Valentine’s Day is rapidly approaching. For coupled clients, it’s a reminder to show appreciation to the one they most love. But what if your client is single, was divorced recently, or had a spouse die? For them, this partner-centric day is often deeply painful. Many want to hide from ads of doe-eyed couples or display s of diamonds and hearts. You may think it’s best to not say anything, to avoid “reminding them” (as if they didn’t know already). But the fact is, when you name the reality and reach out to clients on a painful day, you truly set yourself apart from others in the field.
One way to make a long-term impression with widowed clients, provided it is safe to do this given the state of COVID in your area, is to invite all of them to a brunch. Then set it up so they feel pampered, with a nice meal, an attractive centerpiece, and attentive staff. Print discussion questions and place them on each table. Examples: Tell how you and your spouse met each other. Tell one thing that you most treasured about your spouse and one thing that drove you crazy. What is something you wish other people knew about what this experience is like for you?
When all are seated, welcome the group, saying you know Valentine’s Day can be difficult and you hope to bring a little connection and enjoyment. Point out the questions and invite someone at each table to choose a question for discussion so they can share with others who understand what it’s like. Then go on to other questions as they eat and as time allows. Remember, grieving people want to talk about their experience, they want to say the names and tell the stories. It is healing, particularly surrounded by the support of others who share their experience.
After the meal, thank everyone for coming. As your guests leave, give them a small token such as a real or chocolate flower. Tell them you will contact them in about a week to see what they liked best and if they have suggestions for improving the event next year. Then, of course, do contact them and take their feedback seriously.
A less involved possibility, which you can do regardless of COVID, is to send a card with a small gift to all of your single or single-again clients. Depending on the situation, the text could read something like:
- No gift can make up for Jim’s absence. Still, I hope you can enjoy a few chocolates from someone who cares. We are thinking of you today.
- A single rose in memory of Karen. Her love for you and for so many others will live in our hearts forever.
- The first Valentine’s Day after divorce can rub the wound raw. Perhaps with the enclosed gift card, you can thank someone who remained by your side through it all to go to a favorite coffee shop together. We are here for you, both today and into the future.
- This can be a tough day to be single. Yet as we all show gratitude to important people in our lives, we want you to know how much we appreciate you. We hope these chocolates make you smile, and we look forward to the next time our paths cross.
When your clients are grieving, your honest recognition and heartfelt compassion for their situation is comforting and impactful. Many of their friends don’t even fulfill that role. When you do, your clients’ trust and loyalty increase, and just imagine what they tell friends and family about the financial advisor who cares enough to send them a gift on Valentine’s Day!