When times are tough, it’s time to dig deep

Image by Rudy and Peter Skitterians

Image by Rudy and Peter Skitterians

by Richard Braidwood COO, Visible Capital

“It’s tough for clients to build trust with someone they have never met.” That’s how Mike Barrett, director with consulting firm Lang Cat, quoted on citywire, summed up the difficulties facing advisers in the ongoing battle to win new clients during the pandemic.

He talked about the new business drought sweeping the industry and how much of this is down to virtual meetings working well for existing clients but not for new business where relationship building is crucial.

The need to continue a dialogue with our existing customers and the very real need to reach out to new ones was one the reasons our Visible Capital team launched VCTV during lockdown. Our Ricky Gervais Show-style interviews were not only immensely fun to record and gave us opportunities to pick the brains of industry gurus like Anthony Rafferty, but kicked us out of our own echo chamber and allowed us to keep engaging with potential new clients.

But there’s no denying its tough out there just now and there’s a very urgent need for the financial advice community to respond to an environment where Lang Cat’s research showed that 58% of respondents said “acquiring new clients had been significantly harder during the pandemic and they were not confident about the long winter months ahead.”

During these long winter months we intend to bring a little more cheer and challenging thinking to the financial services community. We’re not done with VCTV yet or the animated versions of our professional selves.

But our real focus will be on helping our clients to ride out the current storm and develop crucial ongoing strategies for calmer waters ahead - by mining data insights to generate revenue opportunities.

Of course firms must continue in whatever way they can to identify new business opportunities and keep communicating with their markets. But it’s also a time to maximise existing resources and exploit the enormous potential of Open Banking technology to identify areas of existing customers’ investment portfolios that could be improved - with  the associated benefits for Advisers.

And I’m not ashamed of using the word “exploit”. Using our sophisticated data insights technology to identify new opportunities or weaknesses in customers’ wealth portfolios is “exploiting” the resources of powerful technology to deliver a win-win situation - better returns on investments for customers and enhanced revenue streams for financial advisors.

We are all looking forward to a time when we can sit across a desk from an existing or new customer and build back both relationships and businesses. But in the meantime, there is a wealth of customer data insights to mine and rewards to be reaped.

It’s time to dig deep.

Richie Braidwood