Instead of just coping with the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, financial advisors could use this time as an opportunity to grow their practices by prospecting clients, according to executives who help support independent practices.

Advisors could build new relationships within the circle of friends and family of existing clients, and increase their profile in the wider community, they say.

After all, existing clients are a good resource for new clients, says Pamela Stross, CEO of consulting firm TruClarity Management Solutions, which provides independent advisors with transition and business operations support.

“If those clients are really happy with the kind of service” their advisors provide, and their portfolios have outperformed the market, “we’re actually seeing opportunities to onboard new clients,” she says.

Mark Mersman, chief marketing officer at USA Financial, suggests FAs could turn into “a sounding board for the people [who] your clients care about, whether it’s family members, colleagues or neighbors.”

With more than 300 advisory practice affiliates, USA Financial’s services for advisors include investment and insurance solutions, business consulting services, and a straightforward set of turn-key marketing solutions.

Advisors who couldn’t take their clients with them “for one reason or another” previously when they left broker-dealers could also find those clients reaching out to them during this time of uncertainty, TruClarity’s Stross says.

“This is the time when you’re going to dig deep to that person you trust the most,” she says, referring to the likely motivations of those past clients.

USA Financial’s Mersman says advisors should also strive to elevate their role within the communities they serve.

The pandemic has upended the normal lives and businesses of many advisors’ clients, so they should help their clients beyond guiding them with their investments, Mersman says.

Advisors should go “beyond the normal call of duty” to help relieve the stress or pain of their clients, he says.

Mersman says advisors could offer to connect clients with professionals who could help them with mortgage, beneficiary or insurance issues, or they could offer to get groceries or pick up prescriptions for elderly clients.

If advisors are going to initiate virtual meetings with prospects, they could also consider offering gift cards from local restaurants to the attendees, he adds.

“If you position it correctly, it’s positioned as a way for you to be giving back to the community as well,” Mersman says, noting there are those in the community who have been significantly impacted by the pandemic.

The gift cards would benefit both the restaurants in the community and the prospective clients, he says.

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