• Connect with emotion, not just information. People reach conclusions through information, but it usually takes an emotional connection before they take action. Right now clients' emotions are triggered, so simply sharing more “information” to try to calm them down may not work. Connect with their values, bring them back to why they are investing in the first place and help them keep the proper perspective.

• Be a coach, not just an advisor. Yes, you’re an expert, but that doesn’t mean you should always be “telling and educating.” Clients want to feel empowered and if you can help them feel more in control of the decision-making process, they are more likely to stick to that decision. For example, coaching is about asking questions and helping your client clarify, sort through and come to a conclusion. Over the weekend, I had a conversation with an advisor who “coached” seven clients out of moving to all cash. How? One question he asked was, “We can move you to cash if you’d like, but since this money is earmarked for your long-term goals, how are you going to determine when to get back into the market?” Not surprisingly, the clients had no “get back in” strategy. After some additional coaching, all seven clients decided to remain invested. Well done! 

Whether this recent market drop is the beginning of the next bear market, or just a blip before we hit new all-time highs later this week, I have no idea. Either way, it’s a good idea to step up your communication and visibility—to clients and prospects—so they know you are on top of the situation.

Steve Sanduski, CFP, is the founder of Belay Advisor; the CEO of ROL Advisor, a discovery process technology system; a New York Times bestselling author; host of the Between Now and Success podcast and a financial advisor business coach.

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