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Supporting Client Needs and Protecting Their Interests During Tough Times

76% of Americans want to hear more frequently from their financial advisors, particularly during COVID as they work to navigate its impact. We’ve put together some guidelines on connecting and advising during hard times.
 
Tuesday, July 28 2020

These are unusual times at best. Many Americans, and many people around the world for that matter, are feeling scared, stressed, and frustrated.

According to the National Endowment for Financial Education, 9 in 10 Americans are experiencing financial stress and worry because of the effects of the pandemic and world affairs. Their concerns range from having enough emergency savings to a loss of job security to adequate preparation for retirement.

As a financial professional, it’s more important than ever to keep your clients connected and aware of potential financial impacts.

Communicate Frequently

Your clients need to hear from you during these troubled times. They need to be aware of schemes circulating in your community or of issues that may arise and affect them.

76 percent of clients said they’d like to hear from their advisers more frequently during this pandemic. Serve as a resource and a trusted expert during these challenging days, and your efforts will pay dividends in the form of increased trust and loyalty.

Connecting can be as simple as a card, a phone call, or an online download they can use to evaluate their financial situation.

Remind Clients of the Markets’ Relative Safety

Even in times of volatility, the markets are generally still a safe place for investments. While clients may be tempted to shift to other alternatives, those choices are often accompanied by their own risks.

Research shows that although there can be bad periods for the market, there’s typically a good chance it will rebound as long as investors remain patient.

Gather data that makes sense for your clients about the impact of moving funds from the market to other areas, as well as about the typical success rate of market investments compared to other investing options.

Offer Check-In Meetings

Check-in conversations can help clients feel reassured, especially if they’re nearing an age where they may need access to their funds because of an unexpected forced retirement.

Chances are, some of these clients were planning to work another year, five years or even 10 years, and they may be very concerned over how they’re going to make their retirement funds last.

Give them the chance to connect with you, gauge their appetite for risk, and adjust where necessary. Then, help them create:

  • Short term plans that adjust budgets, cover health insurance costs, and give them breathing room to anticipate next steps.
  • Long term plans to adjust their financial preparation and minimize added stress.
Connect with New Prospects

Just because we’re in unprecedented times doesn’t mean you have to stop looking for new business. If you have the bandwidth, now can be an excellent time to reach out to new potential clients.

Because so many people are scared and unsure of how to move forward in their financial dealings, they may be on the lookout for a new advisor – someone who’s sharing advice, offering guidance, and making them feel comfortable in these deeply unsettling days.

Consider whether there are opportunities to connect with new prospects, as well as putting your resources toward thought leadership in your communities and in online social networks. Word of mouth, along with advertising that differentiates you from others in the same space, can give you the opportunity to serve and support additional clients during this time and beyond

Share Scams

You may feel hesitant to highlight the scams and issues that are circulating in the area. You might not want to sound like a harbinger of doom to your clients.

These scams, however, are already numerous and continue to proliferate. The Texas State Securities Board has already opened new investigations on more than 100 suspect securities frauds or illegal investment opportunities.

An old adage says that “desperate times call for desperate measures.” During tough times, it’s more common that people will, out of desperation, fall for a get-rich-quick scam or a fraudulent scheme.

What’s more, clients in difficult financial straits can often feel embarrassed to reveal they’ve been had by a fraudster. This desire to keep their problems a secret can lead to throwing good money after bad, as another adage says, putting more money into a bad investment or scam in hopes of being able to make money back and avoid detection.

These times are certainly tough and unprecedented, but they’re also a time to show your worth and value to your clients and potential clients. They’ve trusted you with their investments, and you can earn their further trust and loyalty by keeping them safe and informed as this pandemic wages on.

For more resources on communicating with clients and meeting regulatory requirements during COVID, look at these posts:

About Red Oak Compliance Solutions

Red Oak Compliance Solutions is the global advertising review software of choice in the financial services industry, serving clients with more than $19 trillion in assets under management. Red Oak’s advertising compliance review software offers quick implementation timelines, as well as agile technology that responds to client needs and is 100% Books and Records compliant. Our clients report 35% faster approvals and 70% fewer touches, with many experiencing even better results. Are you ready to minimize risk, reduce costs, and improve efficiency?  Contact the Red Oak team to learn how.