Technological advance is often presented as a great threat to any profession where human interaction is at the heart.
In financial services, the doomsday prospect of being replaced by robots is a frightening one, and new digital wealth planning tools such as Nutmeg do present a challenge to the status quo.
People can equip themselves with an ever-growing armoury of Apps, robo-advice and machine-learning that does empower them somewhat.
If taken advantage of, the financial services industry becomes more accessible and less shrouded in mystery.
That’s good, right?
A chance to add value everywhere:
It’s a positive challenge. Technological advances provide the opportunity to connect with clients in new and exciting ways. Rather than digging heals in, it’s a change to embrace, modernising and adding value to your service.
It’s not human Vs robot. It doesn’t have to be either or. There is no intrinsic dichotomy.
After all, humans invented machines. Let’s harness them to develop our businesses and provide massive improvements in the service that we offer to clients. Everywhere.
With technology, you can reach existing and potential clients through so many different mediums- social media, apps, online content, educational platforms- strengthening the relationship. This goes for every industry.
If you’re creative, bold and innovative, the possibilities are endless when it comes to engaging with your audience. Let’s not get left behind.
Back to finance….
Some Advice for our Advisers:
Financial planning should be a central part of all of our lives. The earlier that we get to grips with it, the better.
Yet, the financial services industry has so often been seen as the preserve of the very wealthy, or something that you put off until you’re older.
Make financial services more accessible:
If advisers make financial planning more accessible and connect with clients at an earlier stage, using not resisting technology, far from making yourselves redundant, you’ll stay relevant.
This takes great confidence and security in the real value of your expertise in delivering human financial advice.
The survival of the role does not, and must not depend on keeping clients in the dark and wholly dependent.
Your strength cannot depend on the weakness and confusion of your clients.
The fact is, this extra education, support and information is out there. If you don’t take steps to empower clients with it, they can get it elsewhere.
Clients will start thinking: “Why am I being kept in the dark? I’m not sure about these fees. Am I being taken advantage of?”
By focusing on keeping clients weak and dependent and seeing robo-advice as a threat, the trust in the relationship is damaged.
People are more independent now. People want to understand exactly where and how their money is being spent.
By providing this information, you involve them in the planning process. This needn’t be a threat to your expertise.
Strengthen your client relationships:
By empowering clients, you may reduce their dependence on you and contribute to their sense of financial independence and autonomy.
However, you’ll strengthen your client relationships in the long-run. No longer dependent on each other, you’re interdependent.
This relationship is “win/win” in the truest sense whereas the previous relationship relied on keeping clients vulnerable and uneducated. This will no longer wash.
Clients will no longer employ you because they are utterly lost and need you. (Well, of course, some will) More and more, clients will begin to employ you because they want you, and they fully understand the value of your expert advice.
The relationship should become more collaborative. The less understanding that clients have, the less ownership they can take over their financial future. I have strong hunch that clients will increasingly want to understand and be involved. I say, great!
When talking about creating mission statements within business, Stephen Covey says, “No involvement, no commitment.” We can apply this logic to the financial planning process.
By involving clients in the mission from the very outset, you’ll get far greater commitment from them, and a greater investment in the relationship.
The Broader Picture:
So yes, technological advances can seem scary, in any profession where human interaction is at the core.
I say turn that fear into excitement. Harness technology to reach a wider audience, strengthen your client relationships and achieve better outcomes.
This is how:
- Be Secure in your value
- Embrace Change
- Empower your clients
- Build stronger, interdependent relationships
- Think Win/Win
Robots will never replace the human element at the very core of what you do. However, through synergy with rather than resistance to technology, you’ll create a service that truly works for your changing audiences and stay relevant.
Take a look at our post on the Trust Equation for more on this.
From our clients
The Speakers’ Gym is like the iPhone. You don’t realise you need it until you have it, and then you can’t live without it.
Magda Gonzalez, Group CFO, Monex Europe
It was completely practical and the open-forum feedback was so valuable. You created a safe environment for everyone to learn. Thank you!
Nicola Koronka, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Missive
I was recommended by a friend who works in the same sector to contact The Speakers’ Gym to help me with my presentation delivery skills and I have not been disappointed with the results. Chris and Jonny work with you to provide bespoke training for your goals and needs. They are highly professional and make you feel at ease from the first minute the first session begins. I would highly recommend them to those who have a role which involves public speaking!
Julia Peake,Technical Development Manager, Sanlam
It has challenged both my thinking and approach and I will be sure to keep The Speakers’ Gym ‘fireworks’ readily available on my desk to refer to when not only presenting but also when needed through everyday management.
Liz Paradine – Chief Operations Manager - 7iM
Transact first engaged with The Speaker Gym late in 2018 where Chris & Jonny made a concerted effort to get under the skin of our business and understand how they could best help us hone our presentational and empathetic skills. The resulting sessions were hugely helpful giving my team plenty of opportunity to practice and also benefit from a great deal of feedback, not just from Chris & Jonny but by including the rest of the Transact team in the feedback and group learning too. I would highly recommend The Speakers Gym
Glen Sweet, Head of Sales, Transact
Working with The Speakers’ Gym has been fantastic. We knew what we wanted to say and who we wanted to speak to, so all we needed was technique. Or so we thought. Chris and Jonny helped us to understand the key elements of communication, through a structured process. We now think about communication in a completely different way. There’s a line they gave us that now resonates in my head, every time I write or talk to someone about what we do. We feel we’ve met two great guys and they’ve become an important part of us, our story and how we tell it to others.
Thomas Skinner, Founder, Barnaby Cecil Financial Planning
The impact of The Speakers’ Gym™ at Mako can only be described as transformational. Over a three month period, they helped transition a group of individuals into a highly collaborative and consultative leadership team. Chris and Jonny have a unique ability to connect individuals with their true purpose, driving them towards self-reflection and ultimately growth. Overall the entire experience of working with them has been a pleasure and I am deeply grateful for their impact. They more than surpassed my expectations and I look forward to working with them again in the future!
Trystan Morgan-Schauer, CEO, Mako
We engaged The Speakers’ Gym to provide us with clarity and direction in the look, feel and messaging of the Worldmaker brand in preparation for our official launch. From start to finish, the process has been truly collaborative. They worked with the expertise and experience in our team to create branding that truly represents who we are and what we represent, whilst moving us into a more modern, expressive space – which was our desire. We know that we’re in great hands with The Speakers’ Gym. We’ll certainly be continuing to work with them
Mollie Marti, CEO, Worldmaker International
They first took the time to understand our brief and delivered the programme incorporating our culture and brand throughout. They were thought provoking and their unique techniques very well received.
Mairi Cameron, Learning Manager, Nucleus Financial
The Speakers’ Gym gave me the skills and confidence to be my normal self whilst speaking and facilitating. They took the anxiety out of public speaking and gave me practical tools to prepare for and manage public engagements. They also helped me to engage more meaningfully with my clients, for which I am thankful. Highly recommend them.
Matthew Marais, Director, Vertus Capital
I found the sessions to be a revelation, and I wish I had known some of the techniques sooner. It has completely changed my mindset and focused me in on the needs of the audience. With that, the ability to achieve those aspirations has come more naturally. There is always room for improvement, and I will definitely be revisiting The Speakers’ Gym for a refresher from time to time.
Kelly Devlin, Wealth Management Consultant - St. James’s Place Wealth Management