#Coronavirus: 6 things for financial planners to consider

Many financial planners are currently dealing with the fallout from volatile financial markets and managing their clients’ questions and anxieties.
However, have you considered the impact on your practice once the Coronavirus hits SA?
1 What if you can’t travel to see clients?
2 What if your existing clients can’t travel to your offices?
3 How will you engage with potential clients and source new clients?
4 What if your staff can’t come into the office?
5 Will you be able to process client requests?
6 Will you fall behind on client reviews? And how will you catch up?
Most of us could probably deal with these challenges for a week or three, but what if the duration is similar to what we’ve seen in China and extends past 3 months? This may materially impact your practice and clients.
At the same time, globally advisors are struggling to increase their productivity to make up for the increased cost of regulation, static markets, ageing client base, reduced fees, etc. As Winston Churchill said, “Never waste a good crisis”.
Implementing change is hard – use this is an opportunity to
1) demonstrate your value proposition to clients (the number 1 challenge facing advisors globally)
2) show clients that you are able to adapt to using new technology, in a way that benefits them
3) implement new ways of doing business in your practice that saves you time and money on a permanent basis
Some areas to consider:
– pro-actively communicate with your clients to reassure them that you are still looking after their best interests and delivering value to them, and how specifically you will deal with the possible impact of Corona Virus in your practice
– regular engagement with clients is critical for client satisfaction and retention, so do not stop engaging with clients simply because you can’t meet them face to face. Replace face to face engagement with other forms of client engagement.
Many South African planners do not engage remotely with clients, but the technology is now readily available to do this professionally. Applications such as Zoom has made a material difference for planners to reduce travel time, and better manage their client meetings. Clients are impressed when you introduce innovation which is engaging and saves them time. Ensure you keep your clients engaged when contacting them remotely by using software such as Asset-Map to focus their attention on the key issues, and not get distracted.
Use this opportunity to demonstrate your value proposition and introduce new ways of doing business to your clients. This will significantly strengthen your practice into the future.
We love using our “Heart, Head, Hand” framework to help planners think through the emotional, intellectual and practical aspects of improving their client experience. I would love to hear your comments on the steps you believe practices should take to deal with the impact of the Coronavirus.


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