“Unlocking my client’s potential and achieving liberation and order in their life, is my guiding principal.” - Marci Fried
Marci Fried- Strategic Consultant/Professional Speaker
I have the advantage of partnering exclusively with a select group of highly skilled and successful teams, therefore their experiences provide insight that might otherwise not surface and I believe it is my responsibility to share these insights.
As a seasoned Business Advisor, my responsibility is to listen, consider and when appropriate, point out fine tuning opportunities to our Advisors and their teams using learning moments and challenges to step back, slow down and focus in on what makes their clients tick.
Something to consider:
I have been speaking with our Advisors and their teams about year-end volatility and why this was perceived as different.
All my teams without exception, felt confident that they had positioned their clients prior to December 2018, that the likelihood of volatility was evident, while at the same time staying focused on the “plan” and the “process”. They all agreed that focusing on what they could control – as per Shoot Your Trailer - and firmly positioning the team as their client’s personal CFO (Complete Family Office), was firmly in place. Why, then were they receiving calls from a number of their best clients concerned about their year-end statements? The answer, as they knew, was December 2018.
Why was this year-end different? Or was it not different at all?
We all are familiar with the classic Ibbotson Chart, and have heard story after story. You think to yourself ‘well if you think it’s bad this time around, you only need to look back at other significant events including the Kennedy assassination, the crash of ‘97, and so on.’
The point is, it’s not if something will happen, it’s only a matter of when. It is essential to have a plan and a process; stay the course and when necessary fine tune, based on the direction the clients’ lives take, as their life unfolds and their needs evolve.
Again, was this year different or not?
I believed one of my Advisors tapped into the essence of why clients may have viewed this time differently, and it is rooted in behavior.
Clients are confident that their Advisor and their team serve as their personal CFO and that goes hand-in-glove with monitoring their progress (i.e. Monthly Statements) but the year-end statement, in particular the month of December, was different. Remember, too, that in many cases the client will be sharing their year-end statement with their accountant, who will have their own commentary. This is where we witnessed unprecedented levels of volatility. It was stunning. Even the most seasoned client could not help but notice the jaw-dropping numbers, regardless of how prepared they were for volatility, but that was the reality of December 2018. Fast forward a matter of weeks to January 2019 and the trajectory was forward and up.
This may have addressed why this behavior surfaced, but in hindsight, what could the Advisors and their teams have done to prepare for the December/January statement reality? This is where we find a learning opportunity, a moment to reflect and put into place a process for addressing the inevitable.
Thinking with the end in mind, our Advisors and their teams by nature always seek to raise the bar in terms of the client experience. We need to be reminded to never take anything for granted in terms of what the client may be thinking and feeling, the Law of Familiarity is a reality and with this in mind we need ensure that we convey clarity, confidence and conviction.
To paraphrase Andrew Grove, author of Only the Paranoid Survive; regardless of the Advisor’s positioning leading up to December, clients may have listened, perhaps even prepared in their mind, but human behavior is strong. It can take over and make the reasonable sound unreasonable.
We have a philosophy at Pareto Systems: The voice of our Advisors and their teams are the most important voice we listen to. I would like to share a recent conversation I had with one of our teams around this topic.
“We have had a number of conversations with our clients and continue to schedule appointments with our best clients. We believe that it is imperative to get out in front of issues that impact our clients, and naturally the January statement was one of those topics we needed to address. We follow Duncan and use the Pareto strategies and resources to reinforce our messaging. We have our Agenda, we acknowledge their concerns and then we get back to what we can control. Our mission is to keep all this in context, basically not leaving our clients to their own devices, which could negatively impact their plan for years to come. We remind them that we never lose sight of what is most important to them and we circle back to stories around their family, occupation and recreational pursuits. We continue to keep the focus on their aspirations and goals. We address the “how”, we will continue to work together as their lives unfold and needs evolve and that the beauty of our Process, which is designed to address the ebb and flow as their life unfolds and needs evolve. We then shift to the Strategy and Tactical Review Meeting Agenda items and we get them back on track and excited about their future. We have a process.”
Marci Fried: Pareto Systems Certified Consultant | Franchise Ready Specialist-Scalability | Enterprise Relationship Specialist -Train the Trainer | Practice and Relationship Team Management Expert, powered by the Pareto System.
Learn more about Marci: https://www.paretosystems.com/coach-marci-fried.html