A little more than four years ago in this blog, we observed that market downturns and volatile performance offer opportunities for advisers to affirm their value to clients. How? By coaching them through potentially emotional and reactive situations. The high volatility and disappointing market returns of 2018 have reminded us how pertinent that message is. An excerpt from the post, “The next market downturn could save your RIA firm,” originally published on Oct. 28, 2014, appears below:

“I’d argue for those firms squirming under the increased pressure coming from all things robo (just about every significant custodian has jumped in the game of late), the next great market crisis might be their best shot at long-term survival – if handled right.

The market drops 350 points and your clients panic. They call or email your office. What do you do? In the age of robo, you better be prepared to call them proactively, discuss how the situation makes them feel and be prepared to talk about how their investment allocation is tracking against the goals they’ve shared with you. Suffice it to say, most robo-advisers are not equipped to handle much call volume, never mind market panic attacks.

The reality is this is just one example of how to recast the image of your firm around the client experience. Expert advice combined with human-to-human communication create the most important deliverable of an adviser’s relationship with clients: peace of mind about their financial life.”

Do these circumstances sound familiar? Four years later, continuing fee pressure and heightened competition, combined with market volatility and downturns, can cause advisers to panic as much as their clients. But instead of succumbing to anxiety, try leveraging these scenarios to stand out from your competitors. What one person sees as an obstacle, another views as an opportunity.