Reaching Out To Clients Is Critical During Stressful Times
Steve Long and Andy Reiss, Supernova
Every aspect of our daily lives has been impacted in the past year by the Covid 19 pandemic. We have adapted our regular practices and patterns to accommodate the medical and emotional toll that many of us have faced. We all would agree that the past year has been unprecedented in numerous ways. Meeting in person with clients, prospects and centers of influence has morphed into a kaleidoscope of new technologies and new methods to communicate virtually. The impact we believe will be felt for years to come and will probably result in a new “normal.”
One of the sustaining elements of a Supernova practice is implementing a 12-4-2 model of client communication that applies to every client in the practice. The client receives 12 monthly calls that are scheduled in advance, 4 quarterly portfolio reviews, 2 of which are supposed to be in person. While most of 12-4 have been implemented, the 2 in person reviews have been either postponed or now over the phone.
We reached out to some of the recent FA’s utilizing Supernova and inquired how they have adapted the 12-4-2 method to today’s environment. Their first thought in this disruptive period was the appreciation of having Supernova and bringing a laser focus to doing only things that create value for the client. They also stated that keeping 12-4-2 was helpful in eliminating things that distracted or diminished their focus on the client experience.
What makes the 4 reviews with 2 in person so impactful?
The process is flexible and creates rituals for both the advisors and clients to follow in any climate. Not meeting in person doesn’t alter the process. The client receives an outline of agenda topics several days in advance of the meeting. The client input is solicited as to any other items they would like to discuss at the meeting. A revised agenda is sent 24 hours prior to the scheduled time. In the pre-Covid period the client would arrive at the office, be offered refreshments and directed to a comfortable conference room. Team members needed would be included in the conversation. Following the meeting an executive summary would be sent within 24 hours and be placed in the client folder.
With today’s restrictions there have to be a few minor changes to the process. Prior to the actual meeting date, the CSA or Administrative Assistant would set up the technology platform to be used and provide some instructions on how to join the meeting. Some advisors send a gift card to provide some refreshments for the session. It is sometimes necessary to limit the number of participants on the actual call or video link to make the communication less cumbersome. The conversation and review are conducted and the executive summary is provided within 24 hours of the meeting.
What is critical to remember is that 12-4-2 doesn’t stop because you can’t meet in person. If done properly the meetings can still be impactful because the client receives the same experience on reviewing their progress against their plan and has a personal and private conversation with the advisor.
Many advisors that use Supernova feel “todays” technology is effective in saving everyone time and keeps the focus on the client and their needs.
It will be interesting to see what happens when the threat of COVID-19 is eliminated. Hopefully, we will be able to have that discussion soon. In the interim, adapting the Supernova 12-4-2 process can be very impactful and help bridge the gap between in person reviews and virtual reviews.
This approach regardless of the current environment can create what we call, “break away velocity. The ability to differentiate yourself from other financial advisors, accelerate your practice and give you a better balance in life.