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An estimated 16 million U.S. workers switched to working remotely in March, which amounts to nearly 25% of all knowledge workers in the U.S.1 Those who were new to remote work said communication and coordination were among their top challenges—and financial advisors at LPL say they’ve faced similar challenges.2
Now, with the country slowly reopening, everyone is at a different stage of returning to the office. You or some of your team members may still be working from home, working in the office part time, or even back full time. But even if you’re back in the office, you may not be meeting in person with clients for the foreseeable future due to social distancing.
At LPL, we’re working to solve some of the issues advisors are facing in this unique time with new and evolving technology, to help advisors stay connected to both their staff and their clients, while keeping their business operations running smoothly.
Below, we highlight some tactics you can use to address these challenges head on, whether you’re still working remotely or moving back into your office, as well as how we’re developing our technology for the current world.
Challenge: Continuing Business Operations
Some of the most important aspects of your business have likely changed in today’s remote-work world, including opening new accounts or moving money. These functions may be happening quite often if clients want adjustments to their portfolio in response to market volatility. How do you keep things moving—and moving quickly—if you’re working from home or not yet meeting with clients face-to-face?
- Use tools like eSignature as much as possible, so business can be accomplished electronically
- Hold training calls or discussions with clients to get them up to speed on how to use digital tools and help them feel comfortable
- Develop electronic workflows, and train your staff on them, so your entire office knows how to quickly respond to common client requests
To help advisors keep their operations moving, we’ve enabled advisors to use the most common account opening, transfer, move money, and conversion forms in eSignature, so DocuSign is possible for almost all important client business
Challenge: Attracting New Clients
When the world or the markets are uncertain, clients seek guidance from their advisor—and many investors aren’t getting what they want. These days, more investors than ever before are searching for a new advisor online without finding what they want. In fact, more than half (50.33%) of searches on Google now end without a click on a result.3 For the prepared and enterprising advisor, this challenge is an opportunity for growth.
- Refine your value proposition and update it to include how you’re helping clients through the COVID-19 crisis through digital solutions
- Update your website to reflect your current value proposition
- Generate content via a website-based blog and your social media channels to demonstrate your perspective on the current markets and investing today
We’ve developed programs that deliver you insights, resources, and guidance to help boost your marketing efforts, stay relevant to your clients, and grow your business.
- Marketing Consulting is your first stop for all marketing-related questions. This team consults with you on your marketing strategy and provides best practices, strategies, expert advice, and personalized service to drive growth in your business.
- If you want to further elevate your digital marketing efforts, LPL Marketing Solutions pairs you with an experienced consultant who will create and execute a complete digital marketing strategy for you, via blogs, social media, and more, to expand your reach and maximize your connections.
- Our research team, LPL Research, creates daily content you can share out on your social channels, website, or emails to keep clients up to date on the markets.
- When you have interested prospects, LPL’s award-winning proposal generation tool, powered by AdvisoryWorld, allows you to showcase your ability to effectively provide asset allocation and investment advice to your clients—all for no cost. AdvisoryWorld has received several Industry Awards for User Experience, Integration, and Risk Profiling at FUSE and WealthManagement.com events.
Challenge: Keeping Clients Engaged
When the world and the markets are unstable and volatile, clients want more connection with you. They want to feel assured that their strategy is the right one and that it’s acting as it should, even when the markets are down. Without face-to-face interactions, keeping clients engaged and at ease can be a challenge.
Use video conferencing creatively to give clients many opportunities to connect with you. Even older clients are becoming used to these tools and will likely be open to more digital interaction. Ideas include:
- Virtual office hours, where clients can hop on at any time to ask questions that may be on their minds
- Client happy hours, where groups of clients join to hear a brief presentation from you—a market update or even a fun discussion like ways to spend their summer vacation when travel is limited; consider sending cocktail kits to clients as a special treat
- Group webinars or presentations on investing during volatility
- Virtual networking, where you act as facilitator for a group of clients in a similar field
- Offers of shorter, quick touch-base meetings one-on-one to review portfolio strategy in the current environment
LPL Technology Solution
To make it easier for advisors to facilitate meetings with clients and prospects, we partnered with OnceHub to offer the ScheduleOnce online appointment booking tool. ScheduleOnce allows you to give clients a link they can use to find open times in your schedule and request a meeting. You can even post a link to your ScheduleOnce on your website, so prospects and clients can initiate meetings with you.
The tool integrates with both your Outlook calendar and video conferencing apps and will automatically send clients dial-in information for the meeting. Using a tool like ScheduleOnce eliminates the time and frustration caused by back-and-forth calls and emails often required to schedule meetings. Plus, it can help your clients feel you’re accessible to them in challenging investment environments.
Challenge: Staying in Touch with Your Team
Whether you have one assistant or manage a full staff, keeping in touch when everyone’s working in different locations is difficult. Email and calls are great, but they can be easily missed or take up a lot of your time. Even if you’re all together in the office, everyone faces clogged inboxes and getting quick answers to easy questions.
- If you’re still working in different locations, use video conferencing to keep your team dialed in. For example, you can use it to:
- Host morning and/or evening team meetings to connect, discuss the day’s events, and answer any questions
- Offer Friday team happy hours, where you can all decompress and enjoy each other’s company—you may even provide your team cocktail kits as an extra treat
- Use video calling for all your one-on-ones and team meetings to help your team feel connected
- If you’re moving back into the office, but want to maintain social distancing, consider:
- Outdoor or walking meetings so you’re not all in one conference room together
LPL Technology Solution
To help advisors stay connected to their colleagues and staff whether they’re working remotely or back in the office, we’ll soon be offering an intraoffice instant messaging tool. Instant messaging allows you to converse with your team as if you’re all in the same room and get immediate replies. It reduces long email threads and can take the place of the quick office pop-in—if that’s not possible due to remote work.
Succeeding in New Environments
While we don’t quite know when “normal” as we used to know it may return, we’re all creating a “next normal” and finding ways to adapt to our world today. At LPL, we’re working hard to give advisors what they need to thrive in this next normal by working with key partners to offer new and enhanced technology that integrates with the tools you already use today.
Want to know more about how LPL can help you thrive now and in the future? Reach out to your local Recruiter.
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Our dedicated team has broad expertise in the financial service industry and is ready to help you find the ideal environment in which to grow
Thrivalist Part 1: Thriving in COVID-19
How Financial Advisors Can Thrive Amid the COVID-19 Crisis
1, 2 Report: Remote work in the age of COVID-19, Slack, April 2020.
3 Jumpshot via Sparktoro, 2019: https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics.
Throughout this communication, the terms “financial advisors” and “advisors” include registered representatives and/or investment adviser representatives affiliated with LPL Financial LLC, an SEC registered broker-dealer and investment adviser.
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