Nine in 10 financial professionals in a survey released Wednesday said that not being able to meet with their clients in person because of social distancing guidelines has been the main effect of the coronavirus pandemic.
Three in four of the advisors in the survey, which focused mainly on insurance professionals, said they had been making more of their sales, or all their sales, to existing clients.
The survey was conducted in May among some 400 financial professionals in distribution, sellers of insurance, annuities and investment products, by LIMRA, the Insured Retirement Institute, Oliver Wyman and the National Association of Insurance and Financial advisors.
“For many advisors the human connection is a critical part of developing a trusted relationship with clients,” David Levenson, president and chief executive officer, LIMRA, LOMA and LL Global, said in a statement. “According to our research, nearly two-thirds of advisors are now working from home creating new challenges in the advisor-client relationship.”
Levenson noted that carriers and the industry had helped advisors continue to drive successful client outcomes through customized training and digital tools designed to help them operate optimally in the virtual environment.
The vast majority of advisors in the survey said they had received robust training and expanded communications about best practices for working remotely and leveraging technology.
But what they most valued was the carriers’ and professional associations’ advocacy efforts to change or reduce compliance requirements and enable them to submit business digitally rather than via paper.
Seven in 10 advisors reported that they had increased their communications with clients as the pandemic took hold and social distancing measures came into effect.