Put crisis into perspective for anxious clients

By Susan Yellin | April 30 2020 10:26AM

Photo: Freepik

Financial advisors going through their list of client phone calls during the COVID-19 pandemic must put the current crisis into perspective for them and ensure their clients have a trusted source of information, an Independent Financial Brokers of Canada (IFB) webinar heard on April 29.

Colin Baerg, regional director at IG Wealth Management in Saskatoon, said the first thing he does when he speaks to clients is put the market situation into their personal viewpoint, taking them back to December 2018 and explaining they have basically lost a year’s worth of growth.

“When you start to put that into perspective a client instantly starts to relax, sit back and understand and think: ‘maybe it’s not as bad as everybody says it is.’ Then you can start to remind them [of their goals] and have some positive conversations.”

But just phone conversations are a thing of the past now, says Baerg. Nowadays, advisors can use video to spread their message to a number of clients at once while showcasing their added value to clients. “You’ve reassured them that…markets always recover. But then you have to sit back and remind them all of the work that we’ve done over the past number of years.”

He suggests advisors revisit the know-your-client conversation, recapping for them how much risk clients said they could handle in a downturn and relate that to the current situation. Then, says Baerg, talk about the client’s individual goals and give positive input.

Talk about strategies – not products – but rather the relationship that the two of you have and the team of experts who are behind you.

“This is the new normal,” said Baerg. “As we reach out to clients and tell them we can do business from the comfort of their homes while keeping them safe, you can be more efficient and it gets the client excited.”

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