Chasing Positivity

Check Your Clients' Pulses

Bloomberg recently reported that consumer sentiment1 was down to a level not seen in almost a decade, as consumers are more concerned about "the economy's prospects, inflation and the recent surge in coronavirus cases." Sentiment had been steadily improving since March 2020, yet this latest measure erased those gains and was well below economist estimates.

Stories like this one — significant swings in sentiment, confidence or optimism — should be a signal to advisors to reach out and check the pulses of existing and prospective clients. Clients and prospective clients alike may be experiencing the same feelings or crises of confidence.

There's no need to sow fear or worry where it does not already exist. We recommend using the framework of the 3 Dynamics of Chasing Positivity® to check the pulses of existing and prospective clients, with a special focus on the second dynamic:

  1. Communicate empathically by asking clients to talk about their underlying goals and objectives. These are unlikely to change in response to consumer sentiment.
  2. Collaborate consciously by adjusting your approach to the coping styles of clients and prospects to help manage their concerns about changing economic conditions. By becoming a source of strength, not a silent partner, you can help clients and prospects cope with financial uncertainty, reinforce their resilience and ensure an ongoing productive relationship with them.
  3. Inspire action by showing how small adjustments can keep clients on track even during times of uncertainty and pessimism.

This approach can ease clients' fears by putting them back in the proverbial driver's seat and showing them they aren't helpless in the face of economic uncertainty.

Bottom line: We don't know how the outlooks of existing or prospective clients may have changed unless we engage them in conversation.

"We recommend using the framework of the 3 Dynamics of Chasing Positivity® to check the pulses of existing and prospective clients."

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The views expressed in these posts are those of the authors and are current only through the date stated. These views are subject to change at any time based upon market or other conditions, and Eaton Vance disclaims any responsibility to update such views. These views may not be relied upon as investment advice and, because investment decisions for Eaton Vance are based on many factors, may not be relied upon as an indication of trading intent on behalf of any Eaton Vance fund. The discussion herein is general in nature and is provided for informational purposes only. There is no guarantee as to its accuracy or completeness. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

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