As advisors counsel clients through the economic fallout from Covid-19, some are using online tools to demonstrate their value — and attracting potential clients in the process.
“Given the dramatic shift in our environment, there’s a desire and a thirst for more up-to-date seminar content,” says David Gunn, country leader for Canada at Edward Jones.
In-person seminars may be on hold, but the content is in high demand. Gunn says his firm has been developing presentations that cover topics including investments and fiscal, monetary and health policy to share with clients and prospects.
Edward Jones advisors have adjusted seminars they would normally have offered in their offices or an event space to webinars with a few dozen people.
“Proactive content really cements relationships even more with clients,” Gunn says. “There was an opportunity before this crisis to reach out to Canadians who were under-served. But right now, especially, there are a lot of individuals that need a lot of help. It’s not just with portfolios and investment management — it’s also with mental health.”
Many clients want to invite friends to the webinars, Gunn adds, and younger advisors, in particular, are finding the crisis a good time to reach out to prospects.
As it could be weeks if not months before “regular” seminars begin again, the firm is improving the quality of content it can deliver remotely. It’s currently training branches — for example, providing webinars on how to host webinars, Gunn says.
Sam Febbraro, executive vice-president at Investment Planning Counsel Inc., says his firm has also made dramatic strides in adopting new technology for client outreach — doing more over the last month than in the last three to four years.
He’s finding topics such as rebalancing portfolios and tax-loss harvesting have broad appeal for webinars and conference calls.
IPC advisors are recommending clients record the content and share it with family and friends.
“Maybe their financial advisor or their banks or whoever they work with aren’t providing this level of service,” Febbraro says.
By caring for for their clients and providing value, advisors will create prospecting opportunities, he says.
“Their job is to keep providing valuable advice, and people will find them as a result.”