How to Drive Consumer Empowerment as an Advisor
Looking after clients is at the heart of everything we do, while delivering a personalized and meaningful client experience. It’s also the key to differentiation in an industry known for its painful sameness. So, what can advisors and fintech providers do to elevate their client experience to make a positive impact on their clients lives and drive new business?
The answer is in consumer empowerment.
I recently had the privilege of moderating a panel at AdviceTech.LIVE with amazing panelists including Emily Binder, founder of WealthVoice, Ross Riskin, Chief Learning Officer at the Investments & Wealth Institute, and Diana Yáñez, founder of All the Colors. We explored the impact of consumer empowerment from the perspectives of a financial advisor, a coach, and an educator and shared our thoughts on how our industry can foster clarity, certainty and confidence in clients so that they feel in control of their financial lives.
What is Consumer Empowerment?
Consumer empowerment is the process of providing knowledge, tools and resources to help make people feel confident and educated about their decisions. It’s about lifting up the consumer so they believe in the decisions they make and can feel ownership, fulfilment and an aware responsibility for their actions and choices. Empowering the consumer is critical because knowledge transfer increases personal power and has an impact on that person’s life experience and filters through to their direct community, uplifting all. New Skool advisors know that this type of knowledge transfer drives engagement, it helps to increase retention and moves your business from transactional to meaningful ongoing relationships.
Here are 5 Tips for Advisors and Service Providers to Drive Consumer Empowerment
- Pause and listen. In addition to her CFP® designation, Diana is also a Registered Life Planner (RLP®). Coaching takes a tremendous level of empathy and a high EQ, and one of the key components to understanding the right questions to ask simply comes down to listening. “While we are experts in our field, it’s very important to listen and understand their money story,” Diana says. “We give them the tools, support and education based on their needs, but allowing the consumer to feel heard, understood and then informed leads to smarter, more confident decision making.”
- Create engaging, purpose-driven content. Emily works with firms and providers who understand both the power of leveraging multiple modalities for delivering engaging content and that everything we create and distribute should be purposeful. “Creating content should not be a sales pitch,” Emily says. “Instead, think of offering free value to your consumer and let them come to you with their questions and needs.” While constantly creating purpose-driven content may seem daunting, it’s more important to create value rather than output – so pick one day every two weeks or so and create a video that you think would be valuable to your audience. Then, take that content and create short videos from it and rinse and repeat!
- Use visuals when speaking with your consumer. As an educator, Ross knows a few things about optimizing a learning experience when it comes to financial education. “Who wants to read through 40 pages of a PowerPoint deck?,” Ross asks. “Not only is that more difficult to understand but it also doesn’t keep your consumer engaged. Rather, why not listen and pause – ask clients what they’d like to hear about – and create a key graphic and video to explain your message?”
- Meet your consumer where they are. Keep in mind that even as advisors and providers, we’re also consumers. Where do we go for information and education? Who do we consider experts on topics? What are we watching and listening to? This will be helpful as you consider multiple channels of communications and how impactful they will be with your audience (think emails, social media, podcasts, blogs, videos, etc.). The key is to be accessible and offer value on the platforms you know consumers are already using.
- Be a good teacher. While we pride ourselves on understanding the complexities of finance and continue to strive for education and growth in our professional lives, what matters most is how our communication is received and processed by our clients. Often, people need information simplified. They want to feel okay asking questions without barriers of not knowing enough. And don’t underestimate the power of storytelling – use experiences your client can relate to and take the time to value their voice in the conversation.
It’s time to meet your clients where they are and start that conversation!
Want more tips? Watch the full video on YouTube for more insights from the AdviceTech.LIVE panel!