Five METHODS FOR Delivering Bad News To Clients
Everyone problems with delivering bad news to clients–and financial advisors experienced to deliver a lot of bad news over the past couple years. That is why I felt thrilled when I uncovered that Kathleen Burns Kingsbury, the writer of this visitor post, can help advisors manage difficult marketing communications with clients. Delivering bad information to your clients is not easy.
It often stirs up uncomfortable emotions–for clients and for you. Learning how to provide troubling information effectively in discussion and on paper newsletters is the main element to keeping good relationships with your clients in good times and bad. 1. Sandwich the bad news. Use the pursuing analogy to help you. Think about bad news as the meats in a sandwich that’s surrounded by two bits of bread plus some dressing to make it flavor better.
Start the conversation with thoughts or facts about what is working in the markets, your organization or the client’s collection. Then reveal the bad information or the meat of the issue. Last, end the dialogue on a positive note. Clients are human being. Most of us find difficult information more palatable when encircled by some good delicious information. 2. Be immediate. Advisors and prosperity managers tend to speak much when posting bad information with clients too. This is because being the messenger makes you feel uncomfortable emotions often, such as anxiety, worry or fear. Talking more can help you are feeling better, but it confuses your client.
So combat the urge to over-verbalize. You need to be direct with your client about what is not heading well. 3. Make the client feel his/her response is normal. A client will experience feelings after hearing bad news about their financial investments. Don’t fight this by trying to convince your client or yourself that there is no reason to feel bad. Instead, take a deep breath and validate that information is hard to hear and hard to provide, therefore the situation is difficult psychologically.
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It is amazing how validating a client’s emotions calms them down and strengthens the advisor-client relationship over time. 4. Don’t personalize the client’s response. Many well-meaning advisors feel responsible for the pain caused by the current economy overly. It really is okay, and even advisable, to have your own feelings, about the ups and downs on the market place. Just make sure you are not trying to regulate what’s out of your control and taking on too much responsibility.
Practice recognizing your feelings as well as your client’s reactions without wisdom. Only take responsibility for what’s truly in your control. 5. Get active support. The best way to survive the current overall economy is to get active support from friends and family, family and colleagues. Your job is challenging. You need a place to talk, vent and discuss your frustrations with others. Model this for your clients because this is a great lesson for all of us to learn.
Sharing difficult information is never easy, but it is a little more tolerable if you are not only. Kathleen is founder and CEO of KBK Wealth Connection, a company passionate about helping financial services professionals and their clients master their money mindset through wealth psychology. She recently released a fresh audio program called Creating Wealth from the within Out. Join “How exactly to Write BLOGS People Will Read: A Five-Week Teleclass for Financial Advisors” starting on April 22 or for my free monthly newsletter.