10 tips to take your business to the next level

Jimmy Patel, MD & CEO, Quantum Mutual Fund, on practices that will help advisers grow their business.
By Guest |  25-02-20 | 
 
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Morningstar invites thought leaders from the investment community to share their insights. Views expressed are personal and should not be construed as investment advice.

In a fiercely competitive environment, it is imperative for advisers to distinguish themselves as financial doctors or financial guardians. For that, building a solid foundation of integrity, setting up processes and systems, and rendering impeccable advice is crucial!

Furthermore, investors/clients expect advisers to understand their needs so they can receive ‘personalised’ prudent advice. Imagine going to a doctor who writes a prescription without taking cognizance of your physiology and medical history – the results would be disastrous, isn’t it?

Besides being transparent, following the best disclosure norms and maintaining confidentiality is necessary.

Here are 10 things advisers should do to grow their business to the next level:

  1. Be ethical

Do not resort to pushing products. Some advisers have failed to holistically understand what’s best for their clients. Hence, clients have lost faith in them.

Stand up for ethical advice, be a financial guardian to clients by thoroughly understanding what they need. This will earn trust, confidence, and exponentially help grow the financial advisory business.

  1. Focus on educating investors and not product selling

We live in an information age. Every investor is bombarded with loads of information about new products almost every day. So, help clients slice and dice the information well by sensibly and simplistically guiding them through the complicated maze of finance.

Instead of forcing them to look at more products, educate them about the product types, applicability and how they work, whereby even they will recognise and appreciate what’s best for them.

  1. Build a relationship with your client

Advisers must treat their clients with enough care, much as they would do to their family and close friends; after all, it’s a relationship! Be empathetic towards them and provide a piece of prudent advice following high fiduciary standards at all times in your practice. By doing this, clients would begin to value the effort their advisor takes. There is an old saying, “No one cares how much you know, until he knows how much you care.

  1. Focus on client service

When the relationship with clients is built, the focus should be serving the client. Hence, be available for clients on email, call or sometimes even personally visit them to address any queries and apprehensions. Set a process to handle client’s queries, so that scaling operations is possible. It should be a delightful experience for all clients. Remember, good service is always appreciated and endorsed by clients.

  1. Build robust processes and systems

To scale up your practice, having robust processes and systems in place is important. Many big companies are successful because they have robust processes. Processes make businesses scalable; because once they are set, the entire sales funnel is in place and thereafter one needs to add more leads to get more clients. So, work on perfecting the processes and systems and get maximum conversions from one level to another.

  1. Become tech-savvy

Technology is serving to be an enabler in almost everything in our life. It has made life easy and is the way forward. So, try integrating technology in financial advisory practice – be it data software, CRM, etc. – that can help manage the business efficiently and focus on serving clients promptly.

  1. Leverage social media and educate investors

Businesses today can reach out to billions of people through social media today, and more so, the younger ones – the future investors. India is a young nation and advisors have a majority of their target audience online these days on social media.

Therefore, advisers should leverage this to build relationships and start engaging with millennials and gen-next on social media. Advisers may share interesting updates, quotes, investing tenets, infographics, investor education guides, financial news updates, and so on.

  1. Stand by the client at all times

Sometimes, a client may encounter a rough patch in the path to wealth creation. It is imperative that the adviser stands by him/her during such times – much as what’s expected of a guardian.

Investors/clients would appreciate this, and a rapport that instils the needed confidence/support will be built. Thus, be in constant touch with clients.  Remember: Financial guardians are the custodian of people’s wealth.

  1. Ask for referrals

Advisers following the aforesaid aspects in their business or practice will earn a referral from happy clients. That is what good relationships do -- work to mutual advantage. So, in this endeavour make it a point to seek feedback and ask existing clients for referrals in a convincing way.

  1. Work hard, but adopt a smart approach as well

Don’t just try to work hard to add more clients. Research has proved that people who buy once (in the adviser’s case, people who invest) will be more than happy to do it again and again if they like the product and/or service bought. So, work on becoming more likeable (through better relationships, better service, better investor education, social interaction) and get more and more business from the existing clients.

For clients to stick around for the long term, it is important for advisers to build a relationship founded on integrity, ethics, and prudent business practices. This will help earn their trust, respect, confidence, and reap substantial rewards in the form of higher client retention and referral rates in the long run.

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