Former adviser and current marketing guru Robyn Crane says financial advisers who are riding out the final days of pandemic restrictions without working diligently to nurture relationships with existing clients and actively cultivating new ones are not going to make it in this business.
Crane, who will be headlining the next virtual InvestmentNews Women Adviser Summit on June 23, said the new normal beyond the Covid-19 crisis will include virtual and face-to-face communications.
“If you’re not capitalizing on this opportunity, you’re going to be dead in the water,” Crane said in an interview. Excerpts from her interview with Liz Skinner, senior projects editor for InvestmentNews, are below.
Crane will present her “cloning idea” and other business development tips at the virtual Women Adviser Summit to help female advisers grow successful and sustainable businesses.
Liz Skinner: Why is an important time for advisers to be seeking growth?
Robyn Crane: I think it’s a huge window of opportunity because we’re moving into a new normal as far as going virtual and everything like that. So, if you’re not capitalizing on this opportunity, you’re going to be dead in the water. It’s like assuming you didn’t learn the internet, you thought, ‘I’ll just pass this by.’ This is another thing that’s happening now that if you don’t do this, you’re not going to be able to make it through. It’s like Tony Robbins says, ‘if you’re not growing, you’re dying.’
When people stop moving, when they start coasting, and they just slow down, the fulfillment slows down as well. If you’re not growing, if you’re not making more money, you’re not helping as many people, so you have to be innovating, or you’re going to start losing clients. You have to be innovating, or you’re not going to be able to help the people who need you. And right now, innovation has been forced into virtual meetings, virtual marketing, just the virtual world in general. You must be able to connect virtually. You have to be learning that and growing that to be able to impact more people.
LS: What should advisers be doing now to retain and grow their current clients?
RC: Number one is communication. We all know that based on being in the industry, that it’s always about communicating, which is why when the market drops, everyone starts calling their clients. But it has to be proactive. It can’t be that the only reason I’m calling you is because I think you’re worried about the market. I was listening to a podcast and this woman was talking about how the advisers who are getting the most referrals are not just communicating more often, but they’re getting on zoom with them. So, it’s actually face-to-face meeting virtually. It’s not enough just to call your clients. They want to feel like they can see you, especially when people have been in a lockdown. People don’t have that human connection as much so just getting on the phone isn’t enough, just sending an email isn’t enough.
I think the second thing that people, especially advisers, aren’t used to leveraging their time. Like you can jump on zoom and it doesn’t have to be about a certain subject like retirement or social security or long-term care. I think it’s actually better to talk about a human factor, like what is going on in their minds, what are they concerned about. And you just being in front of the room, even virtually, you become more of an authority. Anything around them is going to be more compelling than just saying, I’m going to talk about social security. What people really want is to feel understood. The way someone feels understood is by feeling like you understand my problem and what I want and that you can get me there in a quicker way.
LS: How should female advisers be drumming up new clients in the current atmosphere?
RC: Women, specifically, are great nurturers. As we all know, it’s in our nature to build relationships and to care about people. It is more about consistent marketing, and getting yourself out there, it’s about you being you and connecting. This is a great opportunity for women to embrace their natural tendency to want to connect, to want to understand people. Instead of trying to work with everyone, you say, okay, who is the person I love working with? This is my cloning idea.
Who’s that one client that if I clone that one client 10 times, I’d be able to get at least $10,000 per client and be able to exceed my $100,000 goal? Well, if you think like that, then you’re thinking about one person and one person only, even though they’re clones of that person. And now you can get into their heads. If we try to work with everybody, then you’re not talking to me, you’re talking to everyone and I don’t feel heard. But if instead we focus on that one person and get obsessed with helping that person, along the way you’ll get other clients. It’s about depth, not about width, and about helping people in a more transformative way.
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As our second lead editor, Cindy Hamilton covers health, fitness and other wellness topics. She is also instrumental in making sure the content on the site is clear and accurate for our readers. Cindy received a BA and an MA from NYU.