Is now the time to leave your clients alone with their thoughts? Processing what they’ve seen online? With a mental loop of the latest headlines from tv?
We hope you said, “Of course not, Laura! That’s the worst idea ever.”
It can be challenging to find the right words at crucial times. As people turn to you for guidance, we want to help you get your messaging right. Here’s where to start:
GO BEYOND REASSURANCE
By now, you’ve hopefully delivered the, “Don’t panic!” message. What’s next? At times of heightened fear and focus on the markets, you have the chance to differentiate yourself at the same time your audience is hungry for information. To do that, you need to be giving actionable advice in memorable ways.
START WITH YOUR AUDIENCE
The first step to nailing your messaging is to identify your audience. During a normal marketing campaign, the priority you place on the list below might be different. But right now, your focus should be on:
- Strategic partners
For efficiency, we suggest focusing your attention on #1 and plan your delivery like you were talking to a client sitting across the table from you. These 7 tips will help shape the content of that virtual conversation. To see it in action, let’s look at how some of your peers are talking to their clients:
#1 DAVID ADAMS: GIVE CONTEXT
How can you help give your clients some perspective in the midst of all the hype? We’re always fans of telling a story. In this video, David makes a lot of important points, but the shark tale really brings it home:
#2 TRACI RICHMOND: EXPLAIN PERSONAL IMPACT
We all want to know what the virus is going to mean for our wallets. You know that better than anyone when it comes to your clients. So give real, actionable advice. Traci sent her clients a message asking anyone who had a sudden, unexpected need for money to reach out:
“… But we know life happens, and there are things we can’t predict. A sudden job loss or unexpected repair may put you in a position where you need access to cash. These situations are so unique. If you find yourself facing an unexpected major expense, let us know and we’ll help you develop a strategy to deal with it.”
— -TRACI RICHMOND, THE MEAKEM GROUP
#3 ANDREA SCHLAPIA: GIVE ACTIONABLE ADVICE
Rumors are running wild right now. Anyone hear the one about coronavirus escaping a lab? Or that the border with Mexico was getting shut down? Or that you can make hand sanitizer from vodka and aloe vera gel? Oh, wait, that one’s true!
At this moment of mis-information, you have the chance to do good. Ironstone’s Andrea Schlapia says when you give clients a call-to-action, it makes them feel like there’s something they can do. Here are three:
Here is the link to the Centers for Disease Control updates.
Here is the link to the World Health Organization updates.
Here is the link to the U.S. State Department travel advisories.
#4 MELISSA JOY: EMPHASIZE SERVICE
Companies large and small have already announced plans to alter the way they interact with clients. How are you addressing it? Once you’ve figured that out, then start communicating your plan. And when that plan changes because circumstance have changed, communicate again. Whether you’re canceling an upcoming seminar or changing how you meet with clients, share the news. Melissa sent an email letting clients know about her capabilities for remote meetings:
“We’ll keep the information flowing as news continues to evolve on coronavirus. We’re also equipped to continue operations regardless of advisories. We’re always happy to meet with you remotely via zoom or over the phone.”
— MELISSA JOY, PEARL PLANNING
#5 JON WAX – MAKE THE ASK
When others are asking questions, you can be the answer. Anytime is a good time for referrals, but now is when people will be making them. Duncan MacPherson of Pareto Systems suggests advisors make volatility your friend. “You are at your highest level of refer-ability right now.”
It can feel hard to ask for introductions in normal circumstances, so you may be wondering, “How do I do it in this moment?” Jon delivers good information to his clients, but wait for the end to hear how he tactfully brings it up:
#6 JAMES RUSSO: LEVERAGE THE MEDIA
You know the media you keep bashing for making the story a big deal? Hope those producers and reporters didn’t hear you, because it’s time you gave them a call. You have expertise and they are looking for someone who can add valid, useful information to their coverage.
If you don’t already have media connections, it’s as simple as picking up the phone and calling the newsroom of one of your local stations. Ask for the assignment editor and tell her or him you have a story to pitch. Give them a great idea and see if they’ll run with it. You could find yourself on the air within hours. If you have network connections, even better. Jim happens to be in New Jersey (close to the New York news epicenter) and is a repeat guest on Fox Business News:
#7 IDEA KIT: USE VIDEO
You’ve spent a lot of time on the phone with clients since February 28th. If you aren’t already using video to help get your messaging out, consider starting now:
- In video you deliver body language, inflection, and can make a connection that you can’t with the written word.
- Show ‘n’ Tell style explaining serves your audience.
- Save yourself time by communicating one carefully crafted message to everyone.
Once you’ve worked out your messaging, always push your videos out through as many channels as possible. Your audience is hungry for information and they will be talking to their friends. Whether those conversations are happening in person or digitally, arm them with facts that are easy to share.
Time is of the essence. At Idea Decanter, we realize that. Which is why we’re offering 50% off the Idea Kit account setup for advisors who are ready to start communicating with clients, strategic partners, and prospects through video. To take advantage of the offer, please find out more about remote video with Idea Kit here.