Is Your Practice Recession-Proof? 3 Tactics to Retain, Grow and Attract New Client Relationships in a Declining Market

While there’s some political debate about being in a recession, it’s quite evident that either way we’re facing a potentially declining and volatile market. That signals bad news for your practice—or does it? Whether leading a team, a firm, or managing your own practice, you have the power to choose—you can either emerge successfully from these uncertain times or succumb to them.

If you have not positioned yourself and the experience you deliver, you’re likely to end up distracted, taken off your game, and left reacting to a barrage of challenging conversations with anxious clients. But …

It Doesn’t Have to Be This Way

You CAN take advantage of the opportunity this presents, as we’ve seen other firms and advisors do leveraging one or more of the tactics presented in this article.

While recessions are a challenging time for everyone, they at the same time present a great opportunity for wealth management firms and their advisors to acquire new clients and consolidate assets with existing ones. In fact, it’s times like these that can be a “game-changing moment” in your client relationships. The key is being prepared, with an intentional approach to putting clients at ease, while simultaneously leaving them recognizing you as different and uniquely valuable.

Back in the early stages of the pandemic as we anticipated the obvious oncoming market volatility, we developed some quick-hit webinars to help our clients better position themselves to alleviate client anxiety and take advantage of the “money in motion” that occurs during times like these. Based on the feedback from these clients, those implementing one or more of these tactics resulted in such “game-changing moments” both in their client relationships and engagements with new prospects.  We, therefore, thought it worthwhile to share them with you in this article.

First, who are we dealing with?

There are generally three types of clients that most of you are dealing with here – those who are performance-focused, those who are plan focused, and those who live in a state of existential turmoil. While the tactics below may be more challenging to incorporate with the performance-focused client, and even impossible to alleviate stress for those in constant turmoil, there are three key attributes that we’ve seen the best advisors employ to put them in the best possible place with all three:

  • Be proactive: Being proactive in reaching out to ALL clients matters. Do all you can to beat them to the punch and avoid them having to call you.
  • Be empathetic: Listen closely to their perspective, which will equip you with more insights into how you can help them.
  • LEAD: Confidently lead the conversations, positioning yourself as a thought leader (versus the number of advisors who are left to reactively defend themselves).

If done with complete purity of intent, leaving them clearly recognizing that your focus is on them and their interests – versus your own (e.g., in a reactive mode, trying to save the relationship) – you can be at ease yourself, trusting the results, with the likelihood that your client will see you as the confident “rock” and experienced resource who will guide them through times like these.

The Three Simple, Game-Changing Tactics

Here are three approaches that we’ve helped firms and individual advisors incorporate to differentiate themselves with prospects and clients, leading to a surprising level of revenue growth during down markets.

Take Action to Recession-Proof your Practice

The best firms and savvy advisors understand the power – and rewards – of proactively reaching out to clients before having to deal with the dreaded anxiety-driven calls from panicked clients. The question is, are you prepared with a disciplined, intentional, value-add approach to put yourself in a position to drive revenue even as other firms/advisors hemorrhage clients?  If not, click the link below to set up a time to discuss these and any other tactics that will help you answer “yes” to this question.

About Rick Swygman and Dan Greene