Written by Kronos Technologies on February 21, 2018
The modern advisor is focussed on delivering the most possible value to their clients, but breaks with tradition by embracing the changing client expectations, stiffening compliance regulations, and rolling waves of innovation in technology that have brought fundamental changes to their role.
Here are five important ways the modern advisor is different.
1. Embraces technology
Advisors don’t have to be early adopters and rabid fans of technology, but the modern advisor does embrace the ongoing digital transformation and looks for ways to use tech to evolve their practice. The fintech apps coming on line all the time enable them to automate their workflows and, above all else, create great client experiences. Automation enables advisors to get out from behind the desk and get in front of their clients where they can do the most good. Technology removes hurdles and roadblocks that frustrate clients and advisors alike. It makes processing apps faster and easier. It makes meetings easier to schedule and more effectively run. CRMs and digital FNA’s make it possible to easily gather, sort and analyze client data. When integrated, CRMs and FNA have the power to generate awesome solutions for clients.
The modern advisor is a strategic thinker—taking a planned approach to achieving their compelling vision. And they utilize technology to support their strategies. A good CRM, for instance, can help the modern advisor break down their strategies into systems built up from actionable steps that will enable them to exceed their goals. The right CRM makes it easy to manage those activities, and automate many steps in the marketing, sales and client relationship management systems.
2. More start-up entrepreneur than salesperson
The modern advisor runs their practice more like a start-up than an old-fashioned insurance shop—daring to experiment, overhaul workflows, and delegate to staff and technology. And they get the value of working on their business rather than just in it. They plan, they test and measure. They are results-focused and activity-driven.
Today’s advisors understand the importance of optimization and leverage. They continually seek to review and revise the key workflows in their practice—making sure that their marketing, sales and relationship management systems and processes hum along as efficiently and effectively as possible. They define the steps in each workflow, identify which high-value tasks must be completed by the advisor, and then look to delegate the rest to staff and technology. They move faster, more efficiently and effectively—because they are able to automate so many of the low-value tasks required to keep the business speeding along.
3. Value tech-savvy staff
The modern advisor understands the importance of finding and nurturing tech-savvy admin staff and junior advisors. Great staff and partners don’t just help drive efficiencies, they are the vanguard of your practice. They are the front-line of contact with your clients—performing the high-value, daily heroics that wow clients and build relationships. And they are also pioneers or scouts—constantly on the lookout for new technologies that will help the practice, and new trends that can be exploited.
4. Social media savvy
Modern advisors understand the power of social media—not just to broadcast their expertise, but to communicate with their clients. They know where their clients and others like them gather online—and engage with them on the platforms where they spend time. Today’s advisors use social media to demonstrate their understanding of their client’s world—finding new ways to add value, offer advice and educate.
5. Partner in the client journey
Modern advisors aren’t content to play a product fulfillment role. They act as partners in their clients’ lives. They focus, not just on their client’s financial future, but on the larger client journey and their clients’ overall goals—the security of their family, overall health, quality and enjoyment of life.
The advisor role has grown beyond its original sales function, and is now seen by some as a more evolved consulting and facilitating function. Providing insurance or investment solutions is only part of the process.
Modern advisors act as true partners by seeking to educate (through speaking events, articles, videos), and make useful introductions to other advisors who can help with different aspects of the client’s journey. Todays’ forward-thinking advisor acts as a resource and a sounding board for their clients. Above all, they offer advice, rather than just products.
Technological change, regulatory upheaval and demographic shifts have started an evolution in the role of the advisor. Modern advisors embrace the new tools that are coming online all the time. They look to optimize their practice and leverage the skills of their tech-savvy staff. They have shed the skin of the old salesperson persona. Now they act like start-up entrepreneurs, and true partners. Most importantly, they get that their success is inextricably intertwined with their clients’ success—so they focus on the larger client journey, helping to achieve their client’s broader goals.