Hire an Assistant to Take your Practice to the Next Level
In an environment of rising client expectations and strong competition for client assets, it’s more important now than ever before to deliver concierge-level service to your clients. It’s the one way a financial advisor can differentiate themselves from other advisors, and it can become a competitive advantage if the client experience is exceptional.
One way to raise the level of service to your clients is to hire an assistant – sometimes called a client service associate. The right assistant can be an invaluable asset to your business and can ensure your practice runs more smoothly.
Another benefit of hiring an assistant is relationship retention since clients are less likely to look elsewhere when they are happy. They are also more likely to refer you to family and friends. An assistant will also free up your schedule so you can spend less time on routine service and administrative tasks and more time on prospecting and building client relationships.
Some areas where you can use an assistant to increase service and efficiency are:
Prospect and Client Management
A CRM system is only as effective as the data you put into it. An assistant can help you keep the data in your CRM up to date following prospect or client meetings and conversations, as well as keep critical reports in front of you on a regular basis so you can analyze where things stand with important relationships. Your assistant can also help make sure any follow-up items from meetings are completed.
A typical day in an advisor’s practice will include several inquiries from clients about products or services or a potential account service issue. Responding to all these inquiries in a timely fashion while also focusing on growing your business can be challenging. An assistant can help respond to these types of questions promptly, keeping you in the loop on any important issues or potential opportunities with clients and prospects. Assistance in this area alone can raise the bar on service for your practice, ensuring clients can get timely answers to their questions when you are not immediately available.
Process and Workflow Creation
While most financial advisors have processes or routines for running their practice, the flow of work may not always be the most efficient given limited time and resources. An assistant can often help an advisor get more organized and put more structure around critical processes, reducing the amount of time it takes to get things done for clients. Greater overall efficiency in your practice can greatly enhance the client experience and improve overall satisfaction.
Setting up and updating a system to regularly market your services to prospects and existing clients can be time consuming. An assistant can help you manage your regular client touches like a newsletter, client outreach about new product and service opportunities, and regular updates on your website and social media accounts. An assistant can also help you quickly respond to market or economic conditions when you need to share timely information rapidly.
Day-to-day management of a financial advisor’s practice and keeping track of all client transactions—and the regulatory or compliance requirements that go along with each—is time consuming. An assistant who is organized and well-versed in financial products, services and regulatory requirements can make sure client transactions are recorded properly and all required client paperwork is organized and stored properly.
When looking for an assistant, many financial advisors prefer to hire a candidate with a college degree, although this is not required. Financial training and/or prior experience working for a financial institution are highly desirable. Work experience where client support is required is also helpful. Other important attributes include time management skills, mathematical ability, an understanding of investment concepts, and basic technical skills to easily navigate and learn your practice’s systems.
Beyond the skills required, you will want to select a candidate who has similar values and shares your philosophy about what’s required to effectively service clients. Along with posting the role on job sites, you can also ask your network for recommendations and inquire with local colleges about recruitment opportunities.
Increase your service levels and free up time to be more productive today. Consider adding an assistant to help you take your practice to the next level.
For more information about Momentum Independent Network, contact Brian Neil at Brian.Neil@hilltopsecurities.com or 214-953-4190.
The paper/commentary was prepared by Momentum Independent Network (MIN). It is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal or investment advice. The statements within constitute the views of MIN as of the date of the document and may differ from the views of other divisions/departments of affiliate Hilltop Securities Inc. In addition, the views are subject to change without notice.
Momentum Independent Network Inc. is a registered broker-dealer and registered investment adviser that does not provide tax or legal advice. MIN and HilltopSecurities are wholly owned subsidiaries of Hilltop Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: HTH) located at 717 N. Harwood St., Suite 3400, Dallas, TX 75201 (214) 859-1800, 833-4HILLTOP. Member FINRA/SIPC
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