– Happy Wednesday, everybody, I’m back with another Wednesday Wisdom. And yes, I am standing up today, for the first time ever, and I highly recommend it by the way, if you don’t have one of those standing desks, it’s worth the investment. Mine is a makeshift one with a couple of boxes, but those are minor details. So on today’s Wednesday Wisdom, I am going to be talking to you about the talking points that I believe all advisors and business owners should be leveraging and using with clients, during Q4 and at year end. And this is more than just talking points, by the way, I’m not going to be talking about the markets, what I really want to do and the underlying theme of this Wednesday Wisdom is that there are times where I want advisors to strategically and intentionally talk to the consumer and to clients not as their advisor, but as the CEO of a business. And I often say to advisors, if you want the client and prospects and COIs, to recognize your practice as a durable and sustainable business and enterprise, then there will have to be times where you talk to them like a business owner or CEO would. And as I’m talking through just a couple of points, and hopefully, this video is shorter than the usual, I want you to imagine those messages that you get from the CEO of Delta or Verizon or Marriott, right? We’re all on those email chains, and every once in a while, we get sort of this state of the union from them letting us know, as the client, even though we don’t have a relationship with them, what they’re doing, how they’re leading, what they’re changing about the business, and ultimately, how they’re working to make our experience better. And this is a habit, a communication habit that I want advisors to develop and hone in 2021, and not just speak to the clients as CEO at year end, but maybe get in the habit of doing it at the end of every quarter. And so here are the types of messages you should be giving to clients. The first thing is always really important to start with the state of the union, your perspective on the year that just passed. And I often give advisors, and clients will recognize this, what’s the one word you would use to characterize this year? I do that going into a new year and then as I look back, and so feel free to use that with clients as well. When I think about how I would characterize this year, here’s the word I would use. Here’s what I’ve learned as an advisor and business owner, and here’s what my team has learned. And I learned this by the way folks, especially last week, when I shared a personal letter to my Wednesday Wisdom group, you create a different type of relationship with people when you allow yourself to be vulnerable, when you allow yourself to share learnings, and take people on a personal journey with you. And so sharing with clients what you’ve learned, and then corresponding to that, what you’ve done in response to what you’ve learned, is how you should start off any communication or formal conversation that you have with clients at year end. Hey, here’s how we would characterize this year, here are the things that we quickly learned about our clients and about the services we offered, and here’s what we did to shift and adjust in March and April, and here’s where we’re at now. And so maybe you’re telling clients that you’ve decided to move to, you know, virtual-review meetings for the time being, maybe you’re sharing with clients that you changed technology platforms, the tech stack, or CRMs, to be able to enhance communication with them, but you’re letting clients know that you’re in business, and that you’re in control and have had your strategic-thinking hat on the entire year, so that’s the first thing. The second thing that’s really important, and you could do this, if we’re talking about just your top clients, with the top 20 to 40 relationships, I would recommend doing this second part, either as a personal phone call or conversation, but for everybody else, you could do it via Survey Monkey or via a simple Google form. But asking really specific questions of clients to inform the way in which you’re gonna make some practice management decisions for 2021, is also really important. It’s important for two reasons, number one, because and I say this often, if you’re stuck on which way to go as it relates to deciding about investing in a new marketing partner, a new marketing platform, or client events, if you can’t decide internally as a team, turn it over to the clients. I’ve said this in a recent Wednesday Wisdom, any change or tweak that is going to impact the people who you serve, they should have a say in, that’s number one. Number two, remember that the younger gen, especially, so the gen Y, and gen Z to some extent, and the gen Xers, really enjoy being part of something bigger than themselves and having a say. Gone are the days of us joining a firm because of a strong brand name, and just assuming that that firm, you know, i.e. EF Hutton, or Merrill Lynch, or whomever, knows everything and has all of our best interests at heart. It’s sort of the reverse now, right? Clients want to be the one that call the shots, that help curate their experience, and so by opening up the year-end conversation to not just, here are our learnings, but we’d like to survey you and ask you a couple questions so that we can incorporate your feedback into your experience next year, is really important. And so here are the kinds of questions you wanna be asking in that survey. Number one, we recognize that there’s a lot of noise in the marketplace, and we’re in an oversaturated industry right now with you getting news and information from a million different sources. Do you read our newsletter? I had so many advisors who asked me, “Hey, we send out this newsletter do you think we should continue sending it?” Look at the data, ask the clients, if you don’t have a lot of opening click rates then that could end up working against you. Several years ago, I wouldn’t have said that, just having your brand name out there was important. Now, if clients know that you’re sending something without any intentionality, that’s not customized to them, they’ll be totally turned off by the experience. And so asking them, “Hey, do you read our newsletter? If not, what information do you find really valuable? And what’s the best way to bring you that information?” I also recommend some times giving people choices, I’m a big believer in the open-ended questions, but sometimes it’s okay to be a bit close-ended, especially, if the question has to do with something we have to deliver. So what type of information would you find most valuable from the below, personal, our personal insights, our thoughts about the markets, information that doesn’t have to do with investment management, et cetera. The second thing I would ask clients is that, “Hey, we are still in a holding pattern and, and still operating in a virtual-only world for right now, but we miss you, and we want you try to create experiences that help us continue to get to know you and your families, and so, what digital or virtual experiences from the below would you be interested in attending next year? Virtual wine tasting event, virtual cooking class, investment management panel, where you can hear from thought leaders, et cetera.” The third thing I would say, and here’s where we’re really tie into wealth management versus just investment management or risk management, by the way, folks, I’m realizing I talk even more with my hands when I’m standing up, always letting clients know and reminding them that you’re in the business of comprehensive wealth management and not just one silo. The third question is, what resources, and of course, you can ask the question, what could we be doing better? What did we help you with achieve during this year, during this chaotic year? What could we have done better? But the last question is, what additional resources, or connections to other advisors or centers of influence could we provide you access to? What other resources or connections to center of influences, or centers of influence or professional advisors, could we provide access to? Maybe you don’t word it exactly that way, but the idea being, you are the conduit, you are the center of the relationship, and have access to additional resources that potentially you could bring to clients. Constantly and consistently, letting clients know that you’re in business, that you’re working on the business, that you’re working to grow the business and that you’re doing it for them is the point of this. And so I hope that was helpful, I hope that helps you craft your year-end communications with clients. I always say this is gonna be short, but I’m right up on 10 minutes, so thank you for listening, curious to hear your thoughts, and I will see you next week, same place, same time, take care.