18 Jun 5 Steps to Building a Digital Advisory Business
Advisors around the world are leveraging technology to automate various parts of their day so they can spend more time with prospects and clients. Connecting with clients in person helps advisors build trust and strengthen relationships. Unfortunately, advisors are often bogged down with administrative work and end up spending a disproportionate amount of time on back-office paperwork, when they should be indexing on client-facing activities.
At Finaeo, we believe the future of advice is “bionic” – a combination of automated technology to handle tedious paperwork, and the required human touch to elevate the client experience. As we encourage advisors to “be bionic”, it’s important that we discuss what can be automated and digitized.
We’ve put together five helpful tips to help advisors scale their business through technology.
1. Digital marketing and online presence – set up a professional website (you can do this using tools like Wix or Squarespace) to start building an online presence. You can implement automated conversational interfaces (chatbots) like Drift or Intercom to engage with site visitors and capture any lead as soon as they land on your website.
2. Building your network – Leverage LinkedIn as your professional social platform. Seek to add value through your posts by helping others learn and build their expertise. Set up a profile on sites like Meetup to create or join communities that share common interests.
3. Meeting efficiency – A large portion of an advisor’s day-to-day involves meeting preparation. Gathering information around aspects of the client meeting ahead of time will provide context and help you focus on what’s important when you’re in front of the client. This involves preparing and sending the right proposals, financial needs analysis (FNA), and presentation materials to clients and prospects. Consider creating templates that are easily customizable for each client to help you prepare documentation quickly. Prior to the meeting, ensure you allocate time for reviewing the client file and preparing a clear meeting agenda to make the process as efficient as possible for both you and the client.
Finaeo’s digital FNA helps advisors collect important client information ahead of the meeting, maximizing time spent with the client. Using tools like a digital FNA will not only help you collect and store client data, it will also help reduce the number of meetings necessary to get the client from “prospect-to-policy”.
Nothing beats an in-person meeting, but with technology like Zoom or Google Hangouts, advisors can reach a wider geography and serve more clients.
4. Booking appointments – use tools like calendly to instantly book meetings and sync them to your online calendar.
5. Ongoing service and support – Think about the ongoing touch points that you’d like to have with your clients, and how to use the tools available to automate these interactions. For example, you can manage contact lists and pre-schedule emails using tools like Gmail and Mailchimp. Finaeo’s platform keeps you informed of important dates and milestones (for example, policy renewals or a client’s birthday) to help you automate touchpoints and ensure you never miss an important event.
Build a process you can automate.
As you help your clients through the process, every step of the way should be seamless. The tools we mentioned in this article are a great starting point, but make sure to think through every step of your current process and assess what can be automated. As you go through this exercise, it’s important to keep in mind that genuine relationships cannot be automated.
Bionic Advisors spend less time on tasks that can be streamlined through technology so they can focus more of their energy on building trust and long-lasting relationships with their clients.
Guest Contributor: Donald Chu, Co-Founder and CCO, Finaeo