With the growth of technology in today’s market, you may be wondering if you should conform to the masses and adopt some of these new tools and techniques, or if you should just keep doing things the way you’ve been doing them for years. With new innovations introduced at an astounding rate, it seems almost impossible to keep up, but the more you can continually invest in technology upgrades, the greater ROI your company will experience.
Back in the day
When I first began my career in the financial planning industry, I carried a large, heavy rate book and a four-function calculator, that cost me more than $300, to every appointment. Such tools enabled me to efficiently add, subtract, multiply and divide. In everyday practice, when someone asked me about the Jones or Smith file, I’d have to awkwardly dig through my rate book in search of the information. I was introduced to my first computer in 1984 – an IBM PC – a $5200 investment. This thing was massive. It consumed at least half the available work space on my desk.
Where we’re heading
We’ve certainly come a long way since the four-function calculator and the inconveniently large PC. While these new technologies are great investments, it’s important to make sure your entire staff is on the same page when it comes to adopting new technologies. At my practice, we have a staff meeting every Friday, at which we dedicate a lot of time to discussing how we’re adapting to new technology. What do we need to consider? What can we throw out? What should we adopt?
I come across new technology opportunities in a variety of places, but some of the most helpful and collaborative environments I find are the study groups to which I belong. My involvement in the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) has exposed me to brainstorm sessions and presentations, where ideas are regularly shared on how to grow and succeed in the financial industry. My practice recently made a large investment in a new planning software I learned about at one of these meetings last August. This software allows us to enhance our position with prospective clients and better distinguish ourselves from competitors.
Adopting new solutions allows our business to be on top of the trends and persistent in regularly engaging clients in dialog and planning. If your practice isn’t persistent, you inevitably fall behind. The longer you stay static, the more difficult it will be to ever catch up. While you may not think rather large investments for upgrades are worth it, the benefits in the long-run will ensure long-standing success and a leg up against other professionals vying for market share.
Wayne D. Minich, CLU, ChFC
Wayne is the founder of Applied Financial Concepts, Inc. and has been in the financial planning industry for 40 years. He has been an active Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) member for 41 years, and has earned 16 Court of the Table and three Top of the Table qualifications. Wayne is also a member of the Cleveland Estate Planning Council, Richfield Chamber of Commerce, Business Enterprise Institute's Network of Exit Planning Professionals, and National and Cleveland Chapters of Society of Financial Service Professionals.