The COVID-19 pandemic represents a perfect time for advisors to strengthen relationships with their existing clients and reach out to new prospects to grow their businesses, according to industry experts who spoke Wednesday during the Virtual Financial Advisor Summit.
This is an “incredibly stressful time” for advisors — “it’s stressful for all of us,” said Kevin Darlington, general manager of Broadridge Advisor Solutions. Advisors are “guiding their clients through uncharted waters here and I know that a lot of the advisors that I’m friends with are having some pretty long and some challenging days,” he told viewers.
However, advisors really need to “use this moment in time to strengthen their relationships with existing clients” and “use this opportunity to not just strengthen that bedrock of their existing client base, but grow and win new clients,” he said.
There are people in need of advisors now more than ever, so “this is a moment in time” that advisors should really be “seizing,” he noted. The first step, he advised: “Define your target audience.”
Stressing the importance of embracing digital workflows also, Darlington predicted: “The advisors who can raise that digital flag right now [and] put out that visibility digitally as a safe harbor in this rather turbulent time — those are the advisors who are going to win.”
Almost every advisor has a digital presence to some degree, he noted. But growth-oriented, more “digital-savvy” advisors are the ones who tend to go beyond just email and websites to take advantage of social networks and other digital tools, including search engine optimization and search engine marketing, digital ads and webinars, he said.
Those growth-oriented advisors who start taking such additional steps are seeing as much as 1,400% total traffic increases and 3,500% site engagement growth in an average month over the span of 12 months, he said. “That tells us that there are some advisors who are cooking up the right recipe and then there are some advisors who are continuing to use the traditional, old recipe.”