame the conversation.
  • Don’t jump to conclusions! This goes with the aforementioned information; making sure you understand the client’s concerns first, and then responding accordingly, is very important. You can then redirect and get them back on track after all anxieties are addressed.

[#2 Make Sure Your Client Knows That You Have a Plan]

  • This is an extremely important facet of setting a client’s’ mind at ease. Reminders that there are safety nets, disposable income, and buffers at play can make all the difference, and can help keep a client focused on the long term goals that were set in motion from the early going. Just letting them know that there is still a cash bucket--or as Matthew call it, a “war chest”-- in place can make a big difference.
  • Once you remind a client about the established, unwavering plan, getting them to articulate it back to you for reinforcement is a good litmus test for the mitigation of anxiety.

[#3 Wait for 7-10 Clients to Contact Your Firm Before Sending Out a Response ]

  • Micah stresses to not train your clients to be reactionary to every dip and dive of Stock Market. If it falls by 500 points, don’t rush to send out a newsletter and to pacify the minds of your clients. Let about 7-10 clients come to your first before reacting.
  • Talk about the long term, and not the short term trends in the market that will inevitably happen again. Matthew says that his firm tries to not break their twice-quarterly reports, even during times of economic turbulence. This prevents Pavlovian conditioning to every happening in the market.

[#4 Have a Regular Communication Schedule with Clients]

  • Matthew reminds you that clients need to have a consistent drip of information from your firm. This does not mean bombard the clients with newsletters and resources because they are being bombarded already; instead, it means to have a firm presence and to provide relevant, helpful information to your clients, on a rigid schedule.

[#5 Make Sure Plan is Clearly Communicated]

  • Matt and Micah tell you to not give canned economic commentary or irrelevant information that takes away the focus of the long term goals. Clearly articulate the plan and information, and make sure that clients understand. Matthew calls this “doing it in crayon,” which he learned from an engineer, and which also means to simplify the language as much as possible.
  • Speak in language that accentuates the long over the short term. It is much too complicated and murky to try and predict a month’s time ahead or financially forecast the economy. Clear communication means speaking in long term language.

[#6 Weekly Team Meetings to go Over Market Concerns]

  • Matthew expresses just how important it is to have weekly meetings with your teams to express concerns about the market, to instill confidence in the overall plan, and strength of the firm. There’s nothing worse than having a client call in and have an office manager or team member that doesn’t sound confident about the longevity and efficacy of the overall firm, despite the precarious circumstances.

[#7 Talk the Talk/ Walk the Walk]

  • Micah encourages advisors to do the same exact things they preach to clients. Being on the same page, having investments in the same stocks, being affected by the same market, all of these things are important to communicate for building empathy and reassurance in the minds of clients.
  • Take ownership, follow the plan and program that you have set in place, don’t bend to the whims of clients, and stay consistent in what you say; let your actions stay in step with your words.

[#8 Remind Clients That Your Door is Open]

  • Matt likes to remind clients after every newsletter, meeting, you name it, that if they need anything to call, send an email, and express any concern they may have. A thank you is always expressed after clients reach out as well.


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Produced by Simpler Media

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