Clients are “looking for a port in a storm” in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, and are looking for advisors to be the community of leaders they can count on.
That was the word from Jill Judd, former president of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, who spoke at the association’s town hall meeting on Tuesday. Judd is a State Farm Insurance agent in Capitola, Calif.
Judd urged NAIFA members to take any opportunity they can to reach out to clients, “to reassure them and let them know you’re their trusted advisor.”
“Don’t let this pass you by,” she said. “Remind your clients we are in this together and you are open for business.”
The need for financial advice doesn’t go away just because people are forced to stay home, Judd said.
“Clients are at home and they are all in a struggle,” she said. “You need to be with them in the midst of that struggle.”
Judd told NAIFA members to look out for three things:
“You are under some new pressure you have not been under before,” she said. “People are looking to you for calm and reassurance.”
She urged members to be careful of their own health, choose to watch news that inspires, and to focus on the information coming from their carriers.
There are many ways to reach out to clients, Judd said, and advisors should take advantage of those communication avenues. She suggested building a section about COVID-19 on their websites and updating it daily, or using social media. She sent notepads with her company logo to some clients with instructions to write their concerns on the notepads for a later conversation.
The members of an advisor’s team may have their own concerns during this time, Judd said. Many may be juggling caregiving duties along with remote work, while others may not be accustomed to working remotely and are adjusting to a new work environment. She provided this advice for helping team members.
Show a calm demeanor.
Help team members grow as professionals.
Provide them with engaging work.
Check in on them.
Give them opportunities for professional development.
Give them volunteer opportunities.
“Above all – be available,” she said.
Susan Rupe is managing editor for InsuranceNewsNet. She formerly served as communications director for an insurance agents' association and was an award-winning newspaper reporter and editor. Contact her at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @INNsusan.