Financial Advisors: You are Valued as Never Before; Will You Be You There?
“In the age of technology there is constant access to vast amounts of information… the eye of the storm is not so much what goes on in the world, it is the confusion of how to think, feel, digest, and react to what goes on.” – Criss Jami, author
As a motivational speaker for financial advisors in the insurance and financial industry, I know the past two years have seen one storm after another. At a time when you’re needed more than ever, why are clients feeling abandoned?
Business writer Brian O’Connell in his article “Why Clients Fire Financial Advisors,” raised an important point (January 8, 2021):
“Failure to communicate with clients is usually at the heart of the underlying problem that causes investors to fire their financial advisors, according to experts in the field…Poor communication from the advisor can lead to poor investor behavior, such as buying or selling at the wrong time, and can make them feel like the advisor is ‘asleep at the wheel.’”
After coming through lockdowns, bounding and rebounding markets, customers need their financial advisors more than ever, yet there is dissatisfaction.
Jeff Benjamin, writing for Investment News (May 10, 2021), talked of the virtues of financial advisors abandoning the traditional office to work from home. While many advisors praised the benefits, Benjamin raised one issue that needs closer examination. He incorporates an interview with advisor Kashif Ahmed, president of American Private Wealth in Boston:
“Not all advisers are convinced virtual interactions and home offices are the best way to develop deep and lasting relationships with clients. ‘At the end of the day, clients and advisers are human beings and it’s so necessary to have that human contact. We’ve shown we can do things remotely, but people are getting Zoom fatigue… There’s something to be said for stability and a base. Meeting in coffee shop or temporary office will not build confidence in a client you want to have a relationship with for decades.”
Tailor Make Your Interactions
Markets are uncertain. You know that. Clients may be even more uncertain, and you need to embrace that to a greater extent. It will take determination to reach them “where they live.” Not only physically, but emotionally.
Clients are not of the same mindset, and your mindset must be to match their level of comfort. It again comes down to communication. Because a home office is more convenient for the advisor and some of their clients, is not an indication that the strategy will work for all clients in all situations. It is best not to assume.
Raisa Bruner, writing for Time (August 13, 2021) on remote work, raised some important points. While there are several surveys suggesting that workers reject returning to offices full-time, another new survey showed:
“As many as 40% of college students and recent graduates would actually prefer fully in-person work. And another survey …showed that only 30% of Gen Z wanted to stay remote full time, while 34% said they were ‘more productive and engaged’ when working from the office.”
The future of work is a theoretical. It is tempting to believe that in a post-lockdown workplace, financial advisors will continue to be casual and remote, but it should not be assumed.
Working with insurance and financial clients must be tailored to the particular situation as never before. It is a client-to-client interaction, not necessarily related to age, income level or any other parameter other than client preference.
We are entering a hybrid time. The only way to navigate it is by a rigorous effort to communicate and individually serve each client on a personal basis. They need you to be there for them; be determined to do just that.
To contact Scott Burrows, Insurance and Financial Services Speaker for a virtual or in person presentation, please reach out to him through this new website or his office at: (520) 548-1169