Working Mostly Online in a Post-pandemic World Is Especially Hard on New Advisors
Blog Posts Recap – What Advisors Read the Most on Our Blog in 2020, part 1
This turbulent year is almost over and looking back, we see a few clear trends of topics that interested Financial Advisors the most on our blog during 2020. We’d like to share some of them with you now, in case you missed them the first time around. Here are the first three topics most requested and read by our community of financial professionals in 2020.
#1. Social distancing and growing your business during a pandemic and in a post-pandemic world
The most popular topic that interested our readers during the past year was naturally the pandemic and all the challenges and changes it brought with itself in terms of growing your business, servicing clients, prospecting and marketing. Here are a few posts on that topic.
Financial Advisors and Social Distancing: How to Keep Prospecting and Servicing Clients
Traditionally, being a financial advisor has been a face-to-face business. We are creatures of the working lunch, the handshake, the coffee meeting. Appointments are the lifeblood of our business, because we’re in the business of personal relationships. That’s our real advantage over the low-cost robo-advisors, and a big part of how we justify our fees.
But social distancing is changing all that in a flash. I’m optimistic about the economy and the stock market long-term. But this bug isn’t going away anytime soon. We are undergoing a rapid cultural shift where social distance may very well become the norm for a good, long while.
And all of us old-school financial advisors, as well as brokers, planners, insurance agents, all of us, are going to have to adjust. Read more.
How to Fill Your Pipeline Despite the Coronavirus Pandemic
Back in 1998, physician and author Spencer Johnson wrote a best-selling book called “Who Moved My Cheese?”
It’s the story of four mice who live in a maze and who have grown accustomed to cheese being deposited in the same spot every day… until one day it didn’t happen. The rest of the book explores their strategies for coping with change – both successful and unsuccessful.
The moral of the story is this: “Change happens.” It’s inevitable. Not everyone can roll with the punches, but you’ve got to adapt, improvise and overcome. You’ve got to move with the cheese.
Well, friends, the cheese just got moved!
Now, don’t get me wrong: The cheese hasn’t gone away. It’s still out there! People still want and need help managing their money. In fact, they want and need it now more than they have in years. But the way to get to the cheese is now radically different. Read more.
4 Challenges Financial Advisors Face in the New Digital Environment – And Solutions
There’s no doubt about it: The past few months have changed our business. It’s not just because those of us in the financial advisory business have changed. Our markets and our clients have changed, too. Their habits and behaviors are different.
Case in point: Those of us of a certain age remember closing lots of sales at the kitchen table – often late at night. But with the pandemic, few people are going to invite a salesperson into their home. That way of doing business was disappearing even before the pandemic. Now it may be gone forever.
Here are four communications challenges your peers are facing – and a few words on some possible solutions. Read more.
Communication in a Post-Pandemic World: How to Connect with Prospective and Current Clients
All of us are affected by the coronavirus and the shutdowns. The virus is slowly running its course but social distancing will be with us for a very long time to come.
That means most of us are going to have to change the way we market and sell our services. “Meet and greet” networking events will be out of the picture for a while. When they do come back, they’ll be different. They may look more like ‘show and tells’ with slide shows rather than mingling sessions.
Even walking into businesses and asking for the owner is going to be fraught. The small ‘handshake’ ritual that has been with us since antiquity will be changed as we figure out our new forms of etiquette and social conventions.
So, what’s the best path forward? Read more.
6 Marketing Ideas for Financial Advisors Adapting to a Post-COVID World
It’s going to be a while before we can go pressing flesh in person like so many advisors have done for generations. Gone are the Chamber meet-and-greets and going door-to-door doing face-to-face prospecting with business owners.
But people still have financial needs, and we’ve got to find ways to reach them. Don’t get call- shy! Now more than ever, people need to hear from us!
That means most of us need to be upgrading and modernizing our marketing approach in the Era of COVID. Here are some ideas. Read more.
#2. Working from home and building trust in a virtual world
The second most popular topic among Financial Advisors who read our blog the past few months was ‘working online’ and ‘overcoming the trust deficit in clients in today’s new digital world’. Here are a few posts on that topic.
5 Soft Skills You’d Need to Work Entirely Online as a Financial Advisor
Times are changing, and suddenly we have all been thrust onto the online space, whether we were prepared or not. While the country is slowly opening back up despite the increasing number of covid19 cases, many businesses are choosing to stay remote, and people are still wary about office meetings. Financial Advisors are in a fortunate position to potentially increase their client base, as now you are not limited to the geographic area that you are physically located in.
There is a new normal for how we do business – whether that be entirely from your home or from a secluded, socially distanced workspace. Obviously, understanding your market and the technical skills required to service your clients are still important, but the soft skills, and how you communicate with clients during these difficult times have become more important than ever. Mind that a Harvard University research showed that even prior to the coronavirus pandemic, 85% of business success already came from “soft skills” rather than “technical skills”.
Here are 5 soft skills you’d need to work entirely online as a Financial Advisor. Read more.
3 Issues Financial Advisors Should Address to Overcome the Trust Deficit in Clients
Financial Advisors face a huge trust deficit. That’s significant because who holds a more important position of trust than an advisor who can impact when people retire, how they live in retirement, and what their financial security is late in life when they need it the most? For advisors whose livelihood depends on attracting new clients and retaining them, that’s a major obstacle to overcome every day.
According to a CFA Institute study, only 46% of retail investors trust the financial services industry. More specifically, just 59% of investors who have an advisor relationship say their advisor is their most trusted source of advice. Even more troubling for advisors, when asked specifically whether advisors always put their clients’ interest first, only 35% of investors agreed. The trust gap widens even further with millennials and Gen X investors, and it is at its widest with widows who take over responsibility for their financial accounts when their husbands die.
Unfortunately for advisors, especially those new to the business, mistrust has been baked into consumers’ consciousness for a while. Advisors must assume that every prospect, and perhaps even some of their clients, have trust issues, requiring Advisors to utilize a conscious and deliberate strategy to overcome them.
Here are the top three issues advisors must confront along with strategies to overcome the trust deficit in clients in order to become a trusted advisor. Read more.
Six Ways Financial Advisors Can Establish Trust in Today’s Virtual World
You can have all the technical and market skill in the world. But if people don’t trust you, you’re not going to open new accounts.
It’s just a fact of life in sales: If people don’t trust you, their defensive mechanisms are going to be up during the entire sales process. If you’re lucky, they’ll tell you. At least that way, you get to face the trust issue head on. That might give you a fighting chance.
But more often than not, you’ll be met with polite silence, and the dreaded “we’ll give you a call if we decide to do anything.”
If you hear that, chances are you whiffed on the trust issue.
After all, if you had their trust, they’d be looking for ways to talk themselves into doing business with you! Read more.
#3. New Advisor advice
It’s tough to be a new advisor during these challenging times, so it’s no surprise that the posts addressing new advisor issues were among the most popular ones during 2020 too. Here are a few.
Being a Financial Advisor in Uncertain Times – What You Need to Know
As I write this in mid-October, 2020, the stock market is sitting right at an all-time high. But there’s still an ongoing pandemic – and a presidential election looming. Either of these things can cause big short-term swings in stock prices.
That means things are pretty risky at the moment. In the short-term, anyway.
As financial advisors, we have to help our clients understand that risk, and help them manage their money so they can accomplish their financial goals, but also so they can sleep at night in the meantime.
Those of you who have been around since before 2008 know this process well. For those of you who are just getting started, here’s what you need to know. Read more.
Advice for New Financial Advisors – 8 Things Veteran Advisors Wish They Knew When They First Started Out
“Experience is the best teacher. But only a fool learns by no other.”
This is a slight misquotation of Benjamin Franklin. But the idea is sound: We all can and should learn from the mistakes and experiences of those who came before us.
And advisors are certainly making mistakes! Somewhere between 70 and 90 percent of financial advisor trainees are out of the business by their fourth year. And too many of those who survive aren’t thriving.
So we asked some veteran financial advisors what they wished they knew when they first started out in this business, or what they would do differently if they could start over. There was a lot of variation in the details, but most of them had these themes in common. Read more.
11 Must-Have First-Year Financial Advisor Goals
It’s tough making it through your first year in the financial advisor business. It’s going to be even tougher without some specific goals to give you focus. If you set goals though, you’ll have some framework for deciding how to manage your time and money.
Your first-year financial advisor goals should be as specific as possible – so you know when you’ve achieved them. And write them down: People who write down their goals are 33% more successful at attaining them than people who keep their goals in their heads.
Here are some of the most important objectives for your first year as a financial advisor. Read more.
Overcoming Objections: Everything Financial Advisors Need to Know about It
As we all know, the #1 reason for failure among Financial Advisors and Wholesalers is they don’t see enough people.
What you may not know is that many of them avoid prospecting because they don’t have a clue how to overcome prospects’ objections.
If this is what’s keeping you from having your appointments book full, today’s post will teach you everything you need to know about overcoming objections. Read more.
Sales Jiujitsu: How to Introduce Yourself as a Financial Advisor
Occasionally I get asked about the best way to introduce yourself as a financial advisor.
That’s an important skill. But in some ways, focusing on introducing yourself to other people is looking at the problem from the wrong direction. There’s always the risk that going to a business mode when the prospect is not yet receptive to it will cause them to go into “shields-up” mode.
Instead, turn that process inside out: Consider finding ways to get prospects to introduce themselves to you.
The difference is fundamental: Instead of you feeding information to them, they’re feeding information to you! Information that can help you build rapport and trust, establish that you can potentially help them, and schedule a more formal appointment so you can talk business, take a fact finder, and land your new client. Read more.
Next week we’ll revisit the other two topics that were most interesting to our community of Advisors during 2020 – market volatility and how to communicate with prospects and clients about it. We’ll also share a few stories and analogies you can use with clients to allay their concerns, or convince them to stick to the plan regardless of market conditions.
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