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Five questions all advisors should be asking

In our The Experts Ask series, we turn the traditional interview around. Rather than asking the experts the questions, the wealth management experts tell us what we should be asking to stay ahead of opportunities and challenges. This approach provides valuable insight into the topics occupying the minds of industry leaders. We compiled some of the greatest insights from the series. Here are the five all advisors should be asking.

1. Will moving to an RIA be better for my clients and employees?

Most advisors think about transitioning into a broker-dealer or independent structure at some point during their careers. Brian Church, founder & CEO at Advisory DNA, explains how the litmus test for moving to an RIA is to consider if it will be better for your clients and employees.

Brian recommends asking yourself if the move will add value to your clients. After all, modern wealth management clients expect high quality and value from their advisors. Regarding making the best decision for your employees, he recommends thinking beyond a quantitative or economic lens and considering if the move aligns with your values and culture.

If the answers to these questions are yes, then making the move will improve your ability to offer an exceptional client experience.

2. What change are you trying to create with your marketing?

Encouraging advisors to ask themselves what change they are trying to create with their marketing, Meg Carpenter, CEO & Co-Founder of FiComm Partners, explains how marketing is about finding your clients’ concerns or pain points and creating change. Getting specific with your marketing goals and personalizing messaging is critical to marketing success. For example, suppose your client is uncertain about the future, whether it’s preparing for retirement or funding their children’s college education. In that case, you can create marketing goals and implement tactics that help move your clients’ from uncertainty to confidence. While this may be a simple example, the practice holds true for more complex financial concerns that an advisor can help solve.

3. Are you willing to challenge yourself to create that change?

Even with the most committed efforts, creating change through marketing takes time and commitment. As client needs and expectations evolve, your marketing must keep up. You can’t keep doing the same thing and expect to remain competitive. What you’ve done in the past won’t get you to where you want to be in the future. Meg Carpenter suggests that advisors challenge themselves to take a thoughtful approach to marketing and commit to building a strategy that solves client pain points to drive real change in their business. Change isn’t easy, but you can foster success with significance if you have the right mindset and discipline.

4. What is the best way that I can use a client portal to engage my clients?

Today, we do almost everything online, so a user-friendly yet sophisticated client portal is a critical tool for modern financial advisors. Client portals provide on-demand information to clients, whether they log in on their desktop, tablet, or mobile phone. Clients can check their portfolios and access other informative materials at their convenience. That said, client portals aren’t a replacement for face-to-face advisor-client interactions and relationship building. However, you can combine in-person meetings with client portals to increase client engagement.

5. How can I incorporate workflows and task management to operate more efficiently?

How much time do you and your team spend on updates for practice-wide projects, routine assignments, or even client reports? Joe Larizza, Founder & Managing Partner of Mirador, recommends asking how to implement workflows and task management processes to save time on administrative burdens.

Joe elaborates that using workflows allows you to track tasks and stay on top of assignments within your practice. You can simply check the workflow to see if tasks are being completed on time instead of scheduling yet another Zoom meeting for your team to provide progress updates. These technologies can save time that could be better spent on serving your clients or problem solving when roadblocks occur.

Thrivent Advisor Network aims to help its members and partners thrive with purpose. For more thought-providing questions from industry experts, watch the interview videos or read the other articles in The Experts Ask series.