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Practice Management > Marketing and Communications > Client Retention

How to Give Financial Advice Anytime, Anywhere

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What You Need to Know

  • Clients now want advice anytime, anywhere, and they don’t need to be in your office to get it.
  • Look for ways to give your clients advice that are easier and faster than anything you've tried before.
  • Like the advice industry overall, your firm needs to keep adjusting so it can provide advice in ever-more fluid ways. ways.

At one point, an advisor could think about client relationships in terms of annual or quarterly meetings, when they could present reports and review portfolio performance, talk about what had changed in a client’s life and adjust their financial plan to review again in the next meeting.

But advice delivery has been shifting away from that old-school model for years, and the pandemic fully turned the tide.

The routine of meeting clients when it worked best for your schedule is in the past. Clients now want advice anytime, anywhere, and they don’t need to be in your office to get it.

To keep growing, you and your firm have to stay up to date on how you deliver information and advice to clients, and that means becoming an innovative firm.

What Exactly Is Innovation?

First, let’s address what innovation is not. It’s not simply adding a new piece of technology for your firm. Though most people will talk about technology in this context, that definition is far too narrow.

Also, innovation isn’t something that you’ve never seen before. Unlike Steve Jobs, you don’t have to introduce new technology and services in order for your firm to be highly innovative.

Innovation means that you’re running your firm to prepare for the future, while also making small changes today. As a leader, one of your jobs is to identify where you think your business and financial advice are heading, and then make decisions that will position you for success down the line.

While innovation can be something the industry has never seen, it also can be something your firm hasn’t done before. This includes adding new technology, implementing a more engaging meeting structure or any number of systemic operational improvements that make advice and client service more accessible.

What matters most is that you are adjusting how you work with clients now for their benefit in the future.

Making Innovation Part of Your Firm

Great innovation is the convergence of good client experience design with psychology. You need to have the capacity to know and anticipate what your clients need from interactions with your firm, and you have to be able to design a process to deliver what they want.

We’re moving rapidly toward a digital world that’s all about accessibility, uniqueness and creativity. As an advisor, you can adapt to this digital shift by looking for ways to give your clients advice more easily and faster than you’ve done before.

More on this topic

The pandemic accelerated the rate of digital transformation, and 2020 proved that financial advice is well on its way to becoming fully digital.

Just think about how your firm has changed during the pandemic. Advice that you might have given during a meeting in your office in 2019 is now delivered through a Zoom meeting. For many advisors, their entire process has been shaken to its core because of this shift and similar changes.

Nor is the digital movement over. Firms everywhere need to continue adjusting so they can provide advice in ever-more fluid ways.

What would it look like for an investor to receive advice from an advisor in your firm without ever hearing their voice? If you haven’t already begun thinking about how to change your firm to deliver advice in this way, it’s time to start.

Know Your Clients

Every firm can innovate its advice delivery in unique ways, because innovation is tied to your own client base. But to innovate well, you have to know your clients well.

Start by identifying the major problems that most clients experience. Funding retirement is an obvious example.

Then look at how your firm can build a systematized process that helps clients solve their retirement income problem faster. It might be a specific way you conduct meetings once a client reaches a specific age, or it might be adding a piece of technology that allows them to run their own scenarios.

Whatever it is, the answer won’t be the same for every firm.

If you can find the things that most of your clients want, need or ask of you and figure out a way to improve the quality or speed of the advice you give back, then you are on the path to innovation.

And if you can put your advice into a digital format, your firm will be well positioned to grow in the years ahead.