In recent months, global markets have become increasingly volatile. Slowing economic growth, weakening corporate earnings, and an escalating trade war with China are among the many factors conspiring to disrupt the economy and rattle investors. And, while the US economy has been expanding since 2009 — making this the longest period of uninterrupted growth in the nation’s history — many economists warn that we’re on the brink of recession.
If you’re a financial advisor, wealth manager, or asset manager, the future of the markets undoubtedly weighs heavy on your mind, just as it does on the minds of your clients. While no one can look into a crystal ball to see what lies ahead, the one thing that everyone can do is be prepared and ready to accelerate their client engagement strategy.
As a financial professional, you need to consider how you’re going to adapt your approach to best meet your clients’ needs at a time of uncertainty. Inevitably, that’s going to mean spending as much time with them as possible so they’re prepared to ride out any downturns that may lie ahead. It will also mean providing them with the real-time, customized information they need to navigate the future with confidence. As you might expect, pulling all of that off is incredibly difficult unless you have the right technology to help automate part of the process.
Running out of Time
One of the biggest challenges client-facing teams face is finding the time to create a more engaging client experience when they’re managing more clients with higher expectations. Priority number one, of course, should be spending time with existing clients while developing relationships with potential new ones.
That time is critical because it helps establish and build trust while creating opportunities to upsell and cross-sell in the process. During times of financial uncertainty, it’s also critical to reassure clients and educate them on the best products and solutions to mitigate market turmoil.
The problem is that to make those in-person meetings effective, client-facing teams need to be armed with the right materials. Typically, that includes some combination of custom presentations, pitchbooks, and proposals that they have to painstakingly pull together. The catch-22 is that creating those materials means diverting hours each day away from spending time with clients and prospects. In the banking industry, for example, it can take up to two full days to create a single presentation for a new prospective client. That’s because relationship managers wind up having to perform a lot of time-consuming and manual tasks, such as:
- Researching the prospects or customers to better understand their situation and specific needs.
- Searching for existing marketing materials on any relevant solutions their bank offers.
- Ensuring all of those materials are up to date and fully compliant.
- Formatting and packaging all of that information into a professional, attractive presentation that’s in line with their brand standards.
Not only are these tasks that client-facing staff don’t typically enjoy, they also prevent teams from spending time with their clients.
Further complicating things is an unfortunate disparity: While 79 percent of financial professionals believe that providing real-time customized guidance to clients is critical, they’re rarely allocated sufficient budget to do so despite its importance in delivering superior customer experiences. In fact, according to one study, only 11.6 percent of financial institutions’ budgets are actually allocated to improving customer experience. Given this discrepancy, financial professionals are often left with no choice but to roll up their sleeves to create the custom content they believe their clients need most.
Less than 5% of organizations are using specific prospect engagement applications that enable salespeople to know if and when prospects have opened and read sent messages. –SiriusDecisions
A Better Way Forward
Rather than spend huge amounts of time updating and compiling materials for their clients, a better solution is to use a sales and marketing enablement platform to automate that work for you. A good sales and marketing enablement platform will allow you to assemble and package sophisticated client-facing documents in a matter of seconds rather than taking the hours or days usually required to put them together manually. Not only that, when you do so, you can always be confident that what you’ve created is up to date, aligns to your brand, and is compliant with the latest regulatory requirements.
What that means is that your client-facing teams are not only able to spend less time developing content and more time with clients, but that they can also maximize every interaction with clients by having the most relevant materials available. At a time when the chances of a recession are high and financial advisors need to adapt their approach, it’s an approach that makes a lot of sense.
What that means is that your client-facing teams are not only able to spend less time developing content and more time with clients, but that they can also maximize every interaction with clients by having the most relevant materials available. At a time when the chances of a recession seem high and financial advisors need to adapt their approach, it’s an approach that makes a lot of sense.
To learn about other ways to better work with your clients, regardless of whether the bulls or bears are out, register for our upcoming webinar, “Accelerate Your Firm’s Client Engagement Strategy.”