Advisers urged to communicate with clients
Financial advisers are being urged to interact more effectively with their clients, particularly those who have been with them for three to seven years.
Head of adviser services at AIA Australia, Pina Sciarrone, told the AFA GenXt Sydney Roadshow that advisers should engage more effectively with their clients to avoid losing them.
Research shows that advisers are most at risk of losing clients who had been with them for three to seven years, Sciarrone said.
Advisers should consider a variety of communication methods to better engage with their clients.
“We need to stop guessing what consumers want,” she said. “Send a five-year anniversary postcard or something special to your client to acknowledge the time they’ve spent with you.”
Drawing on recent research from the AIA, she said advisers need to know more about their client and communicate with them in a meaningful, personalised and more proactive way.
“Build a communication program so you can see the frequency with which you communicate with your clients,” she said.
“Communicate in a variety of ways, such as newsletters, face-to-face, a phone call, a letter or a seminar.”
Financial adviser at Financial Design for Life Matt Hale said that to better engage with his clients, he frequently asked, ‘How do they want it to work?’.
“[For example], I ask clients when and where they want to catch up and how often,” he said.
“I use Facebook as an effective communication tool. When clients are on their phone in their car or on a train, you can get a message out to them.”
Chief executive of the AFA Brad Fox told the audience that the industry had to change the way it attracts people to advice.
“We have to change what we have been doing for 25 years because 25 years has only got us 20 per cent of people getting financial advice,” he said.
Mr Fox urged advisers to create or maintain a web presence in the face of the changing nature of the advice client.
“We know that they’re [the clients] going to go and check you out; if you haven’t got a web presence, you’re already falling off the likely chance of getting a new client.”
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