Be Proactive in a Reactive Environment


Has the recent stock market volatility got you feeling like you are on an emotional roller coaster ride? One day headlines read, “After Historic 1,000 Point Plunge, Dow Dives 588 Points at Close,” and the next day they read, “Dow Roars back, Rallies 620 Points!”

If you find yourself caught between the media hype and hysteria wondering what you should think or expect next don’t wait for the market to dictate your actions, instead do what other successful advisers are doing and start being proactive in a reactive environment.

1.) Be Proactive with Your Knowledge
We’ve all heard the saying, “Knowledge is power,” and no truer words can be spoken when it comes to understanding a volatile stock market. Your clients look to you to know what is happening and why. In times like these, it is important to not only research the facts (and myths) but to keep current on them at all times. Take time to educate yourself and then your clients.

2.) Be Proactive with Preparing the Story
Knowing what is happening and knowing how to translate that to your clients are two very different things. That is why it is so important to have a process for explaining what the current market story is.

Over the years, I’ve created many practice management tools for financial advisers and insurance agents. One of the best tools that you can use, especially now, is what I call “The 60 Second Market Story.” It is a process for mapping the past, present and possible future outcomes of the stock market. If you can explain to your clients what has happened since the beginning of the year, what is currently happening, what your analysts are predicting may happen in the short-term, and do it utilizing a story format that your clients can comprehend—without all the industry jargon—you are doing more for them than a majority of your colleagues and peers.

3.) Be Proactive with the Client Calling Process
Once you have prepared what it is you want to share with your clients, it is important to know who exactly to share it with. Take time to create a list of your clients to call. The initial calls should be to clients who may be most concerned about the market, but you should also plan to contact each of your clients. Then, block off a specific time each day to make those calls. Be sure to tell them not to panic if the volatility continues, as it is an expected part of the stock market cycle.

Why it Works and What to Expect
Most clients know that market volatility is not your fault but you do need to remember that client communication is your responsibility. This will help mitigate your client’s natural fears by assuring them that you are staying in touch with them, sharing your expertise with what is going on with the market. The reason that this process works is because clients will appreciate that you understand their concerns and. Remember: an adviser who cares creates loyal clients!

If you read this blog and need help mapping out your “60 Second Market Story,” email Melissa Denham, director of client servicing at for our complimentary white paper on this topic.

Dan FinleyDaniel C. Finley
Advisor Solutions
St. Paul, Minn.

Editor’s Note: For a related webinar titled, “Behaviorally Smart Client Engagement,” click here. CFP CE credit is available for this webinar.

To have discussions with your colleagues who are also trying to communicate successfully with their clients during this recent market correction, visit FPA Connect’s “Market Volatility and Financial Planning” forum.

For more information on on FPA Connect, Knowledge Circles, CE, or any other resource that could help you at this time, visit our Professional Development Center. 

2 thoughts on “Be Proactive in a Reactive Environment

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