So far, 2020 has not turned out to be what we imagined it would be back on New Year’s Eve. Between then and now, COVID-19 reared its ugly head and turned our world upside down. When the pandemic is behind us and restrictions are eased, we should reflect on what the Coronavirus has taught us and how to apply those lessons to our financial practices.
Here are a few lessons learned so far:
- No one is immune from tragedy. Young people often think they are immortal. Clients of all ages think that this could never happen to them. Back in February, the virus was in distant places or in a few big cities. However, within weeks, it had infected countless communities. Today, many people know others who are sick or have died from COVID-19. As a result, we need insurance to protect us and our loved ones from tragedy.
- We should always have access to ready cash. No one expected the stay at home orders issued by state governments would result in the closing of most businesses. This was followed by layoffs and furloughs of workers. Those who thought they had steady incomes are now unemployed. How will they pay their bills? Going forward, everyone should have a cash reserve for emergencies. Many insurance products have borrowing features too.
- Clients want to hear from their financial professionals. The speed of the spread of the virus and the sharp decline in the stock market took many people by surprise. Clients now get a daily delivery of grim news on TV and are flooded with information via the Internet and radio. They need someone to help them sort through this information overload and explain how the news applies to them. They want to know how they stand concerning their financial plans and plans for retirement. They want to know that they have a financial professional who feels their pain and can help put things in perspective.
- Time is a valuable commodity. Many agents, advisors and clients are still working from home. While some see it as a “stay-cation,” others realize they have been given the gift of time. As their agents, you should reach out to them via phone calls, text messages, and e-mail messages. You should address the projects you have put off because of lack of time. You need to use this time to plan how you will interact with clients and prospects after the
- Social media matters. Stuck at home, many people are now active on Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media platforms. Many firms have encouraged agents and advisors to become active on LinkedIn. Are you getting your fair share of this interaction? Are you on people’s radar? The stay at home period has been an ideal time to build a social media presence that can be maintained after the pandemic.
Bryce Sanders is president of Perceptive Business Solutions Inc. He provides HNW client acquisition training for the financial services industry. His book, “Captivating the Wealthy Investor,” can be found on Amazon.