One of the worst nightmares for a financial advisor or insurance agent is missing an important event in his or her client’s life–one of several spooky challenges advisors face on a daily basis. Deep down inside advisors want to provide the very best for their clients, so not meeting their clients’ expectations because of process or misconstrued policy barriers can be frightening. To help shed light on a few things, I’ve outlined five common fears advisors and agents face and how to help banish them.
1. Fear of missing a client’s important life event
Missing a major client milestone–such as getting married, getting a new job, or having a baby–can be a hair-raising experience. Learning about key stages in your client’s life can be big opportunities to reach out, engage and consult on important financial decisions. Social media is one way to learn about what’s happening in your client’s life that might spark the need for a financial conversation. And it’s a viable way to gain new clients as well. A recent Putnam study found that 79% of advisors who use social media gained new clients through social networks and of those, 29% gained over $1 million in new assets. Other social media tools, such as Facebook Ads, can also help you target connections by life events.
2. Fear of not being findable—or scarier— being forgotten
Clients are everything to an advisor’s business and good service keeps them coming back. But it you’re not findable online, where many clients are researching and transacting, then you’re missing a huge opportunity and putting yourself at risk of being forgotten. We’ve said it here many times before: If you don’t have a social media presence, it’s as if you don’t exist. An important first step is to simply get found by people who are researching financially related information. In the past, an advisor wouldn’t think of not being listed in the Yellow Pages. Today, social media and the web have replaced the Yellow Pages. For starters, make sure you have a complete and engaging LinkedIn profile so prospects can learn about who you are and the types of clients you serve.
3. Fear of posting content on social media
For many advisors, the use of social media may appear as a daunting endeavor in a heavily regulated industry like financial services. In fact, compliance concerns and not knowing what to post are some of the biggest arguments for firms limiting or altogether barring sites like Facebook and Twitter. In addition, some advisors find it “scary” to show their personal side on social media without knowing how to balance their professional side.
Fortunately, compliance doesn’t have to be scary. Today, advisors can use social media and remain both authentic and compliant by following a few simple rules:
- Don’t be overly promotional when sharing something about your company or services on social media. Compliance rules require promotional messages to be pre-approved.
- Avoid endorsements and recommendations.
- Avoid social media “likes” that might be construed as endorsements.
- Avoid linking to third party sites.
Note: Remember to always check with your firm’s social media policy before posting. Here is additional reading:
- Compliance Considerations for Social Media
- Social Media Compliance: What Advisors Need to Know
- Yes, You Can Be Both Social and Compliant: Recap From the NRS Conference
4. Fear of being replaced by “robo-advisors”
In the past year alone, there’s been a lot of talk about “robo-advisors” and “robo-advice” firms like Wealthfront and Betterment taking over the functions of real-life advisors. Many advisors and financial companies fear whether these technologies will impact their success and survival.
Fear not. While robo-advisors may pose some threat to the industry overall, advisors don’t have to be displaced. Instead, advisors need to become “technology empowered,” says Abhay Rajaram, VP of Global Customer Success at Hearsay Social. The key is supplementing what can’t be replaced by automation (i.e., the human touch) with digital technologies. (Read FA Magazine’s Will Financial Advisors Be Obsolete? for deeper insights.)
5. Fear of not being trusted by clients and prospects
One of a financial advisor’s greatest objectives is to have a positive influence on their clients’ lives and help them to make smart money choices to achieve their personal financial goals. But, how do you build and maintain trust with clients and prospects in an industry that’s been plagued by mistrust in the past?
The key is to focus more on relationships than sales. You must establish both a trust-based relationship with your clients and be viewed as a source of valuable advice. For example, you must engage with clients and prospects where they are–i.e., on social, mobile and digital platforms–and deliver authentic, personalized communications that speak to their particular interests and needs. That way, clients will know that you understand who they are, their needs and concerns, and that you have their best interests at heart.
Do these fears resonate with you? What are you doing to help ease your fears around social media or compliance? Let me know by leaving a comment below.
Disclaimer: The material available in this article is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. We make no guarantees on the accuracy of information provided herein.
- Be a Spooky Company: Use Your Customer Data to Be Scary Helpful
- Will Financial Advisors Become Obsolete?
- 8 Key Takeaways From SIFMA’s Social Media Event
- Creating Your Social Media Plan & Policy