The changing face of business often means we have to learn new skills or branch into new opportunities that may be uncomfortable. For many advisory firms, the looming challenge on the horizon is modernizing their offices.
If bringing your practice into the 21st century seems like a daunting task, try hiring recent graduates with financial planning degrees as technology evangelists to help with the transition.
(Related: Next-Gen Advisors Have a Boomer Problem)
Challenge them to utilize technology in a way that meaningfully differentiates your value proposition, integrates with other technologies for improved efficiency, and provides your firm the platform of the future to scale with your continued success.
Here are a few best practices that can guide how you work with younger advisors to help address next-gen issues.
Updating Your Communication Habits
The first step in learning from your next-gen advisors is to observe their preferred communication habits. It’s a good bet that the next-gen investors you want to attract will be using the same methods as your new advisors.
Identify first and foremost how communication habits are changing from what you’ve done in the past. Messaging opportunities have increased as new technology has entered the mainstream. The way your team connects with clients using that technology to communicate in a modern way is essential to continued growth.
New communication mediums should not and cannot be ignored by advisors. Text messaging, connecting on social media through sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and more to post items with significance, and using video statements are all appropriate avenues to reach clients. Global online video consumption continues to rise, and many next-gen clients want the option to get their market update in a 60-second video rather than another five-page newsletter.
As you’re looking at ways to update how you communicate, you also have to consider a possibly uncomfortable scenario: Are any of your communication methods dated and a waste of your client’s time? For example:
Phone calls. Would a Skype chat be better? As you look at ways to expand how you connect with clients, you can handle many face-to-face meetings virtually instead of asking clients to come to your office.
Emails. Emails create extra work and take up more of your time through their back-and-forth nature. An interactive client portal can provide the on-demand updates to questions that clients want to ask, lessening the time you spend answering routine questions.