Ten Reasons To Call Clients on Snowy Days

Hibernation is not just for bears. Large parts of the country are getting plenty of snow. Schools are closed. Working from home has become more acceptable since the pandemic. Advisors can easily work from home too. If the roads are closed, school is shut and you are running your advisory practice from home, let us look at several reasons to pick up the phone and call your clients.

1. They are stuck at home too. Let us assume your business is local. If you cannot get out, chances they cannot get out either. Their regular 9:00 to 5:00 routine is disrupted. They have some time on their hands. Their office phone is not ringing, so you have a better chance of getting their attention.

2. Their screener is not in place. Very few executives or business owners bring their call screener home with them! This should not be a problem with clients, who generally should be receptive to hearing from you. If they are difficult to reach at the office, they are not in the office today.

3. Do they need anything? This might be more of a question for retirees, not people who go to work every day. They are snowbound. Do they have enough food in the house? Do they have someone to plow their driveway or shovel their walk? Logically, they have all these tasks covered, but will appreciate that you asked. If they have a need, you need to have a solution you can deploy. You might call your plowing guy to see if he can plow them out, for example.

4. Scheduling annual portfolio reviews. You probably do most of these in early January. There are some clients further down on the list, people who have not gotten back to you with a date. You can either put a date on the calendar or if it is a simple situation, access the data from home and conduct a review later today or tomorrow.

5. What has changed in 2023? This question might precede an annual review. Is there a wedding in the works for 2024? Do they have any additional grandchildren? Are they fed up with the cold weather and moving to Florida? These and other developments have financial planning considerations.

6. What vacation plans do they have for 2024? Not all conversations need to be solely about business. You might find your client does not want to talk about their accounts, but is open to talking about personal issues. If you let them do the talking, you can learn what makes them tick. They might also be more agreeable to talking about your topic, since you listened to them first.

7. Have they started getting their tax documentation together? It is still on the early side for 1099s, but you are giving them a reminder not to wait the last minute. Do they do their own taxes or work with an accountant? Do they need a referral to an accountant? You could provide a few.

8. Let’s get those 2024 IRA contributions done. In a perfect world, if money is going to make more money, it makes sense this should happen in a tax deferred environment. This is cash that would need to be put to work.

9. Any word on your 2023 bonus? This would be a question for people paid on a salary plus bonus basis. When is it expected? Have they learned the amount? You would want to be talking in detail a couple of weeks before the bonus arrives.

10. What are the best insured CD rates available? Your client might have cash they will need, just not now. What are the best rates you can find on 6 month, 12 month and two year CDs? How do these compare with local banks in the area. Your client might have cash that needs a home. Their parents might have safe money coming due soon.

There are plenty of good reasons to call clients on these snowy winter days. Although it makes sense to stay in touch and get to know them on a personal level, you have a good reason or two for picking up the phone.

Related: How Much Can You Learn About a Person Before Meeting Them?