During the era of social distancing, financial professionals have had to find innovative new ways to stay in touch with clients and connect with new prospects. But long after the pandemic fades away, the recent pivot to virtual get-togethers may still be valued as a timesaving, cost-effective strategy for interacting with clients and prospects.
My friend Paul considers himself a "high touch" financial professional who has spent the last eight years marketing his services through live seminars, workshops and client events. But that all changed this year for Paul and thousands of other financial professionals who’ve suddenly been forced to change the way they do business.
After the pandemic hit, Paul said that the thing he missed the most was visiting clients and prospects in their homes. "I learn a lot about a family when we're drinking coffee across their kitchen table. You don't get that experience when they visit you in the office."
But what Paul soon learned is that you can still have coffee with clients over the kitchen table – or even catered dinners – through virtual meeting apps like Zoom.
"Recently," Paul chuckled, "I was Zooming with a couple while they sat at their kitchen table." His laughter increased even though he hadn't gotten to the funny part yet.
Paul gathered himself. "’Next time,’ I told them, ‘I'd like a tour of your home.’ You know what they did?”
"Moved?" I replied, still waiting for the punchline.
"No," he continued, "they picked up their iPad and gave me a tour of their home!”
Paul paid attention. Their home, furnishings and automobiles were modest in relation to the $2.7 million they had accumulated. Where they could afford to place fine art on the walls, they had chosen photos of family and pets and of vacations they had taken to national parks. They appeared to be the perfect poster children for The Millionaire Next Door.
So even without the time and trouble of driving across town, Paul was able to connect with his clients and gain some very intimate insights into their financial outlook.