ORLANDO, Fla. -- Advisors who don’t enhance the client experience are doomed to become “the travel agents of the future,” according to Ron Carson, founder and CEO of Omaha-based Carson Wealth Management.

“Decide what you want the client experience to be and work backwards from there,” Carson told advisors at the TD Ameritrade Institutional national conference in Orlando on Thursday.

Leading a session based on lessons learned from a panel of prospective clients, Carson, who is also founder and CEO of Peak Advisors Alliance, stressed the need for advisory firms to connect with and enhance the experience of younger clients.


The next generation of clients wants to know what information they can get from advisors that they can’t get themselves, he said. “Advisors who want their business have to be able to articulate what the value is,” Carson said. “Younger clients don’t want to be inundated with numbers, but they want to know what’s valuable for them.”

Gen Y clients are also extremely conscious of time, Carson noted.

“They want concise and direct messaging,” he said. “They don’t like it when it feels like it takes a long time to get an answer. And they just want the answer to a question. They don’t need all the schmoozing that goes with it.”

Nor are millennials interested in hearing about the virtues of an advisory firm. “They want to know what you’re going to do for me,” Carson emphasized.

To stay relevant and grow, advisors should combine “substance with sizzle,” Carson said. “If you just have substance but no sizzle, you’ll do good work, but you won’t grow. But if there’s mostly sizzle without substance, the growth has no foundation.”

To improve a firms’ sizzle and appeal to younger clients, Carson urged advisors to improve their websites so it can be “the dynamic hub of your marketing” and to "put more media in your social media."

“We do a lot of blogging,” he said, “and the more blogging we do, the more hits we get.”

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