Advisor firms are comprised of a lot of moving pieces – reporting, billing, trading, etc. – but one element plays a more important part in your success than any other: the client experience. At the core of every great advisor is a process that leaves clients happy and satisfied.
In this post, we’ll look at how you can focus on improving the client experience.
Focus on the Client Experience
Imagine that you’re buying a new home. The first real estate broker that you meet with shows you a binder with a list of houses in the area and recommends the best value. The second broker sends over a brief questionnaire before meeting with you. During the meeting, she asks about your family, work, and social life, combines those insights with the questionnaire responses, and makes some personalized recommendations. Which broker would you choose?
Successful financial advisors are just as good at active listening as they are with numbers. By taking an authentic interest in prospects and clients, they often build stronger relationships and secure more referrals than those focused on making a sale or pitching a new product.
What does active listening entail?
There’s an old cliche about how you should talk with people rather than at them, but being a cliche doesn’t make it any less true. During meetings with prospects, ask open-ended questions to get them to open up. Don’t be afraid to ask them to explain or clarify their answers to get deeper insights.
The goal is to create an environment where they want to participate in the conversation and feel truly heard.
Active listening also applies to existing clients. If clients want a mobile app, try to prioritize developing a mobile app for them to keep up-to-date with their portfolio. If you don’t, they’ll be much more likely to be swayed to another advisor with mobile technology.
If they would prefer an easier way to schedule meetings, then you should spend time figuring out how to streamline those interactions. The goal should be to truly listen to clients, understand what they want and need, and constantly improve the experience.
Who Has Time to Listen?
The biggest hurdle when it comes to focusing on the client experience is finding the time. After all, many financial advisors are already struggling to find enough time to identify and meet with new prospects and manage their existing client workload.
Hiring a TAMP to take care of back-office tasks can eliminate time-consuming operational tasks from your schedule, like running reports or placing trades, and frees you up to devote that time to higher value activities.
In fact, a 2016 survey showed that advisors outsourcing investment management added roughly 3.5x more new clients per year and earned 2.3x more from their existing clients.
A recent survey of 8,000 advisors found that advisors outsourcing investment management added an average of 14 new clients every year compared to just four new clients for money managers. At the same time, advisors outsourcing investment management generated $1.9 million per year from their existing client base compared to just $815,902 for money managers.
The study’s authors attributed these gains to spending more time landing new clients and building relationships.
In fact, the study found that advisors outsourcing investment management are able to spend 12 percent of their time meeting with new clients and 37 percent of their time building relationships with existing clients. This compares to just six percent and 20 percent, respectively, for money managers.
How Technology Can Help
Sawtooth provides a complete technology and asset management platform for financial advisors. Through a comprehensive unified managed account (UMA) platform, you can offload tedious back-office tasks like paperwork, trading, administrative tasks, reporting, and billing, and focus on creating a more enjoyable client experience with a complete client portal and online performance reports, among other features.
A lot of advisors worry about the quality of the service they’ll get when outsourcing tasks. At Sawtooth, we provide access to a wide range of verified and vetted asset managers, so you will never struggle to find the right strategy for a given situation. You and your clients also benefit from institutional-quality trade execution, which leverages Sawtooth’s institutional level connections to provide better pricing and execution.
Speaking of more time, our proposal generation tools can reduce the time you spend setting up proposals for prospects and free up time to talk through that proposal with prospects. The combination of a powerful proposal generation tool and highly-developed active listening skills can translate to better conversations with prospects and more new clients.
Your firm may already be a client-centric firm that prioritized customer experience, and that’s great. But there is always room for improvement. Let’s talk about how we can help you make the most of your time.
For more information about Sawtooth, contact us today for a free consultation, or call us at (952) 831-0039.