Your IndustrySep 2 2020

Advisers have benefited from lockdown

Search sponsored by

Back in May, I discussed some of the potential benefits some advisers might see as a result of the new ways of working dictated by lockdown. 

Just a few months later, we now have data to show exactly how this national experiment has impacted the thoughts and feelings of advisers, as they adjust to giving remote advice.

As predicted a few months ago, a huge segment of advisers will want to take some of these new working practices forward.

Video conferencing has not hindered new business, with 77 per cent of advisers saying they have gained clients 

The headline figure from a survey of around 300 of Quilter’s advisers is that 88 per cent would want to continue to provide some form of remote advice option, as we progress out of lockdown.

The good news is that video conferencing has not hindered new business, with 77 per cent of advisers saying they have gained clients during the period.

However, it seems it has not been plain sailing for everyone. When asked how easy adapting to remote advice had been during lockdown, the average answer out of 10 was 6.8.

Unsurprisingly, the research also showed while there is a big space for remote advice even after social distancing is dropped, it cannot replace aspects of a face-to-face meeting.

The most common thought was that the trust built up in a face-to-face environment is hard to replicate virtually, although not impossible.

We need to recognise that a relationship created through video advice may be intrinsically different. 

It has always been important to structure meetings, but in a remote world this becomes crucial as a means to increasing a client’s understanding and amplifying trust.

Behavioural economics can provide the profession with tools and tricks to ensure trust is built and then maintained.

For instance, our advisers have found it is important in client meetings to focus on wide time brackets.

By nature we look at the short term, so when your client meetings come around, ensure they understand that it is not just about the past month or even the past 12 months.

As we start to move into the next phase of the pandemic, whatever that will look like, it is exciting to consider what has worked for the adviser community during this strange period, and how some of those things can be retained.

I am particularly excited about the benefits remote advice can bring in freeing up time for advisers and attracting new advisers, which we will need as many advisers retire.

But to do this right we need to learn from other professions, such as behavioural economics.

Scott Stevens is director of recruitment and acquisitions for Quilter Financial Planning