A recent survey of 150 top financial advisors working with wealth manager SEI found that advisors continue to spend more of their time reassuring existing clients than actively acquiring new ones.
The survey found that 16% of advisors spend the majority of their day on new client outreach vs. nearly half (46%) that use that time working with existing clients.
The increased client-retention efforts are a result of ongoing investor concerns; more than half (51%) of advisors surveyed said their clients are still “extremely skeptical about the economy and very concerned with future growth,” SEI said in a press release.
As a result of recent market volatility and changed investor sentiment, advisors are finding they need to rebalance their efforts between retaining current clients and acquiring new clients.
“A key lesson for advisors from this survey is that investors have a lot of questions after the recent market turmoil ,” said Wayne Withrow, executive vice president of SEI in Oaks, Pennsylvania, in a phone interview.
“While before, they had nagging questions and didn’t ask them or act on them. Now, they are seeking out advice and acting on these concerns,” explained Withrow, who is head of the SEI Advisor Network.
In other words, if the advisor doesn’t proactively address a client’s concerns, the client will take these concerns elsewhere, Withrow says. “This is not a comfortable market environment. This is a market in which investors question everything,” he said.
It’s beneficial for advisors to be proactive in addressing such concerns, he adds, because then they can spend less time responding to dozens of calls as they come in. And such time can be better spent on prospecting, SEI points out.