We’ve also learned that it’s more effective to educate than it is to sell. So show your clients that you understand their need—and their top concerns. Whether you are protecting their portfolio from losses due to the pandemic to help them accumulate more for retirement, or protecting them against outliving their savings with a plan to generate guaranteed retirement income for life, clients rely on your expertise.

Be sure that you are teaching them the value of having a long-term financial plan to manage through the challenges of a slowing economy and turbulent market. As Advisor Authority shows, more than 9 in 10 investors say that having a plan for their investments helps them feel in control, and helps them weather tough times, even if they can’t plan for everything.

Solutions To Better Serve Clients
This new normal of working remotely and connecting with clients at a distance, means finding new ways to safely and securely complete transactions. As Advisor Authority reveals, advisors and financial professionals say that “e-signature” solutions top the list of technology that they are most interested in integrating into their practice over the next 12 months, and are also the number-one technology that will help them better serve clients over the next 12 months.

With clients’ concerns about losses due to Covid’s impact running high, and the need for protecting their assets top of mind, tools for risk management also top advisors’ and financial professionals’ technology wish list and rank high among the technology that will help them better serve clients. Likewise, our study shows high demand for mobile websites and apps, as well as interactive websites and client portals. So if you’re looking for ways to optimize your practice, and enhance your clients’ experience, these should be part of your consideration set.

Bringing On The Next Generation Of Clients
Year over year, Advisor Authority has shown that investors consistently rate years of experience and personalized holistic planning among the top factors influencing their decision to work with an advisor or financial professional. But when it comes to attracting the next generation of clients, especially millennial investors, technology becomes more important. In today’s digital economy of instant online access to everything, millennials are looking for an anytime/anywhere service model—even from their advisor or financial professional.

If you want to attract these “digital natives,” you’ll want to use the digital tools they use, in the places online where they want to be met, and providing the customer experience they’ve come to expect. That’s why the majority of advisors and financial professionals say they have changed their strategies to attract the next generation. Their top solutions include increased use of mobile technology, increased use of social media and enhancements to their current website or client portal.

Many younger investors want financial advice packaged with a user-friendly interface on the front end and seamless intuition behind the scenes. Artificial Intelligence can help you create this kind of customer experience offered by retail giants who’ve already earned millennials’ business by speaking their “online language.”

A Franchise For The Future—Whatever Comes Next
One undeniable impact of the pandemic is that we’re all using more technology. And it’s changing the norms for the way we live and work, at a faster pace than ever before. Even after a vaccine and other therapeutic solutions for managing the pandemic are rolled out widely to the public, and the need for social distancing can safely be eased, many experts predict that working remotely and online experiences of all kinds are here to stay in a much bigger way. 

You and your clients will continue to confront many unknowns in the months ahead. And there’s no surefire way to predict the future. But not investing in technology would be a missed opportunity when preparing for the future of your firm. Providing a digital experience and self-service tools will help you attract and retain more clients—especially the emerging market of millennial investors. A digital work-from-home strategy will help you create a workplace that will help you attract and retain new—and younger—talent. And by investing in the right technology, you can create a more efficient, productive and scalable practice, and build a more valuable franchise for the future, whatever comes next.

Craig Hawley is head of annuity distribution at Nationwide.

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