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How to get clients as a financial advisor – and keep them

8 MIN READ

According to the Investment Adviser Industry Snapshot 2023, 68% of advisors manage assets of $1 billion or less. In this group, the average advisor manages assets for 385 individual clients, 2 mutual funds, private funds (or other pooled vehicles) and 8 institutional clients.

With the average financial advisor managing such large client bases, it’s not surprising that they have substantial challenges to deal with in their day-to-day working lives. Everything from regulatory challenges and compliance to navigating technological disruption, client expectations, economic fluctuations, and niche expertise can hamper their ability to deliver consistent experiences. And that’s without considering the non-core tasks that are part of any ongoing service.

Beyond delivering a quality experience for current clients, acquisition is also essential for the continued health of any wealth management firm. Overall, growth-focused advisors have had more recent success onboarding new clients. Broadridge reports that over 40% of advisors in this group acquired over 20 clients in the last year – compared with 16% of other advisors.

This shows that many advisors are struggling to successfully source and onboard new clients. What steps can they take to get new clients and keep them satisfied with an exceptional service?

Cost-effective lead generation

Financial services have a high cost-per-lead price when compared to many other industries. According to one report, the average paid cost per lead is $761 and organic is $555, with a blended average of $658. Bear in mind that this is the price incurred whether they convert or not and doesn’t represent the full customer acquisition cost and also doesn’t account for the time spent finding and identifying these leads.

Overall, the cost of net new ideal clients is high, both financially and in terms of time commitment. But new tools can help find much more cost-effective ways of conversion, whether for current clients or potential ones.

We are of course talking about chatbots, which have come on leaps and bounds in just the last year alone. During a conversation with a client or potential client, the chatbot can suggest particular online banking products and gauge interest.

Depending on the responses, the leads can then be sent to the sales team for follow up – generating new leads without any additional operational costs.

This is the exact approach that an Unblu customer Renta 4 Banco took, leveraging the Live Chat channel to collect information and support existing clients, while also using Co-Browsing for contextualized support.

Avoid cold outreach and unwanted sales pitches

In general, trust is a huge part of any business relationship, making brands up to two times more resilient during difficult times. This is even more important when it comes to trusting a financial advisor with your financial plans or financial goals – and is almost impossible to achieve through cold communications.

Unsolicited connection requests, cold calls, cold emails, and off-the-cuff elevator pitches are not only time consuming but they have a low response rate. As a general industry standard, 10-15% is considered a successful rate.
For financial professionals, this is simply not a strong way to turn prospects into clients. Instead, successful advisors should concentrate their efforts elsewhere. One strong client testimonial is more valuable than getting contact details and developing long email lists.

Consider content marketing strategies

Instead, advisors should embrace email marketing and content marketing strategies that attract the type of clients that they want. Unlike cold calling, content marketing drives inbound traffic by offering content relevant to their interests. This results in a better connection with prospects that makes it easier to turn those prospects into clients.

Embracing social media marketing efforts

For younger clients, social media platforms are fast becoming the go-to channel for information advice. In fact, 35% of millennials now claim that it is their most important source, almost tying with the 38% who prefer a human advisor.

According to Broadridge, social platforms are the third most effective channel for marketing behind in-person events and the actual website for growth-focused investors. As demographics continue to change and younger generations come into wealth, the importance of social media platforms is destined to increase.

While social media platforms can be a cost-effective way to market your services, it can be time consuming. More than any other approach, consistency is key to achieve results. The branding, message, and content needs to align across different profiles and with your own values.

For best results, the content needs to come across as real and authentic – offering genuine advice on the channels that your demographics consume. Ideally, to be an effective marketing strategy, this would be done alongside paid social media advertising to increase your reach and engage with the right community.

Make-or-break client onboarding

One of the most delicate times in any prospective client relationship is undoubtedly the onboarding phase. This becomes more acute in a financial context as clients need to submit various documents or forms of identification for the KYC phase.

If the process is too difficult, it can lead to higher drop off rates and lower conversions. By using Unblu’s conversational tools, wealth management firms or private banks can secure 20% more meetings, leading to a 15-20% higher conversion rate. What’s more, this approach reduces the duration of each meeting by around 20% alongside a client satisfaction rate of 90-95%.

Beyond getting more meetings, Unblu allows advisors to create dedicated spaces where clients or business owners can upload necessary documents in a secure manner, cutting down on the need for tedious back and forth communication.

Digital tools for customer experience

The ongoing experience that clients get is paramount to create long-term relationships. Firstly, advisors need to focus on the foundational experience. As a representative of a private bank in an Unblu interview said:

“What is essential is to make access to information as easy as possible. For example, accessing the private banking application and having access to the full view of assets is key.”

This comes down to the strength of communication, with easy, automated access to information or other digital tools. And during times of plenty, when investment strategies are performing well, these self-service options provide great customer experiences. However, it’s when market conditions change or investments are on shaky ground that client loyalty is tested.

As a separate private banking representative in conversation with Unblu stated:

“You build up the most trust in a relationship in times of crisis. If you are here for your clients with the right answers, they don’t forget it. It’s when you can make a difference, losing money is painful. If clients don’t feel pain, they are satisfied.”

During these times, financial advisors need to be available to offer human reassurance, leveraging digital technology to offer a more personalized experience.

Balancing convenience and compliance

Finally, financial advisors need to get the delicate balance between convenience and compliance. We’ve spoken before about how large fines for regulatory incompliance have been issued for firms, specifically around communication recording.

It’s something of a catch-22. Clients want the convenience of popular messaging apps like WhatsApp, but regulatory bodies strongly condemn their use because of the inherent data-security risks. If the data is compromised, clients lose trust in the financial advisor and the institution as a whole.

Overcoming this challenge means embracing Secure Messenger, an asynchronous messaging channel that emulates popular apps but is secure, omnichannel, and adheres to interaction-recording regulations.

Converting potential clients and keeping them with Unblu

Offering financial advice is a mix of expertise, customer relationship management, strategic partnerships, and more. Given the amount of time spent on a wide range of tasks, the process of turning leads into clients can be challenging.

However, by embracing conversational tools that enhance efficiency while lowering costs, financial advisors can appeal to prospective clients within their target market. What’s more, after conversion the financial advisors have the tools to cultivate satisfied clients that are loyal, are more likely to give client referrals, and benefit from sound advice. 

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