Even though the pandemic continues to dominate lives, financial advisers can make 2021 a year of growth and deeper client relationships if they put to work some of the lessons learned this year during the COVID-19 crisis.
“If you can’t meet physically and you are meeting virtually you need to be doing it differently,” said Colleen Bell, executive vice president of operations and chief fiduciary service officer at Cambridge, during an InvestmentNews Women to Watch webcast on Thursday. Bell is a 2020 InvestmentNews Women to Watch honoree.
Advisers need to think about appropriate camera positioning and backgrounds for Zoom calls, for instance, and some have been successful sending a physical document like a brochure or client intake form, ahead of virtual meetings, Bell said.
Some Cambridge advisers have become experts on timely issues like securing PPP loans and created videos on these topics for their clients and distributed them on social media. “Communication is the key to getting prospects during this time,” she said.
The two other panelists, Marianela Collado, CEO of Tobias Financial Advisors and a 2020 Women to Watch honoree, and Susan Theder, chief marketing officer at Advisor Group and a 2019 Women to Watch winner, agreed that communication makes all the difference in how the pandemic has impacted their relationships with clients and prospects.
Many prospects in recent months asked Collado if her firm was going to be ok. This idea of not knowing what is going on can be a frightening situation for clients, she said. It’s important to “increase all around communication” to prevent any confusion and ensure clients remain knowledgeable about their portfolios.
Communication has taken on various forms during the pandemic, including onboarding new prospects.
“Digital onboarding is a huge time saver,” Theder said.
Her firm’s proprietary onboarding technology requires no paper intake and allows financial advisers to get the work done much faster. Use of this technology has jumped 50% during the pandemic, she said.
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