Time and Control: Financial Advisors’ Most Valuable Assets
Most advisors complain they wish they had more control over their time and work schedule.
“Doing More with Less,” – a fascinating FPA 2014 Time Management and Productivity Study found that of 750 advisors surveyed:
- Only 13% of advisors feel in complete control of their time and 10% in complete control of their businesses; over half of advisors are feeling out of control.
- On average those advisors who feel somewhat or completely in control of their time and their business are holding approximately 50 more client and prospect meetings per year.
The FPA study caught the attention of Michael Kitces of The Kitces Report, and prompted him to write a helpful post on his popular Nerd’s Eye View blog titled “How A More Regular Client Meeting Schedule Enhances Advisor Productivity And Business Growth.”
In his post, Kitces exclaimed: “Financial advisors who don’t control their business finds the business controls them!” Describing the life of a “typical financial advisor,” Kitces noted “for most financial advisors, the scheduling of meetings from week to week is highly reactive. Client meetings are typically the first priority, and clients are given wide latitude about when to come in to meet throughout the week.”
And if your life wasn’t hectic enough already, the addition of new compliance issues has given you even more to get done, within the valuable available time you have!
Increasingly financial advisors across the U.S. have found a solution to their time crunch problem, by using online appointment scheduling to simplify how they book client and prospect meetings, and for clients to self-schedule appointments themselves, quickly finding a convenient day and time slot that works best for them.
In her Amazon bestseller “The Social Advisor: Social Media Secrets of the Financial Industry,” CFP Amy McIlwain wrote on how new scheduling technologies have replaced her use of “day planners and agendas to schedule my deadlines and appointments.” In a guest post for the Morningstar ByAllAccounts blog, McIllwain described how one of those new scheduling technologies, “doubled her productivity” by letting her spend more time talking to prospects, and less time “playing games.”
According to McIllwain, those time-wasting “games” include:
- Calendar Invite Battleship: Trying to set an appointment via emails “sending and declining time proposals back and forth.”
- Phone Tag & Cat-and Mouse: “Before I had TimeTrade, I used to feel like I was always trying to chase people down on their phone. I also felt like when I actually would catch people, it wasn’t at a great time. Wasting time on the chasing and waiting game is bad enough, but the last thing in the world I want to do is in anyway bother or seem intrusive to prospects.”
Amy’s Tagline for Appointment Scheduling?
“More conversations. More quality conversations. No more playing games.”
Beyond enabling more control over work schedules and the productivity benefits mentioned above, online appointment software for financial services gives financial advisors additional business benefits:
Technology for Improved Marketing Results and Business Growth
In today’s volatile market, finding and retaining clients is more crucial, and more challenging than ever. While the number of U.S. financial advisors continues to decline, advisors need to dedicate time and resources to stand out from competitors, marketing themselves and communicating their special differentiators. Sandra Wiley of Boomer Consulting Inc., one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Accounting” wrote: “The find, mind and grind theory still holds great value in growing the firm today,” with Wiley seeing technology as the key to “unlocking the secret to high growth.” By integrating online appointment setting across all outbound and inbound touch points (from emails, to newsletters, to websites and social networks), financial advisors can make it easier for prospects and clients to find and meet with them.
While their operations and fee structures may differ, the pledge to provide quality financial advice through ethical practices is a promise all advisors make to their clients. Whether they are a member of the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), the Financial Planning Association, the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA), the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA), or any of the other leading membership organizations, a commitment to “TRUST” is a consistent priority for financial planning professionals.
TimeTrade’s CEO Gary Ambrosino has written often on earning and retaining clients’ TRUST, which he defines as the product of CREDIBILITY + COMPETENCE. While phone conversations and email exchanges may facilitate communication, in-person appointments between advisors and clients still represent a singularly important contributor to trust. Many organizations use financial advisor time management tools like TimeTrade along with an archiving solution like Smarsh to capture evidence that the advisor has made themselves available to their clients via email.