At the beginning of every airline flight, the flight attendant gives an almost identical speech to the passengers onboard. The speech includes information on the airplane’s safety features, how to find the emergency exits, how to fasten your seatbelt and how to use the oxygen masks.
After the flight attendant gives the speech, they tell the passengers that very same information can be found on a card in the back pocket of the seat in front of them.
Just as flight attendants give that safety speech at the beginning of the trip, advisors must give their clients their own version of the “safety card speech” at the beginning of the advisor/client relationship. That speech should include information on what clients should expect from their investment journey and what to do if markets decline.
That was the word from Bryan Dunham, vice president-senior manager with Capital Group. Dunham spoke at Thursday’s online town hall meeting held by the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors.
Dunham gave some tips on what that “safety card speech” should include.
- Declines have been common and temporary occurrences. Accept declines as a normal part of the investment cycle.
- Proper perspective can help you remain calm. A long-term perspective can help you prevail through challenging times.
- Don’t try to time the market. Consider staying invested.
- Our firm has helped investors prevail through market declines. Invest for the long term with an investment manager that has a proven track record of success – in downturns as well as in bull markets.
- Emotions can cloud your judgment. Avoid making rash decisions based on emotions.
Dunham also listed four points of crucial client conversations.
“Any client conversation you have can follow this framework,” he said. Here are some examples.
- The speed and magnitude of the current market decline is unprecedented.
- Volatility works both ways; it’s the up and down of the market.
- Prior to COVID-19, the economy was in a healthy state.
- Things will change as a result of COVID-19. How will this affect the ways we do business and how consumers behave?
All interpersonal communication consists of three parts, Dunham said. They are visual, vocal and verbal. Research has shown that the visual part makes up 55% of interpersonal communication, with vocal making up 38% and verbal making up 7%.
“When those three things align, that’s when trust is built,” he 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.
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