It’s more common now than perhaps ever before. We take a call from a client whose world seems to be turning upside down. The economy is adversely affecting their profession, a family situation comes out of nowhere, or they are second-guessing a major business decision made months earlier. Even the most emotionally strong clients need encouragement and hope.
Routinely, our job is to listen, understand client concerns, take the pulse of their emotions, and guide them to make decisions that are appropriate knowing their story and life circumstances.
And then the world tilts on its axis. Potential adversaries test our nation’s resolve, the Chinese economy swoons, and political upheaval returns. With our clients, we find our lives gyrating in a way that would make a carousel blush. Through it all, when we do our work well, clients tend to hang in there with us, take our advice, and find some comfort in the conviction we offer. Most do, and some do not. That’s the matrix in which we work.
Therein is the reason we must take the initiative to call clients and affirm the trust and resolve they have placed in us. Ken Blanchard of One Minute Manager fame taught us decades ago that the best way to motivate others is to acknowledge the work they do well rather than correcting mistakes. Saying “well done” is empowering and memorable.
Do this today. Call clients who have embraced a recommendation you made. “Mary, I was reviewing your investments and had to call to affirm the decision you made several months ago to _________________.” How many clients get a call like that!? Imagine the smile on their face hearing your affirmation. When the world seems to be moving toward darkness, put a light on the positives in their lives.
When you nurture client confidence, you inject a “touch” of positivity into what could be a season of negativity. Sharing a “well done,” given from both heart and mind, is empowering. As an advisor, you affirm not your work, but theirs! Encouragement is always welcome at those times when discouragement seems to reign.
On occasion, however, that tough call comes. And when it does, affirming client resolve can weld into the foundation of your relationship stronger trust. Come to think about it, trust must be constantly renewed both to sustain what is and grow what could be. When we say “Congratulations!” to a client, we enjoy a moment when the stars align, and life feels a bit better.
And yes, when a client is facing a tough personal or business concern, affirm their resolve to work through that issue with courage. Affirming the process often has a greater impact on the outcome than any particular decision made along the way.
Start today. Call your clients and thank them for going with you through the ups and downs of life. Encourage them, thank them, and discover the power such affirmation creates. And when the call comes to you, listen thoughtfully, and validate the person in a way that will empower the next chapter of their life.