Chaotic times like the pandemic of 2020 and the subsequent economic recession can also present enormous opportunities if you just know where to look.
“Over the last few months, we have all experienced something completely unprecedented, which unfortunately has now become our new normal,” said Liz Skinner, special projects editor at InvestmentNews, as she kicked off the virtual Women Adviser Summit Tuesday.
“One thing is certain: As financial advisers, your role continues to be important to help bring our country back together again,” Skinner told the more than 300 attendees of the virtual session that focuses on helping female financial professionals improve their brand, their businesses and themselves.
Even in ordinary times, about one-third of all clients are unhappy with their current financial adviser. “The only thing that keeps them from switching advisers is having a clear alternative,” Lisa Keung, director of creative campaigns at Invesco, told summit attendees.
As these are far from ordinary times, it is likely that even more investors are looking for a new service provider.
Keung and Scott West, managing director and head of consulting at Invesco, conducted a workshop for summit attendees on how to have “catalytic conversations” to convert some of those disgruntled clients into prospects.
In a recent survey, Invesco asked 340 advisers where they expect their future business growth to come from. More than 80% said they expected that growth to come from referrals from existing clients. Yet most of those advisers said they felt uncomfortable putting their clients on the spot by asking them for a referral.
Invesco tested several approaches to see what resonated with investor focus groups and what turned them off. Rather than blatantly asking for referrals to expand your business, a better approach is to ask clients: “Is there anyone you care about who would benefit from a fresh perspective?” West said.
“Identifying top clients with strong mutual relationships is an excellent place to start,” Keung said. “Look for natural connectors and networkers.”
Day One of the Women Advisers Summit also featured a practice management coaching session with Kerry Ryan, director of wealth and asset management at Salesforce. Ryan said the nationwide lockdown orders during the pandemic have forced financial advisers to rely on technology in new ways to interact with clients through virtual meetings, provide training to team members on virtual platforms and distribute marketing and communications in a compliant-friendly manner.
“It can seem overwhelming at first, but this is a great opportunity to investigate how your technology investment can help you accomplish your business goals,” she said.
Day One of the summit also featured a panel of financial advisers from J.P. Morgan Securities who discussed how to build client relationships during tough times. Key topics included how to work with the next generation, navigating market turbulence and goals-based planning.
The summit resumes Wednesday with a focus on best practices to maximize productivity, succession planning ideas, and how to get clients to align their charitable goals and impact investing passions.
As our second lead editor, Cindy Hamilton covers health, fitness and other wellness topics. She is also instrumental in making sure the content on the site is clear and accurate for our readers. Cindy received a BA and an MA from NYU.