The New Normal
Working with clients post pandemic email newsletters , podcasts , videos , social media posts , phone calls , and even mailings — to reach clients through multiple touchpoints and reinforce video calls . Online social events can also be effective . While the use of Zoom and other virtual platforms is beginning to decline as in-person visits return , the opposite is true for online client gatherings , says Hausherr . “ Client virtual events are actually well attended ,” she says , and her office has helped financial professionals with successful virtual events ranging from wine tastings to yoga-for-beginners classes .
Take control of the discussion . Having an agenda is key in virtual environments because it is easy for discussions to become disjointed , especially when there are numerous participants on a call , says Lurtz . “ This might not be as difficult if it is just one client and one agent but start adding people — meeting with a couple or a family , multiple advisors , or a CPA and a financial planner — and things can get a little hectic . As such , using the agenda can help keep people on task and paying attention .” Practice , too , can be important for presentations and certain client conversations . For example , working with a client who is upset about , say , market volatility can be especially complicated in a virtual , rather than physical , situation . “ Financial planners might want to talk through how their office wants to handle those heated or emotional discussions before they happen so that there is a protocol to fall back on ,” Lurtz says .
Cast a wide net . Remote interactions open the door to reaching clients outside the traditional local area , and many consumers are now open to electronic marketing efforts . This can significantly expand the pool of potential clients . Agents can also look beyond geographic expansion to virtually target specific client types . “ Financial planners can go all-in on niche practices because they are no longer limited by location and can attract people from all over who fit that niche ,” says Lurtz .
Seize the opportunity . With its lockdowns and isolation , the pandemic has created pent-up demand for human contact , along with a sharper focus on financial preparation . “ People are thinking about their plans for the future , making sure their wills are updated , looking at what their need for care might be in their later years ,” says Hausherr . “ So there is a real opportunity for producers to check in with clients — see how they ’ re doing , what they ’ re thinking about . Ask open-ended questions — and be a good listener . That will help you connect with and support them .”
In the end , many financial professionals will want to use a hybrid model that combines virtual and inperson meetings . But deciding which to use should be up to the client . That means agents should ask clients which they prefer and when they would prefer one method over the other . They should explain what can be done online and what their safety policies are . And they should match their approach to client expectations . Even in an increasingly virtual world , the traditional focus on meeting individual needs will always be an essential part of the business .
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Don ’ t discount older clients ’ receptivity to technology
Create tight agendas
Don ’ t be bound by location — technology goes anywhere
Hold meetings at hours convenient for your clients
Think out of the box and consider virtual events
Schedule shorter , more frequent meetings
Get the setting right : lights , camera , action
Mix in-person and remote meetings