Alan Moore started his career as a financial advisor working under the traditional, face-to-face model, but he always felt tied down with that conventional structure. He wanted to have more time with people he cared about, freedom to go where his passions might take him, and most of all, more time to hit the slopes!
So Alan left an already successful firm in Wisconsin to chase that dream in beautiful Bozeman, Montana. Eventually, he was able to transition to a 100 percent virtual office.
Now Alan gets to decide exactly when and how he works, and he has the flexibility to do things during the middle of the “work” day. For example, he frequently hits the slopes to get a little skiing in during lunch!
Obviously, there are a ton of financial professionals who would love to have the same kind of flexibility, so I sat down with Alan to get his best advice for anyone interested in moving toward a partially or totally remote work day.
Understand the Client Benefits in the Remote Model
We’re predisposed to think that remote work must be inconvenient for clients since it’s so convenient for the service provider. But the fact of the matter is that working remotely can be just as advantageous for clients as it is for us.
It gives them the same freedom and flexibility that it gives you. Be sure to make that a focal point as you work to move existing clients to a remote relationship and as you court new business.
Don’t Count Older Clients Out
You might assume that older clients aren’t tech savvy enough to work with you remotely. But in reality, many of these clients have been using technology to communicate with their families and manage their personal finances for years, which makes the remote model less of a stretch than you’d think.
If you’re nervous about losing clients as you transition to remote work, you can put your mind at ease by testing the waters slowly. Start by offering remote meetings to a few of your clients and gauge their response. You might be surprised to see how willing, even eager, many of them are to give it a try.
Build the Right Systems and Infrastructure
Having the right systems and infrastructure is the key to successful remote work. Alan says that keeping them constantly updated is something financial professionals should be thinking about regularly anyway, whether they want to go remote or not.
The top priority is to make each prospect and client’s journey through your business as smooth as possible. That means each part of your business—your marketing and lead generation, client management, reporting and internal administration—must have concrete structure and documentation to handle the most common tasks and problems that come up.
Five Tech Tools That Will Set You Free
Strategic use of the right tools can be the difference between a smooth, functional business and a chaotic mess, especially for anyone working remotely. In fact, I have clients that can run their entire business from their mobile phone!
Alan shared the following tools as absolute necessities for any financial professional interested in remote work:
- Scheduling software like ScheduleOnce or Calendly: Pays for itself multiple times over by saving you from endless email exchanges and phone calls, eliminating frustrating mix-ups, and making clients’ lives easier.
- Electronic Document signing from DocuSign: Allows clients to sign documents virtually and is often available at no cost from your custodian.
- Virtual Video Conferencing and Screen Sharing from Zoom: Wondering how to facilitate a face-to-face meeting virtually? Zoom has you covered.
- Password management from LastPass or 1Password: Allows you to generate ultra secure passwords and store them in one place.
- Mobile Dictation Service from Mobile Assistant: Ever step out of an appointment wondering how you’re going to get your pages of notes into your CRM? Mobile Assistant is the answer.
Good luck on your journey to becoming an advisor who can operate equally as well from an office or a ski slope. And for those interested in hearing the full conversation with Alan, you can find it at http://bradleyjohnson.com/alan-moore-podcast/.
Brad Johnson, vice president of advisor development for Advisors Excel, mentors a small group of the country’s most elite financial advisors. Find more episodes of The Elite Advisor Blueprint podcast at www.bradleyjohnson.com/podcast.