As virtual meetings become more common, the best practice for interruptions – dogs barking, slow broadband, cross-talk – is to embrace them with empathy and authenticity. Clients are not seeking perfection; they simply want to feel confidence in your ability to navigate the changing landscape. So rather than feeling flustered by the inevitable noise, allow your humanity to show through and they will reward it.
You can also use the new dynamic to revisit deeper conversations about their financial goals and aspirations, what they want from their retirement years and how they define success, both personally and professionally. And, as you normally do, take a personal interest. For example, to help them pass the time indoors, try offering ideas to cope with isolation – for example, if you’re talking to an entrepreneur whose business is temporarily closed, deliver occasional book recommendations, recipes or gardening tips.
Ultimately the goal is to reduce some of the stress brought on by the current situation. Should you need to pinpoint how your clients are feeling at this moment, in the interests of nudging them back toward normality, you should consult the Abraham-Hicks Emotional Guidance Scale, which offers 22 different outlooks ranging from joy and appreciation, to fear and powerlessness.