At the time of writing we are all in lockdown because of Coronavirus, but hopefully by the time you read this, things will be a little clearer!
Like most of you, I have been out clapping every Thursday evening to show my appreciation for our Key Workers – and on some occasions even got out my saxophone to serenade the neighbours with ditties like “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and “We’ll Meet Again!”
There is no doubt in my mind that we should as a society, reorganise our priorities, so that the people who have worked so hard to keep us alive and keep things functioning during the crisis, are the ones we value and pay better in the future, in preference to the so called celebrities who many (misguidedly in my view,) revere as role models.
This got me thinking about us as financial planners – are we key workers? Is it essential that we go to work? Should we be on the tube everyday or in the office?
Well of course technically we are not classed as key workers in the same way as doctors and nurses and we don’t physically need to be in an office to do our best work.
In the financial planning world, key workers are the people in our various firms across the country who keep our clients happy, make them feel safe, reassure them, hold their metaphorical hands and stop them making silly mistakes.
I wonder how valuable that makes us to our clients and whether they view us as “key” to their overall happiness and security.
The Financial Conduct Authority has published its own guidelines, which state that: “A key financial worker… fulfils a role which is necessary for the firm to continue to provide essential daily financial services to consumers, or to ensure the continued functioning of markets.”
At Magenta we have taken this to mean that a physical presence is required to ensure clients feel supported and connected, but that we don’t all need to be in the same office to provide this. There are some time-critical activities which need to be carried out, but in all honesty, these are few and far between and usually involve some braver clients wanting to invest new money. We are all successfully working from home with a daily social Zoom huddle and business as usual will be deferred until things get back to normal (whatever that means!)
Now is the best possible time to communicate our value to clients – to talk to them regularly – not about investments, but about them, their families and how they are coping. It was Maya Angelou who said: “people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
This is what we should be doing all the time, but never has the time been better to show that we are key workers for success and prosperity in our clients’ lives.