Electronic business cards help build client roster

Jul 7, 2013 @ 12:01 am

By Liz Skinner

Oxygen Financial Inc. founder and co-chief executive Ted Jenkin doesn't have business cards.

When prospective clients ask him for one, he directs them to text 90210 with “TedJ” in the body of the message, and the prospects will quickly receive his phone numbers, e-mail address and a link to his mobile business card. They can also click to import all his information right onto their contact list.

“This is much more useful than going home with a pocket full of crumpled business cards,” said Mr. Jenkin, 43.

He also uses text messaging to deliver information to prospects about his company (text 90210 with “oXYGen” in the message to see for yourself) or even to deliver compliance-approved videos about certain financial topics, such as “4 biggest 401(k) rollover mistakes” and “smart financial moves after a divorce.”

“The beauty about it is, when someone signs up for the campaign, their mobile number is stored in my back software, and once it's there, I can send them short text messages each month,” Mr. Jenkin said.

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One message he sent recently to his list asked, “Did you realize that you could pay $0 capital gains tax?” He included a link to a video that explained the specifics.

Someone who doesn't use mobile devices and social media may balk at this high-tech approach, but that person probably isn't going to be the right fit for oXYGen Financial anyway. The five-year-old advisory firm aims to serve time-starved 35- to 45-year-olds but doesn't turn clients away based on age.

Another way Mr. Jenkin helps attract future clients is through his firm's blog, yoursmartmoney moves.com. About three times a week, he posts on personal-finance or small-business topics, often including a video he shoots in his office with a high-definition camera.

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The blog helps establish him as an expert on finance and business, and features links back to the firm's information request form on its website. A recent post described the importance to small businesses of pricing their products and services correctly, and included a video with three tips for entrepreneurs.

Not surprisingly, technology plays an essential role in oXYGen Financial's client meetings. Mr. Jenkin estimates that only about one-third of the firm's client meetings involve sitting down next to a client.

Instead, advisers use Skype or other video conferencing tools most of the time to meet with clients — sometimes spouses even “call in” from different locations, he said.

Even the offices boast a high-tech approach, with multiple gaming systems set up to entertain clients or their children. None of oXYGen Financial's 26 employees have a desktop computer; they all use laptops and tablets, including the firm's 11 advisers, Mr. Jenkin said.

Based in Alpharetta, Ga., oXYGen Financial offers its clients a family-office type of service, helping individuals and small businesses with everything from employee benefits, insur¬¬ance and bookkeeping to finding property-and-casualty insurance.

This month, the firm is opening a second office in Atlanta, where the lobby will feature different tablets “to allow people to do work during their workday while they are coming to see us,” Mr. Jenkin said.

Ted Jenkin: Appealing to the webutational generation

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