Technology and Your Financial Brand
Industry Insights, Key Messages & Considerations
Where are you when it comes to technology? Are you an early adopter? Do you embrace cutting-edge innovation in your personal and professional life and use those tools and apps to communicate with clients? Or, do you cling to the old days? Do you tell yourself, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it—my yellow legal pad and dry erase board have worked just fine so far…”
Now, there’s nothing wrong with using yellow legal pads and dry erase boards. They can be a great way to communicate with clients on a more personal and human level. But, if you choose to completely ignore technological advancements or refuse to adapt to changing times and the variety of ways that people share information, then you run the risk of putting your business on the same track as encyclopedias and VHS tapes.
Let’s take a look at some of the technology trends and topics emerging in the financial world and show how you can leverage technology to set your brand apart and effectively communicate with your clients and prospects:
A technology investment
More and more advisors are embracing and investing in technology—all the more reason you don’t want to be left behind. The study found that the majority of advisors depend on technology to make their businesses more efficient and profitable. In fact, the study showed that technology is the fastest-growing expense at advisory firms over the past five years, even surpassing the growth in costs of employee benefits an employee compensation.
Are robo-advisors your real threat?
While it would be unwise to dismiss robo-advisors as a threat to your business, the bigger threat is the advisor down the street who not only offers the same potential for human compassion and empathy that you do, but also has embraced the latest technology and utilizes it in his practice on a daily basis. Your competition is investing in tech. Are you? Communicating to your prospective client that your advising incorporates the best of both quantitative and qualitative data, you’ll be in an elite class of advisors that stands head and shoulders above any investment management alternative. If positioned correctly, the comparison of you to a robo-advisor should never even be a consideration.
Technology talking points
If you’re not naturally a tech person, it can all seem a bit overwhelming to think about new software, platforms and applications, but it doesn’t have to be. Just like with your practice, you need to identify your strengths, any possible weaknesses, and then implement pieces into your practice that work for you. Here are three key messages to leverage with your clients and prospects as you integrate new technology offerings into your services:
- Simplicity. Explain to your clients that technology makes things simpler and more efficient for them. So much of the relationship can now take place electronically, which isn’t just a convenience to you, but to them as well. Some key technologies to consider include aggregated account access, document storage vaults, video or streaming communication platforms and automated appointment scheduling. You can walk your clients through simple processes that will give them quick access to their accounts, documents and even to you and your team to either schedule a time to come in or meet virtually.
- Clarity. Through various financial software and reporting programs, you’re able to walk clients through their accounts and show them how their investments have grown and illustrate if they’re on track to reach their goals. Technology allows for you to more accurately access their risks and concerns and run models or scenarios about their money and financial plan. Use this ability as an opportunity to connect at a human level by changing these variables in real time at client meetings to illustrate different what-if scenarios. This will help them to better understand not only what you’re recommending to them, but key risks, considerations and why you are uniquely equipped to get them to their end goals – beyond just performance.
- Safety. When you invest in technology, you’re also investing in the safety of your clients’ information. Their data can be stored and shared through bank-level security with encrypted technologies and password protected with leading authentication standards. This is critical to communicate to your clients in today’s post-Equifax debacle. Share with them the institutions you work with and their commitment to policies for protecting client information as well. This level of security is far greater than them saving their account statements on their desktop; be sure this is clearly expressed when communicating the value.
The perfect blend
You want to bring the perfect mix of technology and the human element to your planning. Utilizing cutting-edge technology can provide your clients with better insight, more accuracy, greater efficiency and enhanced access to their financial documents and plans, but without your personal touch, their plans would never be quite as accurate or complete. What technologies you choose to use is up to you, but if you need help positioning technology as part of your overall service experience and communicating its value within your brand, we are here to help!
To learn more about how AdvisorPR can be of help, call (866) 888–5333 or email us at Info@advisorpr.com.