With the distraction of Covid-19 it's easy to forget that this is a great time to be an adviser. Despite the initial falls in the market, advice firms will be amongst the least affected businesses and most will have been able to fully function and adapt relatively easily to home working.
Dealing with paper has been a chore but many firms have made the move to using e-signatures to replace paper forms wherever possible and video conferencing has saved millions of miles of travel allowing effective client servicing with minimal cost and these efficiency gains made during the new normal will outlive the virus.
Whether firms decide to return to the office will depend on their own circumstances. Most companies will be unable to effectively distance staff at 2m apart so a phased return is likely which could last for many more months.
Which means firms now need to think about their client acquisition strategy for the future.
Much has been written of the opportunity presented by the forthcoming great wealth transfer.
Brooks MacDonald forecast that around £327bn will be transferred to 300,000 inheritors (an average of £1,09m) over the next ten years. That is more than the current size of the entire UK advice market (£274bn). A huge opportunity for advice firms.
Social Media for Good or Bad …
Through their social media networks, the children of your clients could be your best advocates in attracting these new inheritors as they will naturally share a job well done with their friends. For good or bad, depending on your relationship, their network will connect you to these new inheritors.
With that in mind, what can you do now to ensure the ‘millennial’ children of your clients not only remain your clients when the wealth passes to them but become advocates for you in the hunt for new assets?
If the new inheritor is not connected via social media to an advocate that can recommend an adviser to them, then what is an inheritor likely to do when they first inherit? They will most likely be between 25-45 and a lot will Google "Inheritance what should I do?" and see what transpires.
Try it and you might be surprised how easy it could be to get yourself onto the first page of results.
Once you've attracted the attention of this new potential client you are going to need a very easy path for them to follow. They will click a link to your website, where you have got less than 30 seconds to make an impression. They need to feel they've landed in a place where they can feel comfortable and your content relates to them.
You are trying to attract a very specific type of client so don't go general. If they've just inherited £1m and land on the moneyadviceservice.org.uk, they might feel good that there is a generalist website offering advice to everyone but they may feel that they want a little more relevant advice than someone who's inherited £50k.
More Shoreditch than Mayfair.
If your site looks like a company they could deal with, it probably needs to be more Shoreditch than Mayfair, then they might get in contact. Via chat, email or phone and you need to make them feel comfortable and deliver a service that they would expect. Which means making the client onboarding process slick.
They will expect the whole process to be supported by technology. An app on their phone to answer any queries they might have, deal with the documentation electronically and keep them informed of what's going on.
It's unlikely, they'll be prepared to do your work for you and fill in a 40-page factfind online, everything must be done to make their life as simple as possible. They are paying you to take the problem away not make their life more complicated.
Advice should be clear and very personal rather than something they could have done for themselves using any of the online supermarkets - Hargreaves, AJ bell etc. This is where you will demonstrate your value.
If you can do all this, without a face-to-face meeting then you remove any geographic constraint from your business. The world Is your oyster and advice is your sword.
Good luck and Carpe Diem.
Business Development Director
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