COVID-19 has forced us all into an experiment. A “virtual” experiment where all of us had to go digital. We have had to embrace communicating virtually and have no choice but to conduct business online. The effects on the traditional financial advisory practice are obvious.
Whether a result of the pandemic or younger generations coming of age, according to the founder of The Rudin Group, April Rudin, in a recent article in ThinkAdvisor, 64% of high-net-worth individuals are counting on their future financial advisor relationship to be entirely digital.
For the financial advisory industry & practice, technological disruption is actually a positive thing; we are no longer limited by location, or, in fact, the high capital demands of the traditional brick & mortar office model.
As a driver toward the adoption of digitalisation, coronavirus has allowed us to test some of the digital processes that were more than likely only part of future plans – and guess what? It works well – incredibly so.
I took the leap over six years ago, being one of the pioneers of virtual financial advisory, and back then there was a lot of trial and error – many were not onboard with the idea. Slowly but surely though, my clients soon realised how much simpler it is.
Receiving advice or giving advice from the comfort of your own home is easy, and you save a great deal on overhead.
Embracing digitalisation has certainly been the silver lining amidst the these trying times. Here are some of the major transformations I have seen, combined with some insight from April Rudin.
You Have the Ability to Shape Your Next-Gen Clients’ Perceptions
For the next generation, the financial & societal impacts of the pandemic are the first monetary relationship crises they have ever been through. How will they react? How will it impact how they perceive planning, investing, and saving?
Their future is in your hands; you have the power to influence their perception. You can shape it virtually – more like a partnership as opposed to the advisor/client relationship we have seen in the past.
This power, or influence rather, is a great responsibility. By becoming more accessible to your clients, your relationship grows deeper – meaning your approach needs to be more holistic.
Relationships Are More Important Than Ever
When strategizing for the future, virtual financial advisors need to focus on building relationships. Relationships are no longer based on financial return only – they are based on overall advice; giving clients direction – how they should spend their money and what decisions are best for securing their ideal future.
Your Online Presence Needs to Be More Compelling
As I have mentioned in previous articles, your presence online is the most vital aspect of being successful as we emerge into the new normal.
Your website cannot simply state your service offerings and a bit of a background like before. If you are to survive as the next generation comes of age, your story, what you offer and how you advise needs to resonate with your audience. Your website is where you live – your new head office, your digital storefront, and the internet is where your client’s shop. Your website is essentially your practice now, and all your communication and activity online needs to align with that. This is what the next generation requires.
You need to tailor your approach to make your clients’ experience more personal. It is time to revaluate your brand.
Further to this, social media has become social selling and is a great opportunity for you to grow and expand your business. It is more about building relationships rather than acquiring clients.
You will Need to Help Your Clients Build A New Kind of Life
Gen Xers and Millennials are opposed to working tirelessly now, only to live life to the full in their twilight years. You will be required to help them build a life that looks a lot different than previous generations.
Next-generation clients are accustomed to moving quickly, switching jobs almost annually, and using technology in absolutely everything they do. They want to build lives centred around a combination of exiting life experiences now while balancing for the future, rather than working hard now and retiring at age 65.
If you are feeling overwhelmed by the impact technology is having on your business, consider Conneqtor. My virtual advisor system offers a hand-in-hand, step-by-step guided migration to a virtual financial planning practice that operates like a virtual sales engine, bringing in leads to you through a robust digital marketing footprint.
It is time to adapt. Afterall, the impact technology has had on the financial advisory practice is permanent; there is no going back. Human behaviour has changed.
I hope you enjoyed reading. Want more? Check out my eBook, The Virtual Movement Proclamation.