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Given what we’re faced with today, our post is focused on how you as an advisor can up your virtual game and be a confidant for your clients.

We know for advisors the most pressing issue is communicating with clients.  The traditional model of meeting clients face to face has shifted. So that’s why we’ve coined this post to “upping” your virtual game.

For clients, communication is key. Clients want to feel like they are working with someone that has their back. Somebody that is looking after their financial interests; a financial confidant.

So let’s look at communication tools. Please keep in mind that any of the tools I’m recommending, I have personal experience with and have used them, and there might be other tools out there that are better suited for your business.

Virtual Meetings

Virtual meetings are a great way to communicate with clients.

  • You and your client can speak directly and see facial expressions that can give you a better idea on how they’re feeling about their financial situation.
  • You can also share screen share to review investment or insurance policy statements.
  • If you’re doing an initial discovery meeting you can complete the fact finder directly online with them. In some virtual meetings, you can even share documents.

If you haven’t used a virtual meeting tool before, a couple of things I would look for are:

  • Is it easy to use?
  • Can I schedule appointments and can it integrate into my calendar?
  • Can I record these meetings for compliance purposes? The beauty of this is that you can record your meetings and place the recordings into your client files.

Some virtual meeting tools I would look at are: Zoom, Join.me, Gotomeeting or Skype.

I personally prefer to use zoom and that’s because it fulfills all my criteria it’s integrated directly to my calendar, website, chatbot, CRM and as a bonus it is free to sign up and the paid version start around $20 CAD/month.

For any advisors that need some help with setting up zoom, please reach out and we’d be happy to help you out, even test it out with you in case this is the first time you’ve ever tried using it so that when you use it with a client you’re not fumbling around trying to figure it out.

Non Face to Face: 

Right now especially, it’s going to be difficult to meet anyone face to face especially for an insurance application. So although non face to face applications have been around for a while, I anticipate this is something that will be used more frequently.

Policies that can be sold on a non face to face basis are life and living benefits, since they are non face to face there are limits on these applications.

Most Canadian insurance companies offer non face to face applications such as BMO, Ivari, SSQ, Canada, Manu. To find out about more, I would ask your MGA.

Advisor Links:

Having worked on websites for advisors, I always tell all of our advisors to get as many advisor coded  links as possible so they can directly monetize off their website. This is even more important now, some of the links that are available are Canada Protection Plan, Manulife links that include the basic Lifecheque CI, Manubank, Empire has a program, travel insurance- such as Tugo and even Health Spending Accounts such as Olympia Trust.

Email Newsletters:

Another online communication strategy is email newsletters. You can bet right now people are checking their inboxes even more frequently.

To keep the communication lines open, I would send an email to your clients providing them guidance on what they should do including keeping calm, helping them stay up to date, reminding them that their portfolio is diversified and it’s good time to do a review for their peace of mind and staying in touch.

When it comes to email newsletters that you want to send to all your clients and prospects and full disclosure, at Financial Tech Tools we provide this service I would look at using Mailchimp or FTT Advisorstream.

If you’re on a budget, I would likely look at Mailchimp to start off with because it’s free to sign up and try out.

Here’s a free email template about  Coronavirus & Market Uncertainty- What you should do.

Online Booking: 

For advisors having a booking system might be tough because you don’t want to show your entire calendar. I usually recommending blocking off a part of the day and then letting clients book in appointments.

I would also create different types of appointment bookings such as review meetings, new intake meetings, quick chats etc.  And build in a buffer time in between meetings so you have time to transition from one meeting to another.

If you can integrate your calendar with your virtual meeting that is ideal. I personally use Calend.ly and have found that it saves a ton of time going back and forth. You can also share the booking link directly on your website, email and social.  As always, keeping budget in mind, it does allow a free 30 day trial and then if you were to sign up on the paid version it’s starts at $8 US/month.

Social Media: 

There’s no doubt in my mind that people are checking social media even more frequently given the situation.

Just a couple of quick statistics for you:

Over 55 % of high net worth investors are on Facebook, 33% on LinkedIN and 30% on Twitter.  Posting consistent and regular content that is engaging and focused on education will do a number of things:

  • Demonstrate that you’re up to date providing clients reassurance knowing their advisor is aware of growing developments
  • Shows that you’re an expert at what you do
  • Helps keep clients calm and likely to help them to stay their course
  • Continue to show them that you’re their financial confidant.

So a few things to keep in mind when you’re posting on social media.

Make sure your LinkedIn Personal Profile, Facebook Company page and Twitter Page are up to date and make sure your connected with your clients on social.

Here’s a free checklist on how to optimize your LinkedIn profile.

A 3 year study from the Financial Planning Standards Council that surveyed over 15,000 Canadians demonstrated the difference in confidence levels between those that had a comprehensive plan vs. no plan at all.

Those who have comprehensive financial plans are more confident that they are prepared to deal with the challenges and bumps in life, such as unexpected financial emergencies, tough economic times, and ensuring loved ones are financially looked after if something should happen to them.

  • 60% with a comprehensive plan feel prepared to deal with a financial emergency vs. 28% with no plan at all.
  • 65% with a comprehensive plan feel prepared to deal with tough economic times vs 36% with no plan at all.
  • 73% with a comprehensive plan feel prepared that loved ones will be looked after in the event of their death vs 41% with no plan at all.

Remember: At times like this, you’ve got this. Clients don’t come to you because of a rate of return, clients choose you as an advisor because they trust you and you can provide perspective, guidance and help them stay the course.

Opportunities for advisors at this time:

  • You can offer free financial reviews during this time to clients and  to their friends and families sometimes just having you as a sounding board can be helpful.
  • Help your clients prepare an estate plan and assure them that it’s a good idea no matter what else is happening.
  • Provide them with updated information especially those that may be worried about their mortgage payment or losing their jobs and the plans the government has put into place. For those that are invested with segregated funds, remind them about the maturity and death benefit guarantee.
  • For business owners-share the announcement from the department of finance on their program to support businesses with credit. This is also a good time to review their employee benefits.
  • Lastly share information that you think your clients would appreciate such as activities to do at home because of social distancing, uplifting podcasts, great books to read during this time.

My advice about “upping” your virtual game is to do one step at a time, don’t overwhelm yourself, do one first then tackle the next.

If you need help, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re here for you