Advisor Perspectives welcomes guest contributions. The views presented here do not necessarily represent those of Advisor Perspectives. Dan Richards

At a recent conference, an advisor asked about the best way to interact with clients – and also how to get in front of prospects.   The answer to that question came from an advisor who used a simple email as a client-communication and lead-generation tool.

Personalized portfolio reviews and one-on-one contact are essential to let clients know how they’re doing and to assure them that their portfolios are holding up – that’s especially true in turbulent markets like we’ve seen of late.

The challenge in times of stress is that given how many clients want to hear from you, trying to reach everyone in person is impractical. And if we’re not careful, the focus on existing clients means we miss the opportunity to reach out to prospects. 

It’s here where vehicles that allow you to efficiently reach multiple clients at the same time are effective. Some advisors invite clients to evening town hall meetings, at which they discuss market developments. Others host conference calls for clients, during which the advisor and an outside money manager review where the market stands.

Town halls and conference calls are effective supplements to regular contact, but during market turmoil even these fall short of the frequency of updates that some clients are seeking – and they have limited impact when it comes to prospects.

That’s the appeal of a strategy that one advisor employed in the 2008 to reach both existing and prospective clients – an approach he began using again in the past month.

Offering to send articles and videos

Last month, I wrote about some guidelines for effective client communication during turbulent periods. As part of that, I mentioned an advisor named Robert who I sat down with in September of 2008. A 20-year veteran and a multi-million dollar producer, he talked about accelerating his client contact. 

As a result of our conversation, Robert and two associates on his team began calling clients with this offer:  “Given what’s happened to markets, we have ramped up the time we spend each week reviewing a variety of the very best sources for new insights. In light of the current uncertainty, I’d be happy to send you articles or video interviews I find especially relevant. Is this something that would be of interest?”

Almost without exception, clients expressed strong interest in getting this information. Then Robert asked a follow-up question:

“And how frequently would you like to get an article or video?  I could send these to you once a week, once every two weeks or once a month.”

Most clients responded that they’d like to get these weekly – although some did choose every two weeks or every month. In each case, Robert promised to start sending these emails – and asked clients to call or send an email if they had any questions about the information they received.