This is a great article written by my friend April Rudin about the changes taking place in sales within banking, insurance and wealth management. In it she says
"While doctors, nurses, and grocery and restaurant employees have been the front-line essential workers providing us medical care and food, financial advisors proved to be in the next tier of essential workers. So many people experienced changes in their financial circumstances – everything from job losses and closed businesses to increased health care expenses. More people turned to advisors for help sorting it all out. That’s evident from a survey by The College for Financial Planning in which 71 percent of advisors reported they have more clients now than they did before COVID-19."
April then goes on to talk about the impact digital has made on all of us.
"With their entire business going virtual, many advisors had to rush to ensure their technological capabilities could handle the transition. It’s become a cliché to note that younger generations are the most comfortable with technology, but living through COVID-19 made everyone, at all ages, comfortable with having planning sessions digitally. There may still be moments in the future when advisors share recommendations with clients on paper and explain investment strategies with their legal pads, but the shift to digital engagements has been accelerated. Prosperity in this industry will depend on staying current with the constantly evolving technology that delivers and continually enhances the quality of those digital interactions."
April's final piece of advice is "Don't DIY" when it comes to digital
Social Isn't Relevant for us we are regulated
I talk to many people in this sector and they say "Social isn't relevant to us because we are regulated". In a previous article April points out that
"Financial advice is experiencing explosive growth on Reddit, the world’s third-largest social network by active users (trailing only Facebook and Instagram). Its main ‘Personal Finance’ community alone has over fourteen million members, with thousands actively reading at every hour of the day. In addition, there are at least fifteen regional personal finance communities; the UK community (with over a hundred and seventy thousand members) has even spawned a complementary Wiki site."
The problem therefore for many companies is that the genie is out of the bottle. You may well be regulated, but your prospects, your clients are on social and as we find out in a bit they are making decision off the back of that.
Your Not Listening - Social Isn't Relevant for us we are Regulated
April's article then changes gear and talks about what people do when they get that financial information that have gained from social.
"In a recent survey of the state of wealth management, EY that found better-informed clients were less likely to switch providers. The same study also showed an increasing appetite for independent financial advisors, especially in the mass affluent and HNW segments. The study concludes that the way forward for traditional wealth managers is through building trust and demonstrating value through thought leadership and financial coaching.”
April goes on to say
"Back in the summer, I wrote about a Broadbridge survey, which found 77 percent of financial advisors interviewed in the US and Canada reported losing business as a result of not having the right technology to interact with their clients. Those that lost business said they lost a fifth of their book, on average."
Let's look at the way social and digital has changed the world.
Shifting Buyer Preferences
Worldwide social media users: 4.14 billion - 53% of the world's population use social media in other words, more people use social media than don't use it.
Simon says that "two thirds of the working population in the world is now active on social media." This obviously now has to impact on the way that sales people work as their territory is online. But I guess, this is just one report, what does everybody else say?
Research From All These Companies Back This up
This is also driving Gartner's third point in their CSO research for Q4 2020 which is "increased customer expectations of digital learning and buying channels."
Is this movement online impacting the way that buyers engage with companies and salespeople?
A CEO Just Said to Me
"there is a race on. First we need to shock people into understanding that the world has changed. Second, we need to give them the skills to work in the changing world."
He went onto say "By giving my team(s) “new world” skills will gives us a competitive advantage."
Interesting that he finished by saying
"The thing is there is a “burning bridge” and we need to make sure we are over that bridge."
Who's doing this?
Case Study 1.
This is Eric, he's one of the team at DLA Ignite here is a post that he put up, it only took him 10 minutes to create. We have all seen posts like this, we see them everyday, but people treat social tactically. You post, because you think you have to or somebody tells you you should and walk away. Let's talk about this post.
Eric's post of his 16 year old son, Austin, on his Birthday got 8,000 views and 165 likes?
But better still, he got 6 - C-Level meetings from this post? How?
Let's stop and think about this for a second. This post took 10 minutes to create and it got 6 C-Level meetings, how come?
Because, all of Eric's post are strategic. He knows exactly why he is posting it and knows how to monetise it.
He doesn't always post "humanised" content, I'm using this as an example. But an example of why you need to get your employees and sales team on social, just think of the $ impact to your business. Especially if you scaled this across your business.
How does Eric do this? He builds relationships with prospects and customers and because they have a relationship with a human, not a brand, people are happy to engage. Eric is also able to cut through the myrmid of noise that brands keep putting out. If you are a buyer, where will you spend your time? Reading an advert that says "buy my product because it's great" or look for the insight and educational content that people like Eric is putting out?
This is a sales approach, what about getting your your employees online?
Case Study 2
In this case study, Danielle Guzman, talks about how Mercer, empower their employees to talk on social. The ROI (return on investment)? Danielle explains how Mercer as a brand will develop the business a certain amount of business, because they are well known in certain markets. She also confirms in this video how empowering people on social and giving them personal brands gives Mercer 4 times more revenue than the brand.
Sounds like plan?
Where Do We Go From Here?
Just give me, or one of the DLA Ignite team and hour of your time and we can walk you through what we are doing for other companies. No hard sell, just take you through what other companies are doing to transform.
Like many people, I like to take the end of the year to reflect on what’s happened over the past twelve months and consider what may be in store for the year ahead. That’s especially true now, after this challenging year. So much about the way we lead our lives and engage with each other changed. But the big question is: will those changes fade away once we’re past the pandemic or are some of them here to stay? I think it’s the latter. Maybe it’s because I’m a glass is half-full kind of person, but I think some of the lasting changes will be for the better.