JULIE LITTLECHILD'S BLOG


What Are Clients Interested in Learning About Right Now?

Every day I hear “war stories” from advisors about their experience over the last two months. They’ve told me about the proactive outreach, the reassurance they have been able to deliver and the late nights making it all happen.

Given the extreme effort you’ve put in, the question I have is a little uncomfortable. What’s next?

How can you continue to support your clients without delivering the same message over and over again? And what support are they actually looking for?

We Asked; They Answered

As part of our most recent investor research, which we conducted in partnership with the Investments & Wealth Institute, we asked high net worth investors which topics they were interested in learning more about. The data was gathered between March 10 – March 24 from nearly 1,200 investors, so the answers are particularly telling.

At first glance, the responses aren’t terribly surprising and may reflect the kind of content you are already sharing

Q: Which topics would you be interested in learning more about from your advisor? 

There is danger, however, in stopping there, particularly in the current environment. Client needs are evolving and it’s important to capture those changing needs if you want to be truly responsive.

In order to understand how needs are changing we examined the data based on the date that the client responded to the survey. From there, we segmented clients into three groups. Thirty-one percent of respondents participated during March 10–11, 55 percent during March 12–15, and 14 percent during March 16–24.

During that two-week time period there was only one topic that declined in interest and it may not be the one you expect.  It was ‘coping with a significant market downturn’.

Q: Which topics would you be interested in learning more about from your advisor? (Shows percentage choosing ‘coping with a significant market downturn’.)

Why? My own theory is that clients were listening; they heard the message you were sending in your initial outreach. The more they heard about the impact of the crisis on their portfolio and the more they were encouraged to stay the course, the less they needed to hear that message.

However, there were some topics that increased in interest, sometimes dramatically. Below you’ll see those topics and the change in the percentage of clients who indicated an interest between March 10-11 and March 16-24.

Q: Which topics would you be interested in learning more about from your advisor? (Shows percentage selecting between March 10-11 and those selecting between March 16-24.) 

increased topics

I think the significance is obvious. The topics that are on the minds of clients relate more to their lives than to their money. These are the areas where clients need support and this provides you with a clear opportunity to add value, whether through articles, videos or other forms of content.

The lesson? Sometimes the information you want to share with clients isn’t what they need to hear. Hit pause and ask what they really need right now. Then deliver.

Thanks for stopping by,
Julie

P.S. If you’d like to learn more about how we help advisors use input from clients to uncover unmet service, revenue and referral opportunities I’d invite you to book a 20-minute demo.  Please click here to find a convenient time.

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  1. Weekend Reading for Financial Planners (May 23-24) - Outsource Bookkeeping Service Providers - May 23, 2020

    […] What Are Clients Interested In Learning About Right Now? (Julie Littlechild, Absolute Engagement) – With the recent market volatility, advisory firms have been focused on proactively outreaching to clients as best as they can, from (virtual) meetings to mass emails, and from webinars to blog posts, in an effort both to stay communicative and connected and simply to give clients the information they want and need. A recent study from Absolute Engagement confirms that, perhaps not surprisingly, the primary topics of interest have focused on financial security, from “maintaining sufficient assets to meet lifetime income needs” (39%) to “coping with a significant market downturn” (36%) and “education on investments or the markets” (32%). However, as it turns out, Absolute Engagement was gathering data throughout March as the coronavirus pandemic (and associated market volatility) was unfolding in real-time, and found that client preferences were actually very fast-moving and changing. Consequently, while nearly 40% of clients wanted to learn more about “coping with a significant market downturn” in the second week of March, by as soon as the third week of March that interest had fallen below 20%, as investors quickly adapted to the new reality. In turn, topics that ‘exploded’ in interest instead were: “health and wellness” (up from 19% to 48%); “thinking about second careers” (up from 12% to 23% as many faced furloughs or layoffs in industries that they already realized may not fully recover for a long time to come); “caring for aging parents” (up from 12% to 21%), and “helping children make better financial decisions” (up from 24% to 32%, ostensibly for those with adult children who were facing their own economic distress). The key point, though, is that while there was significant interest in markets and economic content in the midst of the initial pandemic outbreak and market decline, clients actually moved on quite quickly from the portfolio impact itself, to wondering what it all means in their own lives beyond just their own portfolio alone. […]

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    […] What Are Clients Interested in Learning About Right Now? via Absolute […]

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