Building any team requires careful thought and preparation, especially if you want yours to thrive in the competitive world of finance.
The Financial Advice market is full of competition, but also offers excellent opportunities for anybody who is savvy enough to make themselves stand out from the crowd. With hundreds of Financial Advice firms active all around the UK, giving their customers and clients support on everything from the changing market to their pensions, there has never been a higher demand for high-quality advice in a market that is filled with customers seeking guidance.
Given that one in three consumers who take action without financial advice later regret their decision, this guidance is something that a successful Financial Advice firm can offer. But what do you need to consider when building a team that can deliver the best service to clients, and what approach do you need to take if you want to stand out from your competitors?
Here’s what you need to think about.
A good mentoring system
Any team needs a good mix of new talent and old hands, and if you want to make the most of what both can offer then you need to be on hand to offer support to your staff. The age of the average financial planner is increasing, along with that of their client base, so if you want to cultivate talented advisers of your own- and retain them afterwards- you need a good mentoring system in place to nurture your newest recruits. Partner them with an older adviser, and get them to shadow them in order to pick up tricks of the trade rather than any bad habits they might develop by themselves. As millennials planning to stay with their employer are twice as likely to have a mentor as not, this is something you should be thinking about if you want to build up a talented, competent team of advisers.
An ability to specialise
If you want to stand out from your competition, then you need to offer something new to your customers. It’s a good idea therefore to find a niche within the market where you can specialise: after all, the financial market is so vast that it’s a much better idea to be an expert in one area rather than generalise across several. Whether it’s working with specific companies or working within life transitions, offering advice to people hoping to take out loans or plan for their pensions, this approach will likely net you a base of loyal customers.
A customer-first approach
In today’s competitive market, the rise of technology has seen several start-ups attempt to profit from the ease of access that the internet offers its consumers. Though they might not offer as good a service as a traditional Financial Advice firm, they do offer a cheap and easy way to obtain advice.
The way in which traditional companies can grow their client base is to adopt a customer-facing approach that works to foster trust and build up the customer-client relationship. For many millennials, brand authenticity is one of the main factors they consider when choosing whether to buy from a company: though you don’t control market performance or economic activity, you can control your behaviour and that of your staff. Be honest, transparent in your dealings and prompt in delivering your services. Not only will this bolster your reputation and work towards attracting new clients, but it’ll also make it less likely for existing customers to stray.
A learning culture
In economics, nothing stays the same for long. Whether it’s the shock impact of Brexit, and what that might mean for the UK’s economy, or smaller factors like a shrinking customer base or better technology, the market is always changing, which in turn means that customer needs are always changing.
If you want to stay on top of this, and develop a consistent, up-to-date market offering for your clients, then you need to encourage your staff to keep learning. Get them to enroll on courses; encourage them to learn about different areas of the market or take a crash course in a new software that might help your company be more efficient.
A knack for staying ahead of the curve
In order to thrive in the volatile market, you need to be able to spot which trends are shaping it in order to capitalise on the opportunities it offers.
Although an older client base is becoming more prominent in Financial Advice, the industry is also seeing a marked shift towards asset management. Set to increase to an expected $28tn in total wealth by 2018, the average age of investors is also decreasing. Though servicing a young clientele doesn’t necessarily mean you need to change your practice management and recommendations, it does make a persuasive case for brushing up on prominent modern issues like Bitcoin and getting savvy with marketing and technology, building up a younger client base on social media platforms like Twitter or Facebook.
A good team
A good Financial Advice company is nothing without its staff, and that’s why you need to put a lot of effort into finding people who will add value to the business. Evaluate your needs: which areas are you hoping to branch out into, and which people do you need to help you deliver a quality service in those areas? Whether it’s a stockbroker or banker, once you know what your team’s strengths are, then you’ll be able to hire people to help fill in the gaps to create a strong workforce.
To do this, it may be worth going through a recruitment agency rather than a traditional job board: when it comes to finding skilled, qualified staff, an agency that will actively search for passive candidates you might not be able to find using job boards and aggregators could make all the difference.
At IDEX, we take pride in staying on top of the changing financial market, so we can match the most promising jobs to the best clients.
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