As personal finance advisors for over a decade, we know one of the key areas for any advisor is—attracting new business. The pursuit is constant and at times, challenging. With growing competition and changing business dynamics, it is important to pull up one’s socks and reinvent the approach to solve this eternal question—“How do I get more clients?”
Sales trainers associated with Insurance companies and Asset Management Companies (AMCs) promote the traditional ways to generate new business – sending brochures, mailers, making cold calls, and the like.
But are they good enough to take your business leaps and bounds?
No doubt these strategies have worked in the 90s and 2000s, but in today’s information age, when data is easily available on the click of a button; these age-old mechanisms seldom bear positive and encouraging results for a financial advisor like you.
Would you want to receive a telemarketing call, asking you to buy a product? And most importantly, would you ever trust all the tall claims in the endeavour to push a product?
In fact, nobody wants to receive these unwarranted phone calls or messages. It simply irks people up …and they prefer not being disturbed by telemarketers.
Now just imagine the plight of a customer, when he receives pestering phone (cold) calls from a financial advisor. Wouldn’t that be annoying and disturbing as well? Not many are inclined to answering such calls these days. Follow ups, are fine provided your primary approach is right and welcoming for a prospective client.
Here’s what you could do to attract prospects, especially the millennials and the Gen. Y…
The 21st century persuasive strategies that every financial advisors should follow…
To win the hearts of millennials and the Gen.Y, who have a sizeable investible surplus and aspiration amidst a competitive world, but lack the time and expertise to do it themselves; you ought to handhold them as a Certified Financial Guardian.
The best way to attract these prospects is answer the question: “What do these new breeds of prospective clients expect from their financial advisor?”
Thereafter work on strategies revolving this question.
You see, this Facebook/Twitter-hooked generation – who have an extensive exposure to information technology – have a completely different outlook towards life and money and that’s old strategies / methods are inoperable.
At PersonalFN, we constantly ask ourselves the question and try to customise our marketing style. Over the years, we have zeroed down our success to these 5 strategies we wish to share with you.
Ethical Advice: In the early part of our journey, we realized that, advisors used to simply sell or push products without taking into consideration the needs of the client or his family. Agents misled customers to believe that insurance was a solution to all financial goals. Most agents ignored the plain necessity to assess the amount of insurance that the customer would actually need to protect his family and preferred to sell a policy based on the amount of premium the customer was willing to pay; many a times underinsuring the family.
This attitude had to change and we took to the online medium to voice our concerns and challenge these obscure, unscrupulous practices. Ethics and unbiased views have always been at the forefront of our advice, and our articles forthrightly reflect it. This honest strategy quickly attracted young who were internet-savvy professionals.
Clients expect their financial advisor to be ethical; just as you expect from a doctor, pharmacist, lawyer, chartered accountant, etc.
It goes without saying that ethics is the foundation stone for a long and mutually beneficial relationship. Personal finance as a domain is ‘personal’ in nature. Thus confidentiality is vital, or else the foundation of business may be on a shaky ground.
There have been reported cases of financial advisors selling products that may not serve a client’s best interest. Such instances not only hurt the concerned advisor’s goodwill, but also hurt the public image of the profession you are representing.
Professional qualification: The 21st century is the era of professionalism and knowledge economy. The finance stream is flooded with qualifications such as Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Financial Risk Manager (FRM), Certified Financial Planner (CFPCM), Chartered Accountants and so on. Each qualification has its own area of expertise offering a new approach to finance. Moreover, it enhances technical skills of an advisor that in turn helps to offer the right solutions to the client.
The millennials and the Gen.Y expect their financial advisor to be an ethical professional who can help them address their concern/query. This perception is solidified with professional qualifications that an advisor earns—more the qualifications, the better, is the perception.
Today’s millennials look for professionals who are positioned to address their queries and only experience will not cut the ice with them. They expect an entire package—the attire, the professional language, the approach of the advisor, after sales service, etc.
So, if you are stuck with the age-old certifications and diplomas and have not bothered to brush your skills, it’s time to enrol for a professional certification like a Certified Financial Guardian—a program which not only teaches you the technical skills, but also prepares you for the digital marketing world.
We have consolidated our decade long experience in the advisory space into the program and devised it in a simple manner to make the learning interesting yet effective. We invite you to explore the curriculum today.
Digitise the business: There is no doubt that mobile phones have penetrated the market. When was the last time your son or daughter visited the bank to do a transaction or visited the nearest grocery shop to buy groceries? Most millennials who work in the private sector prefer to transact through internet banking or through mobile banking. These young tech savvy customers purchase food, furniture, clothes, shares etc. with a click of a button—thanks to Amazon and Flipkart. “PayTm karo” is the new digital currency. (Have you used it?)
So, in this day and age of smart phones, smart advisors upgrades their systems and make the client/user experience convenient, comprehensive, joyful and truly enriching. Platforms such as “BSE Star MF”; “NSE NMF II” and “MF Utilities” offer a good opportunity to advisors to digitise their business and move away from the pen and paper approach.
Online presence: What is the first thing a millennial would do when he wants to buy a product or service— is Google it out! Google has been a magic wand to find answer to any query. If a doctor suggests a particular line of treatment for a serious ailment, Google will throw up results on the same. Similarly, when you recommend say LICs Jeevan Tarang to your prospect, note that, he will be Googling the results of your advice, and thus make sure you have strong and a prudent perspective.
Foreseeing the power of online media quite early in our business, at PersonalFN, we set up our entire business online by offering our views vide quality articles on a whole gamut of subjects in personal finance. We extensively leveraged on digital marketing tools such as search engine optimisation (SEO), social media marketing (SMM) and social media optimisation (SMO) to reach out to millennials and Gen.Y. These are the new tools to learn and new weapons in the armoury of a digital marketer. It is important to study these new skills and implement it in your marketing strategy. The best part is, if they are used prudently, the return on investment (ROI) can be exponential
Secondly, make sure to highlight your credentials and your professional journey on social networking sites like LinkedIn and build a professional website. A prospect would like to know your life journey, your professional experience and certifications. Moreover, “Pulse” (LinkedIn’s blog) can be used to share across various strategies with prospects.
All these strategic tools will help build an online presence and brand which will help position you as an expert—leading to more clients.
Customer Service: A strong customer service is the final straw in the puzzle to win customers over. Millennials and Gen.Y are super busy professional and personal lives. They have little time and patience to go through piles of paper or reply to letters or wait for long hours on the phone to get their query solved. A quick reply to a query goes a long way in developing that last push to instil confidence among clients and generate references.
There have been instances where the client felt stranded after signing on the dotted line with little or no engagement from the advisor. We have addressed this concern by embracing technology (email, WhatsApp, Skype, etc.) to personalise and communicate our message and resolve customer grievances. Impactful customer communications is the need of the hour to solidify any relationship, especially with millennials and Gen.Y.
These strategies have worked for us and they could work for you too. We are keen to hear about your best practices with prospects—specifically the millennials and Gen.Y.