To help advisers strengthen their business in 2008, SEI has released what the firm believes are five business-building resolutions:
- “Get interactive.” According to SEI, 42% of SEI advisers say that increasing face-to-face interaction with clients is the most important priority for them and their businesses. However, SEI says that this is a very time consuming initiative. In addition to individualized meetings, SEI suggests that hosting group seminars for clients is a great way for advisers to conduct face-to-face interaction and maximize their time. Unfortunately, only a small sampling of advisers surveyed (roughly 10%) expressed interest in exploring educational initiatives for clients.
- “Travel through time.” Since 2007 saw many investors losing confidence in the markets, SEI suggests that advisers manage their expectations for the future and work on educating clients on what causes market volatility, as well as using innovative strategies designed to specifically manage volatility and downside risk.
- “Cover more ground.” Thirty-one percent of advisers polled plan to explore and/or add more wealth management services to increase client satisfaction and meet other needs in 2008. However, SEI cautions that adding the wrong type of services can further diminish profit margins. In order to achieve a balanced offering that fosters profitability, SEI recommends offloading non-client-facing functions like proposal generation and reporting to increase efficiency.
- “Get smarter.” Potentially as a result of market conditions during 2007, about half (52%) of advisers surveyed said that Boomer clients would scrutinize financial advice more than ever. Therefore, advisers need to have easy access to the answers clients seek – which includes being armed with knowledge, as well as tools, to differentiate advice, communicate effectively, and give clients the confidence their life goals will be met, SEI explains.
- “Remember – money isn’t everything.” When asked what they’d have done differently in 2007, 40% of advisers said they’d have focused on more frequent communication with clients. According to SEI, advisers should be proactively communicating with clients about a broad range of industry trends that affect their clients’ lives. Ideas SEI gives for proactive communication include: clip and send news articles, forward links to interesting studies, or give personal perspective on an emerging trend.
For more information about the SEI Advisor Network, visit www.seic.com/advisors.