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Adviser Innovation Summit 2021 wrap: Technology is the future, but communication is key

Advisers must embrace technology and data moving forward, but communication with clients and businesses is still key.

Addressing the 2021 Adviser Innovation Summit in Sydney, business coach and Audere founder Stewart Bell discussed why only 15 per cent of Australians get financial advice, saying advisers must change the way they communicate with clients.

Particularly during COVID, Mr Bell revealed that many of his clients asked how best they should communicate with their own clients.

“This might be because what we’re putting out there the offer isn’t necessarily suited to everybody,” Mr Bell said.

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“For me, I think the opportunity here is to first make a decision whether we as an industry want to make that evolution, whether we want to capture more of the mainstream following…”

Mr Bell encouraged the idea of advisers launching a portal, however claimed that “launching a portal is not a software thing, it’s a behavioural thing”.

“Three areas to look [to improve communication] are starting by looking at the offer we’re putting out there, the way that we structure our service propositions, the way that we communicate on an ongoing basis and finally, if you’re going down the portal route which I think is a great opportunity, I think it’s the way of the future, understand that the biggest challenge in implementing portal is a behavioural one, not a technology one.”

Earlier, Multiforte director Kate McCallum and Oreana general manager Jonathan Christie took part in a panel moderated by BT head of distribution Chris Mather where they were asked about advice for anyone who has, or is looking to adopt new technology within their business.

Like Mr Bell, Ms McCallum said communication is vital.

“The single most important thing is it has to be driven by the benefit to your business, to your team, to your clients. Not by the shiny technology,” Ms McCallum said.

“With that, you may actually decide not to undertake a technology to a business problem or a business opportunity.

“It’s not just the advisers in the practise who are making decisions about what we will do. We have a monthly planning session with our team members and they are involved in the design of everything…

“We have gone from a world where a task was maybe one or two steps, to where a task is now maybe five to 10 micro-steps. Physically doing that work and trying to track where I was at with my implementation nearly drove me spare.”

Ms McCallum concluded: “I would encourage you, when you’re seeking to understand what the business needs, is don’t think you understand, try and actually get into the shoes of your team and truly, truly feel what it’s like.”

Mr Christie agreed with Ms McCallum, adding that time should be taken to make sure any new technology adopted should be specific to the business needs.

“When you find there is a technological solution that you need, my experience is test, test, test, question, question, question,” Mr Christie said.

“If you hear the word ‘beta-version’ it’s not real.

“You’ve got to really actually do your work and due diligence on it. You’ll fail sometimes, you’ll win sometimes but I think that’s really important.

“Don’t think because what someone is using over there is going to work for your business.”

Adviser Innovation Summit 2021 wrap: Technology is the future, but communication is key
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