What You Need to Know
- For years, remote technology had been there for the taking. COVID-19 simply pushed us to fully seize its potential.
- One advisor has seen a surge of referrals stemming from his virtual events — even those that have nothing to do with finance.
- Another advisor is “shocked by how much faster we’ve been able to form quick rapport and meaningful relationships despite never meeting in person.”
Since March 2020, COVID-19 has upended life as we know it. Despite its far-reaching impact, however, not all of its effects have been negative. In fact, most companies might agree that necessity became a powerful catalyst for our recent technological revolution.
“We’ve seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in an April 2020 earnings report.
Speaking with advisors and associates, I’ve seen firsthand how they have embraced digital offerings in ways they hadn’t before, committed to keeping connected with their businesses and clients in our newly remote world.
For years, remote technology had been ready for the taking. COVID-19 simply pushed us to fully seize its potential.
Since the onset of the pandemic, advisor Scott Barkow in Coral Gables, Florida, has used Zoom for all client meetings — and uncovered the unexpected benefit of digitally building rapport with his next generation of clients.
This has been particularly valuable because, as a certified financial planner equipped to meet complex tax-planning needs, Scott’s target clients are pre-retirees. And it just so happens many of his clients’ children are in their 40s and 50s.
Opportunities With Zoomfests
Scott found his Zoomfests often work best with no formal agenda, instead serving as a comfortable setting for clients to discuss everything from financial details to the legacies they hope to leave behind.
He also sets aside time to assist clients who are unfamiliar with Zoom, helping them with matters such as determining proper lighting and selecting customized backgrounds.
On Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, Scott hosted events to connect with clients’ families and discuss their long-term investment plans — including the reasons behind those plans — with the next generation.
Also on the virtual itinerary were some unique client events, such as a painting class; a Manhattan class, for which clients were mailed cocktail kits with instructions for making the drink together over Zoom; a Galentine’s Day event; even a chocolate-making workshop.
Perhaps most impressive, as a unique benefit to clients, Scott held a Zoom call with clients and two Broadway performers featuring a half-hour performance and 10-minute Q&A session.