Packing an "Emergency Kit" for Bear Market Communication
What were you saying to clients on Feb 5th? (Besides, "Oh s***!") On the day the Dow took the biggest plunge in history, talking to every client would've been nearly impossible. But Tim Wyman, CFP®, the managing partner at Center for Financial Planning, talked to hundreds.
He's not a speed talker with his client list on speed dial. He used video. Not a video shot the day of the drop. Some 20 months earlier we helped build Tim's team what we call an "Emergency Kit." The idea came from my days at CBS News in New York. When things were relatively quiet in the world, I was assigned to update Obits: The Pope, Lindsay Lohan (I'm dating myself) and pretty much anyone in the public eye. At CBS, we were preparing for the inevitable ... so we were ready to roll when it happened.
So were you ready on Feb 5th? Tim's team turned to their tucked-away video series and in minutes had this message to clients on the website, YouTube, and the company's three social accounts:
On Facebook, Tim's personal and reassuring video message reached more than 800 people, with more on Twitter, and LinkedIn. But Tim's video wasn't the only thing in the kit. A few days later, they followed up with a second video pulled from their stockpile. This one was a historical message about market performance from firm partner Melissa Joy, CFP®. She reminds clients that they have a plan that includes contingencies for all types of markets.
The Center's series was called "Ready Together" and it was ready to go when they needed to communicate with clients. You might ask, "Did it work?" The only way to know is to record metrics (a step in the strategy process that we're always reminding clients to do!) From the metrics, The Center's Ready Together videos did just what they were intended to do. They gave the partners a way to reassure clients in a personal way. What convinced Tim the video he pulled out of his back pocket worked was the feedback he got from clients: