“Robert, I didn’t get into this business to be a technologist. I got into this business because I want to help people.”
These words were the start of an enlightening conversation I recently shared with an advisor while attending an industry-leading technology conference.
Standing before me was an accomplished financial advisor with a thriving practice who chose to attend this conference because he knows tech is vital to his business, and yet, he laments the fact that he has to use it.
He added: “So you mean to tell me that I have to be a CEO, a technologist, a marketer, and a financial adviser if I want to succeed? It’s just too much!”
Maybe you feel this way too. It’s totally understandable if you do. Advisors have hundreds of technology solutions to sift through, many of which perform equally vital functions. Rebalancing, reporting, billing, contact management, appointment setting, marketing — the list goes on.
If you got into this business because you love helping people — not because you love technology — the pressure to sort through so many tech tools can feel overwhelming. Trying to make good decisions when you’re overwhelmed usually just results in rushed decisions or no decisions, neither of which is good.
So how can you cut through all the techno-clutter and make sound decisions that will help your business?
During the past decade, I’ve been privileged to consult with over 1,000 of the nation’s top financial advisors. In doing so, I’ve found that the most technologically advanced among them (who also happen to have the most scalable and profitable businesses) rely on the following principles to make decisions around which technology to implement.
1. Focus on Goals, Not Tools
Have you ever walked into one of those big home improvement stores and wandered around the power tools section? Boxed up, shiny and new, all the tools look so great! I always find it tempting to buy something “just in case.” After all, I never know when I might have to saw something.
Advisor technology is much the same. Most of it looks really great! It may promise to save time or help you engage clients more. And perhaps it will. But do you actually need it? How often will you use it? How long will it take your team to learn it? How much value will it actually deliver for your business? Will it earn back more than it cost? These are all questions that should be answered before investing in new tech.
This is why it’s better to focus on the specific goals you have for your business rather than on the technology itself. First, set your goal. Then, select the technology that will help you reach that goal. In this way, you won’t be adopting technology for the sake of technology, but rather, you’ll be adopting technology for the sake of moving your business toward your desired goal.
Let’s say, for example, that you have the goal of automating your business workflows so you can provide a consistent, high-quality experience for your clients. If this is one of your business goals, selecting tech becomes much simpler because you merely need to find the solution that will help you reach this goal in the most effective, affordable and time-saving manner.
In summary: Don’t just buy tech. Buy tech that helps you reach the goals you’ve already set.
2. Look Beyond the Sales Glitter