Digital, online and social-media technology all play a major role for financial services, particularly for acquiring and building client relationships.
The ability to communicate with clients and prospects has expanded well beyond the limitations of geography. The increasing availability of online and digital tools make it less necessary to be where clients are.
In fact, McKinsey reports that nearly 30% of high-net-worth clients are comfortable having a dedicated adviser who isn’t located in their area.
Progressive firms are taking advantage of many tools designed to keep the connection between advisers and their clients seamless.
For example, our firm’s clients access their accounts electronically on our website via an interactive client portal. And through our platform partner, Dynasty Financial Partners, we are developing a client application (via iTunes) that will connect them to our firm, as well as our partners at Charles Schwab and Envestnet via their mobile devices anytime, anywhere.
For prospecting, reaching out to large numbers of targets has never been more efficient.
We all make decisions on services and products based on their value and quality, not by their proximity to us. That isn’t to say that relationships between clients and providers don’t matter.
Trust can be built up over time through channels other than the traditional face to face.
This can be done by delivering quality advice, content, research and tips through email marketing, social-media and website content. It can also be shared and distributed to massive audiences through channels such as LinkedIn and Twitter.
For example, we draft a weekly financial commentary called “A Further Look” that we email to a list of national clients, prospects and other contacts. We also post it on our website and share the link on LinkedIn and Twitter.
The result is hundreds of shares and likes that stretch well beyond our immediate geographic region.
Social media has helped our firm have more of a nationwide presence while promoting the depth of our services and overall integrity of our brand. We have received numerous inquiries for information about our firm and in fact have picked up big clients from other parts of the country as a result.
Social media has transformed the way people find information and interact with each other. Having millennials on board can greatly enhance a firm’s ability to adapt.
We find a reciprocal relationship with younger employees in terms of educating them about the business while they make sure we continue to stay on top of the latest technology.
In addition, social media is ideally suited to building relationships, which is precisely what success in the financial services industry is all about. The number of relationships that an adviser initiates and develops can be dramatically increased through social media.
A day doesn’t go by when I don’t reach out to someone or get contacted by influencers and prospects on LinkedIn or Twitter. My network is greatly enhanced not only by sheer numbers but by its depth and quality as well as its impact on our business.
There are hundreds of advisers, which is why having a powerful means of communicating a firm’s process or unique characteristics is critical. The vehicles such as Skype and WebEx we use to communicate with clients and deliver services can positively reflect on the firm’s credibility and professionalism.
High-net-worth clients can have complex issues that need to be solved. They also have high expectations when it comes to their advisers using technology.
To provide truly comprehensive services, advisers need to deploy the latest platforms, cutting-edge research and partnerships with specialized firms equally committed to technology. Making technology a part of the culture naturally puts the firm in a good position to be out in front when the next wave comes, and it will come.
This story is part of a 30-30 series on strategies to boost your practice. It was originally published on Sept. 7.
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