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Q&A: Meet and Greet

Q&A: Meet and Greet

The idea for Raghav Sharma’s GuideVine came from newly married friends who shopped fruitlessly for a new advisor. The current crop of advisor listings would give a headshot, some basic info pulled from an ADV, and maybe a specialized area of practice, but they didn’t indicate anything to them about an advisor’s personality or presence—crucial to determining if it would be a good match. Sharma thought nothing was more valuable than seeing an advisor in person, and launched his video-based service and advice site in 2014. We asked Sharma the best way for reps to make the right first impression.

“Almost 70 percent of consumers claim they have made a buying decision before walking through the proverbial front door. Video is a way for adviser to tell their story, who they are, how work with clients, and mention any specialities they have. It stands out beyond a bio on LinkedIn or a static web page. It’s an efficient way for prospects to knock out an advisor they know would not be a good fit.

We found a lot more people might be six to eight months away from making a decision but they were coming to us for quick tips such as, ‘I’m changing jobs and what do I need done with my 401k.’ There was untapped potential for financial expertise, questions an advisor would not mind answering even without a client relationship. We started a YouTube channel for folks who want answers but are not ready to sign up as clients. It’s a great way for people to say, ‘I remember getting my question answered by GuideVine or Advisor X, and when I’m in the market, I’ll remember that and come back.’ It’s part of building a relationship. They think about someone who is an expert or an authority on their financial situation, and they almost feel like they have had this vital interview with you.”

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