Re-Imagining the Wealth Management Experience: Advisor 2.0

How will you differentiate and drive growth in the modern era of wealth management?

I will start out here by stating the obvious – the wealth management industry is changing, and changing at break-neck speed. But what is not so obvious is that the majority of advisors we see out there continue to prospect, serve clients and manage their practice like the industry has done for the last 20+ years … putting many at risk of eventually becoming obsolete.

Why change?

If you are like most wealth management leaders and advisors who are in the trenches every day trying to grow your business, you may not be fully aware of some of the specific ways in which our industry is changing. One of the best examples is the impact of FinTech companies entering the wealth management marketplace, equipping advisors with a vast array of new tools designed to help advisors deliver a more robust and engaging client experience.

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This graphic might be eye-opening for you in understanding how big this shift is already.  And while this list has grown, the real trend is in the consolidation of these disparate tools into a platform leveraging many of them to radically shift the experience advisors can deliver, from one that was primarily human-centric, to one that provides far more digital resources that help a client be more engaged in the process 24/7.  For example, look at Betterment.  You might think of them simply as one of the “Robo-advisors”, which they are. But they have now taken their tech Stack (the integration of a wide range of fintech tools and resources) and are offering it to RIAs for a fee.

(https://www.betterment.com/advisors/client-experience/ ). This trend will continue as FinTech will be an increasingly important part of the experience every advisor delivers, which is one reason why the role of the advisor is shifting so quickly.

With changes like these in mind and recognizing the growing need for advisors to evolve and enhance their practice, to be of most value to OUR clients, we dedicated some time to re-imagine the experience advisors can deliver to clearly resonate with and provide recognizable, differentiated value to clients today. Once defined, we put this to practice by initiating a 12-month program called the Advisor2.0 Forum, designed to equip those advisors seeking to improve their performance with the skills, tools, tactics and practices that will set themselves apart from today’s traditional advisors.

So exactly HOW should I change?

In one of our recent sessions with this group of advisors, we were asked a question by a young, high performing portfolio manager with a large bank wealth management firm, the answer to which we thought would be of value to share to help you re-imagine the experience YOU deliver. He asked,

Why do we need to change from what we are doing today? What is different about Advisor 2.0 that will lead to greater success and greater impact on our prospects and clients?

Our answer can best be conveyed using the following graphic, which we developed to clearly define the core competencies of “Advisor 2.0.” As you click on each quadrant, you will find a more detailed description of each competency, followed by specific questions we challenge these advisors to answer as they move through the Program.

While our vision of Advisor 2.0 may not be the exact answers for everyone given differences in style, approach, market niches, etc., I encourage you to dedicate some time to “re-imagine the experience” you deliver to differentiate yourself and drive growth. Based on our experience, our firm belief is that if you can clearly and confidently answer these questions and thereby master these four competencies, you will be positioned to answer the opening question above and set yourself up for meaningful growth today and going forward.

THE ADVISOR 2.0 COMPETENCIES

IQ: Professional Knowledge

While deep professional knowledge is no longer a primary differentiator with prospects and clients, advisors today (no matter your role (FA, WA, PM, TA, etc,) must be equipped with at least a minimum level of knowledge across all the key issues wealth management clients must address. Being so equipped will better ensure maximum impact and efficiency in your prospect and client engagements; failing to do so will result in a loss of productivity potential both personally and organizationally.

  • How do you ensure you have the requisite knowledge needed to effectively engage prospects/clients in a meaningful conversation about all the key wealth management issues?

EQ: Engagement Skills

While “engagement skills” have always been important, in today’s world EQ (Emotional Quotient) is critical.  But it’s important to note that by EQ we mean more than establishing rapport and building relationships.  EQ in today’s world calls for a more intentional and skillful approach to truly connect with a client, understand the meaning behind the wealth they have accumulated and engage in discussions about the full breadth of priorities for each unique client.  The ability to do this delivers a compelling experience and immediate value that clients will find of great value.

  • How do you articulate why someone should do business with you in a compelling, authentic way?
  • How do you engage your clients to help them define their Financial Priorities?
  • How do you engage clients to help them clearly recognize the gaps in their current approach to managing their wealth?

DQ: The Digital Experience

Overwhelmingly, clients today are seeking a digital experience to augment the human experience the industry has traditionally delivered.  A critical aspect of this is having the ability to effectively deliver a collaborative goals-based planning experience.  Yet, most advisors and organizations have been challenged with HOW to leverage their planning platform and scale it to deliver a compelling goals-based planning experience throughout their book of clients in a way that escalates client engagement and drives revenue growth.

  • How are you leveraging digital tools to deliver a 24/7 Hybrid (Human + Digital) Client Experience?
  • How are you leveraging your financial planning tool to deliver a goals-based experience in a scalable (80%+ of your clients) manner?
  • How do you utilize your financial planning platform functionality to engage clients in a one-meeting collaborative goals-based planning experience?
  • How do you make the case for client Data Aggregation on your platform?
  • How do you make the case for Consolidating Assets with you?

PQ: Practice Management

While not necessarily a skill, this is typically the productivity lever we see too often overlooked.  To achieve your productivity potential you simply need a handful of very clear and intentional disciplines that will improve efficiency and effectiveness in managing and growing your practice.

  • How have you quantified your plan to track your progress and achieve your production goals?
  • What is your strategy/discipline for sourcing new prospects?
  • How have you defined your Sales Process in a way that “compresses the time-to-value” with new prospects and ensures maximum efficiency and productivity?
  • How will you structure your approach to Pre-Call Planning to maximize the impact you make and the value you provide in each and every prospect and client engagement?

I hope this information provides clarity as you attempt to answer the opening question.  Whether you are a wealth management executive, market leader or advisor, we at Greene Consulting are confident that a pure focus on the development of these four competencies – and clear answers to the questions provided – will undoubtedly lead to a greater level of productivity in today’s world of wealth management.

For more information on our advisor 2.0© Forum or how Greene Consulting works with firms and advisors to solve for these four core competencies, call us at (404) 324-4600 or send an email to rickswygman@greeneconsults.com.