As we ushered in 2020, electric car innovator Tesla surpassed the $500 mark, becoming the most valuable U.S. automaker, ever. Disney+ joined “the streaming wars,” signing up more than 10 million subscribers in less than two days! And during the 2019 holiday season, more consumers used their smartphones to shop than ever before—exceeding desktop—with 65 percent of all e-commerce flowing through a mobile device.
Within the last decade, we’ve been talking to a new kind of virtual assistant: “Hey Siri, call Jim Cannon,” “Alexa, play Spotify,” “OK Google, how do I get to Café Bianco?” to name a few. Our realm of artificial intelligence (AI) has vastly expanded across all fields: Entertainment, of course, has the Star Wars Galaxy and Captain Marvel’s The Supreme Intelligence among many others; the automotive industry has been disrupted by self-driving cars; durable goods for the home such as intelligent refrigerators (“Samsung really wants you to start talking to your fridge”) are powering the smart home; and in financial services, robo-advisors are becoming mainstream.
Indeed, when asset management entered the 21st century, a dramatic shift began for advisors. Technology became mission critical to drive customer engagement, gather data on clients and prospects, create operational efficiencies, and for regulatory and tax reporting.
A report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), “Asset Management 2020: A Brave New World,” cited that changing demographics and markets will thrust asset management to center-stage. Also, as the world ages, retirement and healthcare will become critical issues that only asset management can solve.
So, the concept of “smart” in the 20th year of the 21st century doesn’t just apply to AI. It’s the greatest value today’s wealth advisor can provide. Innovative ideas and interpersonal advice are the keys to this decade’s castle. Whether clients have come through your door by word of mouth, social media or your website’s online chat, nurturing client relationships and providing sound guidance is more important than ever before. Here are just a few ways to connect with clients this year, and beyond:
- Focus on holistic wealth advice. A holistic planning approach to wealth management opens the door to ongoing, meaningful conversations with clients. As an example, Dynamic partner Steph Bruno of Sea to Peak Financial Advisors begins the planning process with prospects by creating a Money Meaning Map, using mind mapping software. Not only does Steph provide a deliverable right out of the gate for prospective clients, but she also demonstrates her value, the importance she places on holistic life planning to meet financial goals.
- Extricate yourself from all administration. This one bears repeating because it’s the administrivia that can fill your days and keep you up at night. If you’re not already doing so, tap into all Dynamic has to offer in cloud-based, best administrative and information technology (IT) practices. Leverage technology to hand off administrative tasks, automating documentation and digitizing processes. Focus on connecting with clients rather than trying to keep up with your firm’s full-time IT needs such as cyber security and client data security.
- Surround yourself with like-minded people. There’s good reason this one’s a tried and true business—as well as personal—practice. However, in today’s digital age of hyper connectivity, it’s become mission critical. We have multiple, instant means of communicating with hundreds, thousands, even millions of people at the tap of a screen. Don’t lose sight of staying connected in genuine ways with those who inspire you to be your best self, professionally and personally. Make a list of who these people are and reach out to them. Chances are, it’s a short list and it’s been a while since you’ve connected with them.
- Find your niche. It’s always a good time to assess your client segments (existing and potential) and determine where you provide your greatest strength to drive the most relevant, communicative customer experiences. Do your marketing efforts include campaign analytics and/or progressive profiling on your website? Measuring promotions and knowing how your customers get to, interact with and return to your site, are good places to start in finding—and developing—your niche. Do your homework and invest in a highly skilled digital marketing provider to maximize your site and manage effective online campaigns.
- Spend your time on what matters most. This rings true at the office as well as outside of it. The start of a New Year is a time to pause and reflect on what matters most. This can be the impetus for New Year’s resolutions. It can also be a reminder of the things we’re most grateful for, the things we often take for granted in our busy lives. If you spend your time outside the office on what fulfills you—family, health, faith, friends, passions—you are going to be a better advisor to your clients.
(Photo: Prateek Katyal, Unsplash)