Being present for your clients without being a pest

Now more than ever, advisors want to be present for their clients, but not be a pest.

It’s tough to balance providing valuable information on a timely and consistent basis without offering filler content just to remain present. As an advisor, we know you offer a lot of value to your clients, as illustrated in our recent Value of an Advisor study for 2020, but how do you continue to be consistent and valuable in that delivery?

Everyone has received more emails than ever over the past few months. If you're like me, you're probably deleting many without opening, because the same senders come through daily, flooding your inbox. I want information, but I want it regimented. A structured approach is key to making sure I open and read the content.

Here are a few ideas that I believe can help address and continue to reassure clients in a changing environment.

How to stay present and offer guidance for a broad audience

  • Diversity of information through email
    • Send an interesting article or graph with a brief description on its value.
    • Provide a YouTube link that addresses an issue that you’ve recently received a lot of questions on.
    • Does your firm offer market updates that might be a bit dense and lengthy? Write an executive summary of a specific section and reference the pages.
  • Set a regular schedule
    • I know a successful advisor who strictly sends his client communications every Wednesday between 1 and 3 p.m. This holds him accountable for outreach and sets the expectation with his clients on how much correspondence they will receive.
    • We are creatures of habit. If you know you are going to receive something once a week, you’ll keep an eye out for it.
  • Let it be
    • If you missed a week because you were on vacation, no need to play catch–up. Append a note to the previous week’s email or in the following to let your clients know you were out of the office.
    • Don’t send two to three emails in a single week just to make up for a lost week. They'll get lost in the fray.
    • Social media – How are you using it? This might be a good place for your catalog of content.

How to engage multi–generational clients one–on–one

In order to meet to discuss urgent and sensitive documents with your clients, you need to assess how they feel most comfortable engaging with you. From millennials to the Greatest Generation, everyone is unique.

  • Go outside. I’m in the Midwest and we do not take our summers for granted. If a client wants to meet but feels uncomfortable coming into the office, why not meet outside? Bring your laptop and do a mid–year review.
  • Go virtual. Although not every client is yet comfortable with virtual, it gives you a great opportunity to position yourself differently. I think of my mom when it comes to this. She wanted to become proficient at Zoom and Webex due to the convenience. We spent time going over the technology to make her more comfortable. Now she uses both all the time.
  • Be a tech resource for your clients. It will be helpful for future conversations, and they’ll reference you when they are telling their kids or grandkids how they got so good at Zoom on the next virtual family call!
  • Be flexible. Forcing a square peg into a round hole sure isn’t going to build confidence in a challenging time. Be creative in how you engage and be open to new ideas.

The bottom line

Times, they are a–changin’

There’s no need to be overbearing to remain a consistent presence and resource. Clients will talk about how you handled the rough times when times are good (and they’ll tell their friends about it).

Taking the appropriate steps to remain a consistent presence, but not a pest, will help educate and add comfort to your greatest referral source—your existing clients. Your value is only as good as the client experience that you are reliably delivering, clearly communicating and constantly elevating.

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