Today, digital, online and social media technology all play a major role for financial services, particularly for acquiring and growing client relationships. The ability to communicate with current 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 your clients are. In fact, McKinsey and Co. reports that nearly 30% of high net worth clients are comfortable having a dedicated adviser that is not 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’re now in the process of developing a client app (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.

PROSPECTING

For prospecting, reaching out to large numbers of targets has never been more efficient. Today, we all make decisions on services and products based on their value and quality, not by their proximity to us. That is not to say that relationships between providers and clients don’t matter. Trust can now be built up over time through channels other than the traditional face-to-face.

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Mastering technology is no longer an option for financial advisers, it’s imperative.

Mastering technology is no longer an option for financial advisers, it’s imperative.

This can be done by delivering quality content, research, tips and advice through e-mail marketing, social media and website content. It can also be shared and distributed to massive audiences through channels like 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 Twitter and LinkedIn.

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 sizeable clients from other parts of the country as a result.

MILLENNIAL DRAW

Social media has transformed the way people find information and interact with each other. I should mention that having a number of millennials on board can greatly enhance your firm’s ability to adapt. We find a reciprocal relationship with some of our younger employees in terms of our educating them on 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 you are able to initiate and develop can be dramatically increased through social media. A day doesn’t go by when I am not reaching out to someone or being contacted by prospects and influencers on LinkedIn or Twitter. My network is greatly enhanced not only by sheer numbers, but by its quality and depth as well as its impact on our business.

There are hundreds of financial advisers to choose from. That’s why having a powerful means of communicating your process or unique characteristics is critical. Today, the vehicles we use to communicate (Skype, WebEx, etc.) with clients and deliver our services can positively reflect on your firm’s professionalism and credibility.

High-net-worth clients can have complex issues that need to be solved. They also have high expectations when it comes to their financial advisers using technology. To provide truly comprehensive services, financial advisers need to deploy the latest platforms, cutting edge research and partnerships with specialized firms equally committed to technology. Making technology a part of your culture today naturally puts you in a good position to be out in front when the next wave comes. And it will come.