7 min read
Financial advising in a changing world
July 5, 2020
Why use online scheduling?
The world is changing. More people than ever expect to meet with their financial advisors (and everyone else) virtually. At the exact same time, younger generations are starting to need financial planning assistance. These clients expect a quick, easy, and up-to-date process for scheduling and taking their meetings online.
Client engagement, which is more important than ever right now, has a different character virtually than face-to-face. If you provide a clear solution to your clients' immediate and future financial troubles, they're more likely to stick with you long-term. Getting this right is key. A significant impression made at a critical time of need goes a long way.
Virtual appointments also risk your attendance rates. It's easier for clients to forget a meeting when they're at home instead of traveling to a physical office.
However, financial advisors who offer their clients online scheduling enjoy both higher client engagement and attendance. A scalable and compliant online scheduling solution helps you handle a high number of virtual meetings with flexibility and efficiency. Most importantly, both you and your customers stay happy. They're more likely to book with you, and thanks to the automated reminders they receive, they're more likely to attend.
What are the best ways to offer video meetings?
At the end of the day, your drive, expertise, and ability to communicate with clients make a substantial difference. However, in helping tens of thousands of financial advisors provide virtual services to their clients, we’ve found multiple easily replicated trends in how they provide virtual services to their clients. These range from the most basic offerings to extensive commitments that span months and longer.
This article details the services more successful financial advisors provide their clients. They're able to balance their priorities and focus their clients’ attention on the services most relevant to them. This results in more bookings, happier clients, and a more manageable workload.
Top practices include:
- Video meetings for your clients
- Separate offerings among three categories
- New, current, and VIP clients
- Webinars and lectures for multiple attendees
- Session packages for current clients
- Top methods for offering scheduling
Video meetings for your financial advising clients
The most successful financial advisors have long offered video meetings to clients across the world. They understand virtual meeting options expand their reach and client base. A phone meeting can take you global but that’s no comparison to looking into someone’s eyes and observing their expressions. When you're someone's financial advisor, you're engaging in key conversations with your clients. Connection and engagement are essential to a long-term advising relationship.
You can shift nearly all face-to-face financial advising appointments to virtual appointments by using video conferencing software. It's essential now more than ever to embrace video meetings as a scheduling option. By meeting with your clients through video conferencing software, you stay accessible to them in a challenging time.
You can reduce confusion and effort by integrating your video conferencing app with your scheduler. The most popular options include Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, GoToMeeting, or WebEx. You won't need to create a session in the video conferencing app each time someone books a meeting. Instead, the integration handles the booking in all connected systems. All conferencing information is provided in notifications and in the calendar event, so there’s no need to worry about dropping the ball or confusing clients.
The integration also handles any cancellations and rescheduled meetings automatically. This saves you valuable time and your clients the confusion of receiving too many notifications at once. They also don't have to track which conferencing information is the right one for the rescheduled meeting.
Separate offerings among categories: New, current, and VIP
New and current clients
The majority of financial advisors prefer to organize their event offerings into at least two primary categories: those for new clients and those for current clients.
Some financial advisors prefer to offer their clients a choice. The visitor selects between ‘New clients’ or ‘Current clients’ (see Figure 1).
Others prefer to create entirely separate booking pages, accessed through different scheduling links. This reduces the number of choices their visitors need to make. It also guarantees they see only the events relevant to them (see Figure 2).
Successful financial advisers nearly always offer new clients a free consultation, allowing them to become acquainted with the advisor. They can determine whether they’re a good match and how much the advisor can support them with their financial challenges.
Clients may also have the opportunity to schedule a current webinar or another lecture where multiple attendees will be present.
The listing for current clients usually has at least two or three options. This includes a standard consultation and a deeper dive that lasts multiple sessions and goes further into their needs. This also provides the opportunity to sell a session package at a discount (see more in step 3 below).
At times, they’ll also provide an option for a quick call in-between sessions. This is useful if they have a particularly brief issue that won’t take long to address.
Current clients can often sign up for limited-availability lectures and workshops before new clientele. Their advisor contacts them by mailing list and provides them with a link to reserve their spot.
Once you start growing your client list, you can provide VIP clients with special services. We recommend creating a third category of offerings, giving access to custom sessions with expanded availability only for top clientele.
You can create one-off events for your VIPs to schedule, based on their needs and preferences.
Sometimes, more successful financial advisors will create an additional page for those they’d like to offer prioritized service and availability. They often see the same services as standard current clients, but with more expanded availability. You can set aside this expanded availability for the most VIP clients.
For instance, you may want to offer specific services on a Saturday, but only to top clients. The majority will schedule during your usual work week. However, VIPs see more time slots available on more days. Perhaps they see earlier or later time slots in the day than the standard client.
Session packages for current clients
One of the most popular methods of scheduling current clients is to offer multiple sessions at a discounted rate.
For instance, you may want them to schedule with you multiple times for a specific journey you can help them take. You can cater the session package to this journey. This raises the likelihood of their committing to you long-term.
Top methods for financial advisors to offer scheduling
We see financial advisors providing their clientele with multiple ways of scheduling.
New clients often see a session offered through every strategic campaign. This includes at the beginning and end of webinars, and in social media and blog posts. You can also offer scheduling during strategic mailing campaigns to prospective clients who've voiced interest in the past. For instance, perhaps they've signed up for your mailing list, indicating an engaged interest. Many create a landing page specifically for a certain campaign, raising the likelihood of conversion.
It’s also important to provide new, prospective, and current clients an opportunity to book with you on your website. New and prospective clients have an opportunity to book with you through a page featured prominently on your website. Current clients may have access to a special client area with login. In their client portal, they can book their latest session or session package. VIP clients may have access to a different page in this client area, with expanded availability.