16 Ways Advisors Are Using iPads to Improve Their Business
Financial planners are adopting the iPad as a business tool four times faster than the next fastest industry, business and professional services.
Most advisors find that the iPad can help them be more productive, but they are just scratching the surface when it comes to using the iPad to increase their revenue, differentiate their services and improve the client experience.
Here are 16 ideas to help advisors use their iPads to improve their business and leverage technology to set them apart from competitors.
Sources: Matt Iverson, director at Boulevard R, Ryan Wibberley, founder and Michael Fein, managing partner, at CIC Wealth Management, Kurt Rozman, president of Rozman Wealth Management, Michael Silver and Eric Sheikowitz, founders and senior managing partners at Focus Partners, and John Stuart, chief information officer at Beverly Hills Wealth Management.
Apple's Keynote app for the iPad allows advisors to create presentations and pitch decks that will impress prospects. In particular, Keynote lets you create professional looking transitions and animations.
It is easiest to work in Keynote on a Mac and then import the presentation to your iPad. You can also import existing PowerPoint presentations into your Keynote iPad app and then touch them up.
If Keynote's existing presentation themes don't work for you, you can easily create your own or purchase them through a site that does.
Most advisors have just one iPad and share it with prospects or clients when they present information to them. Consider getting an additional iPad and tethering the two devices, so that you can present from your iPad to the iPad that your prospect or client is holding.
This puts you in the driver's seat and lets your presentee ride along as you control the flow of information appearing on their iPad. It also makes for a more relaxing presentation environment where you don't have to lean over to make your point.
An iPad app that is designed for this type of presentation is Idea Flight, which connects iPads using a WiFi network.
Many of your clients, particularly your younger clients, are extremely busy and don't necessarily want a face-to-face meeting. A good alternative then is meeting software that allows you to use your iPad to both "show your face" and also share your screen to review important information.
This allows you to work from outside the office as long as you have a professional looking background such as a home office. Don't try this from the kitchen table.
A simple solution for meeting is Skype, but for a more professional presentation environment consider using Fuze Meeting, WebEx or GoToMeeting.
Many advisors use services such as Dropbox to sync files across all of their computers and devices, including desktops, laptops, mobile phones and their iPad. Having this data in the cloud makes it easy to pull down important documents when you need them and then present them on your iPad.
You can also access your mobile CRM programs (RedTail, Junxure, etc.) to pull up client information prior to meetings or to consult during meetings.
To store files, consider using GoodReader. This iPad app also lets you annotate and mark up documents.
Note: Check with your compliance department to make sure that these apps meet their requirements.
Since your clients are already using their iPads to access all sorts of information, consider giving them access to their account information. You can get your own branded iPad app that allows clients to log in and review their account information. This way clients can stay up to date on their investments and allows you to put your firm brand in front of them.
Apps that can help you with this include Orion Advisor Services and Black Diamond.
In order to stand out from their competition, some advisors are building their own apps and launching them in the App Store. The apps might be as simple as a portal to push out information or as complex as a budgeting or planning app.
The key here is to get your brand in front of as many prospective clients as possible. If you also do marketing events, this is a great way to engage prospects and demonstrate that you offer something different than most advisors.
It's a big bonus if you can gather prospect information with your app, so that they are engaged and immediately qualified. One such iPad app that is branded for advisors is the Amp app from Boulevard R.
Advisors lose more business to stalled sales than they do to their competition. Lately, as prospects are more ambivalent about making big financial decisions, creating urgency in the sales process is even more critical.
You can use apps like goalGetter or Amp to run an initial assessment while you are sitting with prospects so that they can see if they are on track to reach their goals.
This sort of quick projection can wake prospects up to the fact that they might not be on track and give you an opportunity to present how you can help them. These apps are designed to move prospects from a first meeting to an in-depth interview and proposal presentation.
If you use a leading email service provider to design and manage your email newsletter, some of these companies have apps that you can download and use at events to build your lists.
Mailchimp has a Chimpadeedo app to allow people to sign up for your lists at your events and then import them directly into your Mailchimp account.
Its been estimated that over half of some industry publications mobile views are accessed on iPads. Between industry specific apps from publishers such as Financial Planning and general news sources including Bloomberg or The Wall Street Journal, the iPad makes a great way to stay up on important trends and information.
You can even save pages in Safari for viewing later on when you do not have an Internet connection.
Need to gather client signatures but don't want to drive an hour to get them? Then consider using an app like DocuSign Ink to capture signatures electronically. This is a major convenience for your clients and also a secure way to record their signature.
Social media sites including LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook are great for getting out in front of both current clients and prospective clients. These channels enable advisors to connect with prospects more frequently and allow them to share useful content such as timely links to articles and market commentary.
The interactive and user-friendly nature of the iPad provides for a seamless flow of information and can enhance an advisors service offering, thus deepening client relationships.
Advisors are able to easily accommodate clients meetings can be held in the comfort of a clients home, with the advisor having access to all relevant data; documents can be signed via the tablet, providing a quick, paperless, record; and older clients who have limited eyesight are able to comfortably view and understand a presentation or important account information.
Additionally, the iPad offers an easy way for clients to enter information such as birthdates, hobbies, and family/professional connections all of the data advisors need to know to form personal relationships.
As many advisors use pitch books, the tablet as a presentation tool not only increases mobility but can also reduce administrative costs such as printing and binding that can add up over time. Additionally, the use of tablets increases engagement from the audience.
The dynamic and interactive nature of these devices allows advisors to display and highlight information in a way that cannot be done with traditional printed presentations.
The mobility that tablets create gives advisors real-time access to accounts and reports that could be typically only be accessed from the office. Clients can now have on-demand access to their account information and this holds advisors to a new standard in terms of accountability and transparency.
The usable real estate of a tablet is very similar to a printed performance report or financial plan. The dynamic nature of manipulating a financial plan in real-time with the swipe of a clients finger creates a very unique and personable approach to adjusting client needs ad-hoc.
Real-time feedback from manipulating information such as retirement age, child data, real asset values, or forecasting small business valuations connects a client directly with their plan for a more effective implementation strategy.
Tablets are a powerful enabler for wealth advisors to become more mobile and capture valuable face-to-face time with clients. Today advisors have the ability to meet with clients almost anywhere while bringing the connectivity and feature rich environment of the home office.
Apps such as Fidelity WealthCentral recreate the primary function of the WealthCentral platform with features such as trading, account views, and household segmentation, empowering the wealth manager on the go.
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