COVID-19 pandemic has affected our lives in many ways. With the national lock-down being extended by two weeks, it will be a while before we resume our normal lives.
It is the peak time when people will be requiring sound financial advice. Financial planners are stepping up their game by using innovative ways to serve their existing clients and reach out to a larger audience.
“It is important for financial planners to stay in touch with not just their clients but also keep themselves updated with events around them so that they can revise their assumptions and therefore recommendations,” says Shweta Jain, founder, Investorgraphy.
Even with the lockdown, it is possible to keep one’s audience engaged. And technology has been a game-changer. These technologies were in use even before, but the current situation has made them a way of life for financial planners.
“Podcasts and interviews are a great way to tell stories and keep your audience engaged. I am using Whatsapp and Video meetings(Zoom, Google Hangout) to ensure that I am in touch with my clients. One can also use FB live or recorded videos to connect with their audience online,” says Jain.
Hina Shah, director, LUHEM, has been using WhatsApp calls and Zoom to connect with her existing client on a one-to-one basis. “During the ups and downs in the stock market, people’s behaviour also changes and they tend to panic. We have to assure them. During the day I also have at least four to five meetings with distributors, brokers, and insurance companies. I hold meetings with my agents for training, addressing their concerns and also use this medium to promote the business and do the sales call with their clients,” she says.
Getting new business has also gone digital. Shah is sending out links of Google Forms, which someone can fill up in case they want to book an appointment. She is reaching out to potential clients through her website, and platforms like Facebook and Instagram. As soon as someone books an appointment, they get a welcome message along with a slotted time for the online meeting. She also sends out a monthly newsletter through an app.
Jain has a message for other financial planners, “I am seeing a surge in content creation and every organization is trying to build niche interviews or podcasts. Whatever direction you choose to drive, people will remember your path among the others, for a long time. It does not have to be a television quality, make sure your content is great and you will come out of this stronger.”
With social distancing becoming a norm and because traffic in our cities is bad, expect more online interaction with your financial planner in the future. Going ahead, the way you receive financial advice is likely to change.