Communicating effectively is a fundamental part of financial planning, and evolving technology is making this communication easier for planners.
This year had been dubbed ‘the age of the consumer’, by AFA CEO Brad Fox, who says advisers are turning the focus away from being FoFA-ready and back to the client and the client experience. The biggest change advisers can make is an increased effort with communication, he says.
“We release a white paper in the next couple of weeks that is a result of pretty extensive research of the consumer experience and service, and the thing that comes from that is up to a 280% profit uplift in an advisory practice that communicates with a client more than ten times.”
This isn’t just sending out ten newsletters, says Fox, but making sure you are using different types of targeted communication. Use demographic information to segment your client base and send information relevant to each client, showing them that you’re thinking particularly about them. This could mean a different newsletter for retirees, working couples, singles and so on.
Software is also going to be an important tool in a proactive communication strategy. Skype and Go2Meetings are becoming increasingly popular; not just with clients who live out of state, but with those that live two doors up. It is eliminating the travel and associated time pressures.
“It’s not a substitute for still having the conversation and one-on-one relationship with the client, but it is a way of supporting that relationship and demonstrating value all the way through,” said Fox.
How many times are you communicating with your clients, and is it enough?