by Nicole Callies
In a world that is still virtual, our new normal, I was able to listen into the NICSA SLF conference and network virtually. Although times have changed, the main theme of the conference was around the pandemic and how firms have adapted during these times. It was great to hear from others on how well we have all been able to adapt. It truly shows how much as an industry we have grown over the past year.
Looking back several years ago, who would have thought that we would all be working from our homes. During these times I have noticed that it has made us all more humanized. We are seeing dogs in the background on zoom calls, kids running through the room while homeschooling. This pandemic has changed all of our thoughts, not only on how we will all communicate going forward but how prospecting and teaching others about technology and tools can keep them ahead of the curve in this changing atmosphere.
Not being able to physically be in front of people has made it more challenging to start new relationships. This is forcing firms to be more strategic in their plans. These plans will have to continue into the future. It has been said that once things go back to our old “normal” our industry will never be the same. It is anticipated that wholesalers will never go back to just 100% travel. There are many factors to consider. Advisors will not all want to be back in the office full time. About 1/3 will continue to work remotely. Another 3rd will only work in the office in more of a hybrid capacity. It was stated at the SLF conference that firms are thinking once it is safe to travel they will only be going 60-70% at most to in-person meetings.
Getting sales teams on board with technology can be hard. During these times because people are home it has forced wholesalers to use technology more now than they ever have. Firms have said that sales teams are using their data more to concentrate where efforts need to be placed. Making things easier and more streamlined can take away some of the pain points on this. Our mobile capabilities allow the user to speak their notes.
It has been important to have strong relationships with exciting clients. Those in the industry that had cell phone numbers have done well. Sales teams were able to still stay easily in contact to maintain those relationships and keep their business. While keeping existing clients is important it is just as important to still make new relationships. Combining prospecting data with your sales data has made the difference to see where you might have new opportunities.
Firms will have to be better at cost control. This includes using technology more to leverage distribution. Our MARS platform has a lot of options for firms to navigate the new waters many firms will find themselves in or to facilitate what you have already been trying to manage. SalesFocus Solutions has been working with asset management firms for 20 years to assist our clients with leveraging our MARS platform to increase assets and, especially now, to stay ahead of the new “normal” that we will encounter that was talked about at the SLF conference. Here are 4 steps your firm can take now to get ahead of the curve in this new normal:
- Concentrate on what you are good at and embrace technology to have more scale and reduce risk. This will allow you to make smart choices. Our MARS platform can pull all of your books of business into one space. We have many tools to segment your trades and get a good handle on profiling your contacts. You can then start concentrating on retaining your assets and growing them. This is key when only having one system for your virtual team to learn to navigate. It also allows for more standardized reports.
- Take a look at your current dealers. Segment those advisors to know who your key players are currently and track how that changes as time goes. Being able to automate this process allows resources to open up on other items that need to be concentrated on.
- Profile your contacts to find out how they want to be contacted in this changing environment. This will be an important part of knowing how to align your resources and territories account increasing your digital print.
- Don’t be afraid to partner with others. This will keep your overall costs down in the long run. With the MARS platform, our team is here to partner with you. This keeps costs down on hiring consultants for different projects you might run into.
We would be more than happy to give more ideas of how our partnership can assist your firm with more ideas during our new “normal”. Please reach out with any questions.