Atlanta: “Matt, your firm does all of this research on both the affluent and advisors, what does the future hold for us?” asked James during the Q & A following my presentation.
As I explained to James, it was a good question but one that deserved more attention than the time allotted for a simple sound bite. After providing a high-level 35,000 response, it was obvious that James was a thinker, so I suggested a private conversation offline.
Rather than transcribe our conversation, I thought it would be helpful to segment it into the five questions that I hear most frequently.
1. What will the advisor of the future look like? A good question with a very simple answer, the advisor of the future is going to look much like today’s elite advisor. They will be extraordinarily professional, provide the full suite of wealth management services, have first class support personnel that allow them to consistently provide Ritz Carlton service with a FedEx level of efficiency, and be masters of the Relationship Management – Relationship Marketing Nexus.
2. What are affluent investors looking for in a financial advisor? Essentially today’s affluent want a primary financial advisor, much like they want a primary family physician, to oversee the multi-dimensional aspects of their family’s financial affairs. This professional will vet and arrange for any outside experts that might be needed, will be involved with generational planning, and have a very close working relationship, professionally and socially, with the family.
3. How important is it to socialize with affluent clients? This is very important. Affluent trust of the financial services industry is so fragile that skepticism and distrust have become the new normal. That said; financial advisors who allow their affluent clients to get to know them on a personal level, by socializing, have ranked higher on every performance metric for the past three years. They are also twice as effective in penetrating affluent client’s spheres-of-influence. Why? Trust has been established.
4. What are the differences between affluent men and women when providing financial advice? A lot, but then again it’s in the subtleties. Confused? I don’t blame you. What are these subtleties? Everything that is statistically significant for both genders tends to be more important to the affluent woman of the household. For instance, both want personal communication and comprehensive financial planning, and as important as this is for both genders, it’s simply more important to the woman of the affluent household. The message to advisors is clear; connect with the woman of every affluent household and meet her expectations. By meeting her expectations you will be meeting her husband’s.
5. How important is social media and what role will it play in the future? Social media is becoming increasingly more important by the day. The number of affluent actively using social media has increased dramatically and continues to increase. Although elite advisors didn’t become elite through their use of social media, they recognize the valuable role it can play in their Relationship Management-Relationship Marketing Nexus.
What financial advisor / affluent questions do you have?
Matt Oechsli is author of Building a Successful 21st Centure Financial Practice: Attracting, Servicing & Retaining Affluent Clients. www.oechsli.com