1 March 2021
During a recent discussion with a colleague and mentor of mine, he mentioned the impact of COVID-19 on client/adviser communication methods in financial planning, noting more progress has been made in the last 12 months than it has in the past three decades.
Vaccines, COVID-19, border restrictions, masking and quarantine are just some of the changes we’ve adapted to in the past 12 – 24 months and, with them, we’ve seen a sharp uptake in clients and advice providers using virtual or electronic meetings as a method to communicate.
An example that comes to mind is seeing my doctor. I used to travel from the office to the medical clinic on my lunch break, struggle to find a car parking space, sit in the waiting room for 30 minutes for my name to be called out and then spend 15 minutes with the doctor for my annual check-up before proceeding to rush back into the office to be ready for my next appointment!
Now, I book an appointment at any time during the day using an online booking system, meet with my doctor via Zoom, Skype or Microsoft Teams and then return to work in my home office under my freshly implemented flexible working arrangements.
Given the relationship with my doctor is pre-existing, this transition has been almost effortless, but it got me thinking about establishing new professional relationships in a virtual environment. If you can’t meet face-to-face with someone, does it impact the quality of the relationship and your outcomes?
In my experience, the basis for a strong and positive client/adviser relationship remains. It’s about:
- Honesty and Trust: Building a trusting relationship that produces results in the best interest of the client.
- Ability: Engaging a professional who has the experience and expertise to provide the advice that you need, focusing on holistic goal orientated advice not just managing wealth.
- Authentic: A trusted, long term professional relationship with clients includes connection and empathy.
- Availability: Simple things like, do you receive a return phone call? Or do you get access to your adviser? This also includes actively listening to the client.
The reality is, my client base spans from the Gold Coast to Perth. Technology allows me to live with my family in Mildura while I provide high-end financial advice to people across the country and in regions where they may not ordinarily be able to access it.
We are no longer limited by our location to the services or advice providers we can access.
The first step in your search is to be open to a new way of establishing relationships, as the best adviser for you may not be in the same post code.
For peace of mind that all your financial advice, asset management and personal insurance needs are handled by specialists who look at your financial situation holistically, get in touch with the Findex Wealth Management team.