I recently came across a great article from the FPA regarding referrals. In her article Stay Top of Mind to Gain Referrals, Kristine McManus at the Commonwealth Financial Network states that referrals are the best way to attract high-quality prospects to your business.
This is particularly true for the equity compensation niche because grant recipients have lots of co-workers that struggle with how to get the most out of this benefit.
Kristine explains that asking for referrals is tricky territory, given the volatility and circumstances of 2020. "People have a lot going on in their personal lives and worries about health, safety and job security are probably taking all their mental bandwidth."
She writes, "the key to gaining referrals is to remain top of mind. You want your name coming up in conversation over and over again, so when clients hear a friend express a financial need, they immediately think of you. The more often your clients think of you, the better."
Here are four things Kristine recommends advisers do to stay top of mind with clients and how they can be applied to equity compensation recipients.
Communicate: Stock plan recipient clients need their advisors to regularly analyze the value of their company stock and option holdings. A StockOpter Equity Compensation Risk Analysis is a framework for having a proactive discussion with clients. These client deliverables provide stock plan recipients with the information they need to know to make timely and informed decisions in these uncertain times.
Offer Practical Help: Stock prices have been extremely volatile since the COVID outbreak. Start by reviewing the equity compensation plan and grant documents of your current clients. Be sure to include any new updates or provisions put in place recently. This information is often confusing so advisors that can understand and explain a company's equity compensation program can provide practical help.
Get Personal: The pandemic effects people differently. Consequently, it's important to understand the client's personal situation as it relates to their company stock and option holdings. Combine your knowledge of their company's equity compensation program with a StockOpter equity compensation risk analysis to provide personalized recommendations.
Be a Resource: Many companies and businesses have either closed their doors or reduced employee compensation. These situations often often involve equity compensation. Effected employees need an unbiased perspective on these situations. Online sessions that offer equity compensation guidance can be very helpful at this time.
These are a few ways you can have your name come up in employee conversations regarding equity compensation. Being active, visible and helpful will make you are the first person suggested when someone expresses a need for equity compensation planning advice.