You’re a financial advisor, not a technology expert -- or at least you shouldn’t have to be. But you and your staff need to feel comfortable with the technology platforms that are vital to your practice. That’s why Bob Veres offers this tip from Jo Day, the founder of document management and assembly solutions provider Trumpet. She told an advisor conference how to transform a typical “brain-numbing” software demonstration into a powerful practice management tool, Veres says. First, figure out exactly what you need the software to be able to do. Then when you talk to the software company, ask them to show you and your staff how the software will help address those specific office challenges. “Remember that these software firms work with thousands of other advisory firms around the country, and are familiar with how the power users implement their programs in their offices,” says Veres. Ask for Advanced Tips During the demonstration, they can show you even more than the capabilities you request. Ask them to show you how power users implement the tools, include specific processes and tips, and show off features that advisors may not know about, he says. Be sure to include staff members as well. “If you involve your key staff people in the demo, this becomes advanced training focused on the specific things you want the software to do, plus incredibly valuable tips on how you and your staff can adjust your office routines to get the most out of it.” Not only will this enhance efficiency and productivity, he says, but it also helps you get “buy-in” from your team in implementing complicated technology. Get a Technology Guru Taking the call for outside help a step further, Mike Greene, senior vice president of the Advisor Business Development Group and Financial Planning for Ameriprise Financial Services, says advisors should hire an outside “technology guru” who understands advisory practices.
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