Over these past six months, the world has changed dramatically and markets continue to be volatile. The lives of clients have changed as well.
During times of crisis, it’s essential to keep the lights on and the business running. But it’s also possible to let the crisis shine a light on new opportunities.
Here are some opportunities for you to provide value to clients.
1. Recognize that client priorities may have changed
More focus on financial responsibilities: A recent poll by Credit Canada suggests “some Canadians may be more focused on financial responsibility than spending, with younger Canadians especially focused on creating positive cash flow and emergency savings.” A client’s desire to be better prepared for the future is an opportunity to for you to help them rethink their budget and ensure they build a solid financial foundation.
Less appetite for risk: Financial uncertainty, the fear of how long this pandemic will last, or worrying if we’ll ever get back to ‘normal’ may have made some clients more hesitant about risk. Unfortunately, as we all know, fear can lead to illogical and reckless decisions. Acknowledge clients’ fear and help them manage it by focusing on the long-term. Revisit their financial plan to ensure that it still aligns with their goals and risk tolerance and capacity.
Eager to learn: As a result of the pandemic, some wealth management firms have noticed that clients are more eager to learn about a variety of investment-related topics. As in-person seminars are still difficult, hosting webinars is a great alternative. The pandemic has also propelled people to focus on the importance of looking out for family and friends, which includes sharing helpful financial knowledge with them. In fact, there has been an increase in clients wishing to bring family members to webinars and similar sessions. Advisors who offer webinars to provide useful information and insights to clients will have the opportunity to more broadly demonstrate their value and attract potential new clients in the process.
2. Put young adults on your radar
Seeking the advice of a financial advisor: Now may be a good time to think about attracting the often-overlooked demographic of younger investors. Several recent studies have found that market turmoil and Covid uncertainty are causing more young adults to seek out a financial advisor. They may have been getting along without an advisor before the pandemic, but now feel the need for guidance and advice.
Planning to save and invest more: New Statistics Canada research indicates that younger Canadians (aged 15 to 34) are most likely to ramp up their saving and investing relative to other demographics. Young adults who want to work with an advisor and plan to invest more are probably worth connecting with. Many of them are now at a stage where they have investible assets or great potential. They also represent a prospecting opportunity for younger advisors to start building their books.
3. Facilitate intergenerational wealth transfer
Looking ahead: The pandemic and its shocking statistics have reminded all of us of our own mortality. According to a Financial Times story, advisors are reporting that “increasing numbers of clients are contacting them to discuss the best ways of passing down cash and other assets to their children and grandchildren.” Investors are revisiting their estate plans, getting their financial affairs in order and considering how they want to transfer their wealth to the next generation.
4. Leverage technology for customized communication
Use social media as an engagement tool: According to a new survey by Broadridge Financial Solutions, 86% of Gen Z and 87% of Millennials said they are comfortable having an advisor follow them on social media to offer a more customized experience. Facebook and Instagram are the most popular platforms with these age groups. If these platforms are within your firm’s guidelines, consider using them to market your services and engage clients.
Make it personal: The pandemic lockdown changed advisor-client communications — and clients like the change. Instead of having in-person meetings, many advisors phoned their clients more often, sent more personalized emails and used video conferencing and other digital tools to stay in touch. The Broadridge survey showed that 62% of clients want to entirely or partially maintain these communication methods going forward. These clients also prefer to receive information that is relevant to them, such as a comprehensive view of their accounts, money saving tips appropriate to their circumstances, ideas for new investments and personalized analysis of investing habits.