As the universe of financial advisory clients and potential clients gains access to more alternatives, advisors need to leverage their knowledge of and familiarity with their client base to create a more client-centric practice. In past posts, I’ve discussed the general principal behind client-centricity as well as how advisors can better understand their ideal client type and current client base.
Today, I want to focus on the barriers to creating an integrated client-centric advisory practice. Most advisors I know and that I’ve worked with possess a great deal of information about their clients and prospects.
However, there’s a gap between where that knowledge is and the ability to leverage it so that you, the advisor, can exploit the information you have about your clients to really put together a complete, ongoing picture of your clients, what they care about and what they need today.
That gap exists because many advisors don’t possess that complete picture — their knowledge of their clients and their current activities exists in silos:
- In their heads with information they learn through client interactions that is never shared in a CRM or with their staff
- In meeting notes in or outside of a CRM
- In personal and financial data in the CRM
- In financial and investing data in financial planning and investment management apps
- In ongoing personal information across social media accounts
When you think about it, that’s an incredibly rich treasure trove of information. You may not have access to all that information — for example, if you aren’t on social media with your clients; but, potentially, you could gain access to it. Even if you do have access to all of it, chances are you aren’t putting all the pieces together.
By unifying that information and gaining a complete picture of the client and the client’s concerns, you gain the ability to:
- Cement your relationship with that client
- Fend off the competition (rob-advisor and otherwise)
- Develop a better overall understanding of your ideal client type, which will enable you to market in a more targeted way to prospects.
In a future post, I’ll discuss the ways that you can at least begin to create that complete picture and ensure that it’s communicated to your staff and leveraged to help you better meet client needs and for more targeted marketing to prospects.