How Do Advisors Stay Relevant During Lulls in Markets?

One of an advisors' most frustrating challenges is determining what to do during slow-moving times-- periods when a company's strategy and approach are out of market favor. We have learned that it is always essential to remain consistently visible in the marketplace, particularly with investors, gatekeepers, and financial intermediaries.

Throughout these lulls, sales and client service specialists need to be patient, yet persistent. A technique that is too passive will result in e-mails and voice mail messages being buried in the "inbox" of a busy buyer. On the other hand, investment managers who are too aggressive can appear desperate, which can certainly be a relationship killer.

Advisors must focus on the investors that have a need or potential interest to buy and continuously re-prioritize prospects that may give them unwelcome news. While investment advisors would certainly always like to hear “yes,” it is often the outright rejections that level the playing field and help them make smarter future resource allocation decisions. Frankly, the feeling that you are filling an hour with the analyst, silence or a tepid "maybe." is the worst. When this takes place, it is a good idea to stay attentive as well as professional yet modify marketing efforts if the investor is nonresponsive or noncommittal over an extensive time.

It is well understood that successful advisors are expected to increase assets under management during both unfavorable as well as positive markets. One of the most significant obstacles a distribution professionals’ faces is: Just how best to increase assets when the style design or strategy is out-of-favor?

We believe an advisor's main objective is to get their product "short-listed" or "pre-approved" with investors as well as financial intermediaries. Getting into position when the process is slow-moving is critical so that when opportunities arise, they can move quickly to hire you.

It is virtually impossible for advisors to impact the timing and frequency of new search activity or asset allocation decisions by consultants or institutional investors. During lulls you want to be a resource that is expert, providing insight that boosts value to customers.

Investment advisors are assured to be "late to the party" if they wait until their specific strategy or sub-style is back in vogue. Keep in mind that the main goal is to be in place and ready to go when the following cycle begins.

Stay connected. In our business, video conference calls are effective, affordable approaches to stay in touch throughout slow times. In our experience, the advantages of regular video conferencing have been substantial. It is crucial to show respect for the investor by understanding the frequency and ways with which they would like to be updated.

Additionally, recurring interactions must be additive with fresh insights. Focusing over and over on recent performance is a recipe for getting rejected. Advisors and investment managers can rest assured that prior meeting notes have been entered their databases, so retelling the same story similarly is a waste of time.

To summarize, there are always steps an advisor can take with potential clients that also increase the odds of future success

A sluggish environment is no excuse for being inactive.

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