Communication 101: What We Learned From Brexit

Last month the United Kingdom voted to break away from the European Union, resulting in dramatic swings in the global markets. Investors on both sides of the pond experienced anxiety, and the financial media only made matters worse by playing on those fears. The market recovered shortly thereafter but many investors were left wondering, “What next? Should I do anything? What does this mean for me?”

In times of uncertainty, communication is critical. It can calm fears, help avoid brash decisions, strengthen relationships, and create opportunities to demonstrate thought leadership and expertise. Communications has evolved beyond the bland, boring investment letters of the past. Investors today expect to read content that is engaging, relevant, interesting, and in a language that they can understand. Thankfully, there are several modes of communication for an advisor – all of which should be used in tandem in a thoughtful, proactive way. Email and social media should be used along with Old Faithful (the telephone) to reach clients and allay their fears. These cover the bases in terms of demographics and together reach a broad spectrum of audiences.

Email. A timely and informative email from advisor to client can be calming and reassuring. Rather than simply regurgitate market data, these should go further to answer a few basic questions that client families often ask: “How does this affect me? What does this mean for my wealth in the long term? Should I do anything? Is this a good time to buy?” This is both helpful and often very much appreciated. Email marketing is not just for sales, but can be a non-intrusive, private way to quickly update clients. 

Social media. Why do advisors flinch at the mere mention of the word Twitter? Since the UK’s EU referendum, 13,310 simultaneous hashtags regarding Brexit have been utilized on a global scale. What better way to jump into the conversation and communicate with people who use social media to get their news, including millennials, reporters and even many investors. In addition, social media is a great way to establish your brand among your peers and centers of influence. Social media has functioned as a fundamental voice in the post-Brexit conversation and will continue to serve as a channel to convey the latest information about current global events. Shouldn’t you be a part of the conversation?

A conversation. The personal touch should never be overlooked! Picking up the phone and letting clients know that they are a distinct and principal concern during times of crisis is comforting. The more information a client has, the less likely they are to make a rash decision that may lead to financial losses.  

Big news will happen and market volatility is a reality investors will face. Leverage these opportunities to strengthen relationships and help clients feel good about your advisory relationship.