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The Right Tech Habits

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A theme of this month’s cover story (“Honing the Advisor’s Tech Edge”) is the necessity of keeping up with the latest technology. The implicit message of this and many such articles is that you need to get hip with the times if you want to avoid a slow decline.

It’s almost funny, in a nervous laughter kind of way, that people who chose their careers because they were attracted to finance and liked dealing with people, now ostensibly have to become tech geeks, programmers, video producers and a lot more to remain viable as advisors.

Well, that’s not exactly the case. We have experts—and the top experts in advisor technology are quoted in Jane Wollman Rusoff’s article—who read the various products’ “prospectuses,” test them and advise advisors on their use.

Advisors who successfully harness new technology—whether it is online content marketing that makes their expertise searchable on the Web or social collaboration tools that disperse their blog posts—can gain a much broader potential reach than in the past.

While some advisors will select technology that magnifies their strengths and others find programs that compensate for their deficiencies, perhaps there is a broader lesson that technology can teach to all advisors.

And that is the value of routinizing that which is important to your business.

It sounds prosaic, and it is. But it is really quite vital because the financial advisory business is a people business that advances on key transformative moments—on the emotional chemistry that inspires a prospect to yield his hard-earned wealth to the trust of an advisor.

But flashes of inspiration are generally few and far between. If an advisor does not act to “bottle” that effervescent quality before it dissipates, a process of decline will inevitably ensue.

Technology is all about the rigid following of a code. In the more subjective realms of client interactions, advisors who don’t immediately seize on new ideas or practices whose value has been demonstrated likely never will. Use it or lose it is the rule—and cautionary word to those who have experienced the fleeting inspiration of advisor conferences.

It is ironically those who endeavor to incorporate best practices into their daily routine who are able to capture the “magic” they offer and make an inspired level of work continuous. The surest way to avoid decline is to always be moving forward.