Like a solid investment strategy, the plan is one thing, its execution is another. The sheer force of information driven into the hands of financial advisors demands they be equipped with relevant technologies. Although our advisors support a very specific purpose in the financial world, it is every business owner’s objective to satisfy client goals by outfitting their employees and associates for success.
Data exchange is a three-way street. As investment professionals supporting people’s financial lives, we must be able to harness all available material in real-time, while presenting the client-facing information in clear and relatable formats. This is why off-the-shelf software solutions are not the best answer.
Custom Strategies, Custom Technologies
In building Good Life Advisors, this has been one of my top priorities – to make information accessible to our experts and easily deliverable to our clients. To optimize this functionality, one of my primary goals was to assess available technologies, customize some to suit, and use the rest innovatively.
Basically, the due diligence we commit to our clients doesn’t end at forward-thinking financial advisement strategies, but to the forward-thinking technologies that bring insight to light.
Anyone who has ever put fingers to keyboard knows that technology can be an ally or an enemy. Not because it is unreliable, but because it can be overwhelming sorting through all the tools out there.
Here at Good Life, I utilize third-party technologies, but adapt them to meet our business needs:
1. We customized Salesforce through the use of a third party developer to tailor its power. After a comprehensive internal assessment of the best possible flow, we identified all facets of the sales process from prospecting to business processing, and client relationship management. We then sorted these into four main pillars and from these, processed customized fields, work flows, and reports that were streamlined to meet our needs.
2. We customized the salesforce mobile application to quickly add a prospect we meet at an event, add a sales opportunity for a new or existing client, and also send off a task instantaneously to our assistants while we are in client meetings; all through our cell phones.
3. Our office is 100% paperless. We track every account transfer through our customized salesforce process. Our account values and information are automatically updated daily through a data feed from our broker dealer. We leverage that auto-update feature to customize reports for our team’s use.
4. We utilize VOIP technology for our phone system. All voice mails and fax transmissions are sent directly to e-mails so nothing is missed. As needed, all calls can be seamlessly transferred to our cell phones while not appearing to the caller as a re-route. For outbound calls, our advisors use an app on their cell phone that carries their office caller ID. Clean, client-facing communication makes for a transparent experience.
5. In concert with VOIP trafficking our calls, we also use Apple Watches to answer phone calls that are forwarded from our office lines and to monitor incoming and outgoing e-mails; accessibility is central to our function. To further that automation, we also leverage the Salesforce app on our phones to call out to clients. Once the phone call is complete we are prompted to immediately log the call notes directly from the app.
6. Smart TVs in each office which allow for Bluetooth synchronization with our PCS allow clients to view financial plans and reports on a generously proportioned screen. Go to Meeting and Join.Me allow for screen sharing with our out-of-town clients for a more personal experience.
7. We utilize DocuSign, a third party software to allow our forms to be signed electronically and sent back securely with personal information.
Not every technology suits every application, and what works for Good Life versus what will work for your company is as different as the companies themselves. I have found, however, that the best solutions are not always the most obvious ones. A thoughtful evaluation combined with a complete understanding of what your business requires, will allow any office to be technologically furnished.
A co-founder and managing partner at Good Life Advisors, Courtnie Nein is part of the movement in financial advisement and wealth management that offers the anti-establishment alternative to traditional investment advice solutions. Good Life is perpetuating the trend of creating personalized financial plans founded on an objective and unbiased business model. Currently running the day-to-day operations and on-boarding processes at Good Life, the forward-thinking technologies and the infrastructure she has implemented have been a driving force in making GLA one of the fastest growing hybrid RIAs.