Technology and Relationships: Finding the Right Balance

Valuable information and assets provided by Broadridge, this season's sponsor of Practice Makeover.

Dec 4, 2015 @ 9:32 am

By Andrew Besheer, President of Advisor Solutions at Broadridge Financial Solutions

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As a financial advisor, you're in the relationship business. Like Matt Archer and Nina O'Neal of Archer Investments, you've built a practice based on credibility, respect and trust.

At Broadridge, our business, like yours, is all about developing lasting relationships that help clients reach their goals. That's why we're pleased to be sponsoring this season of Practice Makeover, another way we're providing new insight designed to help you prosper as a breakout advisor.

Gaining the confidence to act

It's natural that you'd want to be careful when considering a change. Adding robo-advising is a significant step, and this is the crux of Matt and Nina's dilemma:

They have a strong client base built on close personal relationships, and they don't want to dilute that. However, they also want to stay current and relevant and grow their business. They believe that robo-advising is inevitably going to be part of the future of financial advising. They're looking for the “right” way to introduce this technology so it adds value to the successful one-to-one business model they have today.

These are really important considerations. Matt and Nina will need to strike a smart balance between high tech and high touch; attracting new customers and growing existing relationships. The robo-advising technology they choose (assuming they choose one) will become an integral part of the Archer Investments experience.

Measure twice, cut once

As a responsible advisor, you don't recommend investments without doing extensive research. You look for the right balance between a client's needs and appetite for risk, and the level of risk, likely returns, and way in which a particular investment product would fit within the client's overall plan.

It's important to weigh decisions about client-facing services and technologies the same way, sizing up the opportunity, the risk and the fit with your business. These are real challenges—but they can bring real opportunities.

Archer's important questions

As coach Ray Sclafani notes, Matt and Nina are going to need a marketing plan. In particular, they'll need to consider two key questions:

If Archer uses robo-advising to attract new customers, how will they expand these robo-relationships to incorporate person-to-person advisory relationships as these clients' assets grow?

What will Archer's existing clients think when they hear of Archer of offering robo-advising—and what will they do?

Now, in addition to balancing portfolios, they'll need to help their clients balance their use of robo- and personal advisory services—and recognize this as a positive extension to, and not a replacement for, the close personal service relationship they've always had with Archer.

Connecting through communication

Careful management of the messaging is essential to the successful addition of a new service such as robo-advice. Matt and Nina will need to think both about what to say, and how to say it.

• It will be critical to present a consistent, credible, and compelling front across all media: web, social, email, newsletters, seminars and webinars.

• With more of their clients connecting with them via digital means, it will be more important than ever to deliver value-added educational content that helps to differentiate Archer.

• Archer will need to reconsider its media mix as well. Younger, more tech-savvy investors are more likely to prefer digital and mobile communications. As Matt and Nina take innovative steps on advising, they'll need to be innovative in addressing the communication preferences of their various clients.

Find the right balance with Broadridge

The questions Nina and Matt are now weighing can be applied in some form whenever you consider adding a new technology or service. It's critical to consider not just what you think your clients should want and do, but what they actually will want and do. Then, you need to plan accordingly.

With Broadridge, you'll uncover new ways to target, network and market more effectively. Achieve more every time you engage clients and prospects—whether through your website, social media, email, newsletters or seminars. That's the smart way to grow.

To learn how you can prosper as a breakout advisor, contact Broadridge today.

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