Financial advisors are in the business of professional advice, but they're also in the business of relationship management and sales – they have client demands to meet, after all. Advisors can all agree (on some level) that there is always room for improvement when it comes to growing your business, increasing your bottom line and enhancing efficiency in your day to day operations.
So here are four ways financial advisors can improve their practice and while adding more value for clients going forward. (For more, see: How Advisors Can Improve Digital Marketing Efforts.)
1. Communicate With Clients Through Their Preferred Channel
Although some clients prefer in-person meetings and advisors may be accustomed to communicating with telephone calls, the truth is there are so many other ways to communicate with clients. In the age of the internet and the need for people to always be connected it is easier for advisors to reach clients - when they use their preferred channel.
Advisors can connect with clients via email and regular newsletters in addition to the other traditional methods. The odds of reaching a client via digital channels is higher than a phone call because clients can read an email from anywhere at any time - they don't have to be sitting by phone when the advisor calls in order to connect.
2. Be Accessible Through a Variety of Channels
In a world where the amount of time people spend online is continuously increasing year over year it's important for advisors to adapt to this new behavior and be reachable on a variety of channels. If you want to sustain a practice for years to come, advisors not only need to adopt new communication channels, but also be accessible through more ways than telephone and email.
Being on social media networks allows financial advisors to improve customer service by being reachable through more than one channel. Clients like to have access to their advisor and exploring email, social media and text messaging increases communication. Before joining any social media network, check with your compliance department to ensure it is permitted. (For more, see: Top Digital Age Tips for Financial Advisors.)
3. Think Outside Your Niche and Target Clientele
Sometimes focusing on a specific clientele is a helpful way to establish yourself as a subject matter expert. However, when it comes to business development, containing yourself to a specific niche market can limit the growth of your firm. Think about reaching clients outside of the firm's norm.
If you predominately deal with men, think about reaching out to female prospects. If you have traditionally worked in a specific geographic location or with a cultural focus, start to prospect outside of your comfort zone to grow your business.
4. Look Beyond the Investment Strategy
In order to grow your business, advisors need to think about expanding their prospect list. The same thing is true about your methods and philosophy as a firm. If business development is on your priority list, you may not need to look farther than your existing client roster.
If the firm's focus has traditionally been investment strategies, think about expanding client conversations to go beyond their retirement accounts. Talk about their personal goals and find new opportunities to cross sell. You may be surprised to find that even existing clients aren't aware of your complete product line up and just how far the scope of advice can go.
Efficiency and Your Clients' Demands
Your clients may not see the impact as clearly, but taking steps to increase your own efficiency also serves to meet the demands of your customers by freeing up your time to focus more on their individual needs
Adopting tools to enhance daily operations, such as a client management system and electronic documents, will help save time on administrative duties. Increasing efficiencies in these kinds of day to day operations gives advisors more time to focus on their areas of expertise. It also frees up more time to spend with clients and enhance the client experience. (For more, see: Advisors, Don't Miss These Digital Marketing Tools.)