Transitioning clients and minimizing attrition is critical to a successful acquisition. Usually this entails several in-person meetings to introduce new clients to the advisor and his or her team. But the pandemic has created numerous challenges and forced many firms to shift to virtual operations. Paired with social distancing rules and lockdowns, in-person client meetings are impossible at this time. Still, advisors can engage and connect with new clients virtually in a way that still builds trust and reduces attrition.
There are a number of financial technologies and proprietary software systems that advisors can use to connect with clients. Video conferencing tools are making “tele-advice” and virtual face-to-face meetings possible. Customer portals and file sharing tools allow clients and advisors to share information and see everything in one place. Many advisors have already received positive feedback for the virtual approach, as it saves both parties time and the hassle of driving across town to meet. Having all of their financial information accessible is also viewed as a plus for clients, especially younger generations who are already heavy adopters of technology. Each broker-dealer has their own tools and guidelines, so be sure to check with your BD team before implementing any technology in your practice.
Accentuate the Positive
For clients who are not as quick to adopt technology or as comfortable with the tools, focus on the benefits of this approach and driving home the positives. This includes the time they save by connecting from home, the ease of communication, and accessibility to you and your team. Right now, clients have a lot of concerns and questions about the market and how to best prepare. The more that you can use technology to communicate timely information and share resources, the more comfortable they will be come with you and your team.
Lead By Example
To truly leverage all of the technology and ensure adoption by your team and your clients, you have to lead by example. Use and become familiar with the technology that you want your staff and clients to use. Demonstrate your use by logging on daily and communicating with your team. It takes time for it to become a habit, but the more that you do it, the more your team and clients will do it too.
Even as the threat of the virus fades and we are able to socialize and engage in person, the need for technology and virtual engagement will not go away. The convenience and cost savings compared to in-person meetings already has many firms looking to virtual client meetings as a long-term solution. Make sure your team is up-to-date on the latest technology approved by your broker-dealer and actively use it to ensure that your firm can adjust no matter what is happening in the world.