How, as a solo financial advisor, was I going to leave work behind for a week and attempt to completely disconnect?
Not long ago, I was lucky enough to travel to Scottsdale, AZ to spend the week with my sons and my parents. Our family enjoyed the sun, pool and local highlights, while I got to spend the week away from client work. But it led to a dilemma – how, as a solo financial advisor, was I going to leave work behind for a week and attempt to completely disconnect?
“As every advisor does while they are out of the office, I placed an out-of-office message on my email. But also like every other advisor, this wouldn’t have stopped me from checking my emails to see what was hitting my inbox. For me, this activity wouldn’t alleviate any stress and I may as well just have been in the office.”
Solution: Give clients a “text-able” phone number.
Through CellTrust’s SL2 platform, I was able to leave callers and emailers a number that clients could text (or direct call) to get a hold of me. I gave clear instructions in my email and with my team of virtual receptionists that this number was for clients only and only for use in a real emergency as it would be pulling me out of my vacation. But if it was a real emergency, then it should be used without hesitation. In being specific as to its use, I was able to remove my email from my phone and keep my computer in its travel bag for most of my vacation.
So how did it work out?
The only person who reached out to me was my custodian, TD Ameritrade. As this was an issue that was easily resolved, it took about 5 minutes out of my tennis game.
Clients gave me my space
While clients did send me emails while I was away, they then followed up with another email explicitly telling me NOT to respond until I return. I have great clients! The reason they did this, is because I gave them the story of what was happening that week: I was spending the week with my sons, and my wife was having a “staycation”. By being real to clients – they know you have a life too – they will most likely give you space to enjoy your time out of office.
Compliant communication systems were reinforced
Since that time, clients have been comfortable to text with me. As I’m quick to respond to messages in the easy-to-use interface that SL2 provides, some clients now use this as their primary source of contact with me. As I’m available to customize communication styles with clients (email, phone, or text), I’m creating more engaged relationships across my client base. In the future, I can also add a footer to my text messages to let them know of upcoming times I’ll be out of the office.
NOTE: CellTrust contracts with me for services. However, the opinions expressed are my own.
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