You’ve probably heard the saying, “A friend in need is a friend indeed.” It turns out to be true in the present scenario for advisors and their clients.
Keeping your clients calm and supporting them in this once-in-a-generation health and economic crisis could go a long way for both of you.
Although the client’s customer retention, business profit, steady income levels are not in your hands, there are several ways you can manage their financial health through your sound financial advice in tough times. The current crisis is an opportunity to understand and feel your client’s fear and concerns, and share best practices to ease their financial worries.
Here are how you can better serve your clients and live up to their expectations by navigating them through the coronavirus crisis.
Sell Value Rather Than Price
Clients are lonely, panicked, anxious, and scared during this unimaginable times. They need to be heard and understood. Staying in touch and having a genuine conversation with them is more necessary now than ever.
To understand your client’s needs and meet their expectations, you just have to shift your focus from sales to a value-based mindset at this time. Put yourself in your client’s shoes and encourage them to express their financial challenges. Empathy is critical – now and always.
- Adopt an anti-selling mindset.
- Communicate regularly either through email or phone call and keep it short.
- Check how their family and employees are doing in this chaotic time
- Boost client’s confidence that they can weather the storm.
- Talk about how the current environment is affecting your client’s business and understand their current financial needs, values, and goals.
- Listen to your clients and focus on what they actually want and not what you think they need
- Last but not the least, find out their major financial concerns and how you can help
Help them with Financial Planning
There could be several possible situations your clients are dealing with due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Perhaps there are no sales as the company is closed due to lockdown. Or your client might be running a virtual business but witnessing a sharp decline in sales. They might be laying off their employees or facing a cash flow crisis. Some clients may cut their marketing budget while others borrowed a business loan.
This is where you come in and address the financial issues they are facing.
- Have a look at your client’s updated financial statements and review their current financial situation.
- Find out how much damage has been done? What needs fixing? And what steps you can take to recover and back your client’s businesses as usual?
- Review your clients’ budget and update it according to the situation.
- Educate your client about the causes of poor cash flow and how it can be fixed by using a cash flow forecasting tool, like Smansha
- Motivate them for setting up an emergency fund to prepare for the worst.
- Try to educate clients about how they can reduce current expenses and save money in a crisis such as curbing non-essential expenditure, cutting payroll expenses, investing in affordable marketing and seeking cheaper alternatives.
Provide Information about Emergency Business Financing
Mere eliminating the expenses won’t help your clients survive if there isn’t money coming into their bank accounts. Provide information about several business financing options to successfully jump-start your client’s business. Tell them about various government loan programs and grants created to support businesses that are in financial hardship because of the pandemic such as Paycheck Protection Program, Economic Injury Disaster Loan, Traditional SBA & 7 (A) Loans and Microloans, SBA Express Bridge Loans, Facebook Small Business Grants Program, Amazon Neighborhood Small Business Relief Fund, James Beard Foundation Relief Fund, NYC Small Business Continuity Loan Fund and a lot more.
Besides, you can also assist your clients in securing other business financing options to get extra money during and after the pandemic such as Business lines of credit, Business credit cards, Merchant cash advance, Business Term Loan, Short Term Loan, Invoice Financing and Equipment financing.
During these challenging times, by listening, understanding and solving your client’s financial needs, you will not only help creating a strong financial foundation during this crisis but provide yourself an amazing opportunity to build a successful and long term relationship as an accountant/financial advisor.
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