As many of you know, Leading Advisor has been virtual for decades. However, after 2020’s lockdown, I’ve seen loads of articles and blogs on how to become a virtual financial advisor.
Many of these blogs suggest using Web-Based video conferencing platforms and many other advanced tools. So I thought about writing this article as a form of introduction to this new virtual world.
If you’ve never done a virtual meeting with a client and don’t have a clue on how to introduce the idea, I suggest you stay until the end of this article. I will give you eleven tips on how to become a virtual financial advisor and also some advice for you to manage the virtual exhaustion that comes with this new era.
11 tips on how to become a virtual financial advisor
1. Get out of overwhelm & manage your time
Working virtually requires self-discipline and good time management habits.
If this is a challenge for you, you can check the following links:
- Time Basics Bandits and Bonuses’ Resource Guide
2. Clients already have virtual communications with family and friends: use that!
Virtual is not new to your clients.
So you could ask your clients if they’re communicating with family and friends via FaceTime or Skype.
You’ll be surprised how many of your seventy, eighty, and ninety-year-old clients are already doing this.
3. Let your clients know that you want to have a virtual meeting with them
You can go with something like:
“Given you are already having virtual meetings with your family and friends, I would like to have a virtual meeting with you!”
Schedule your meeting as you would typically do. Then, let your clients know that they’ll receive an email with a link to click so that they can join your virtual meeting.
Let your clients know that you will contact them at the scheduled time and talk them through the steps to join the virtual meeting.
4. Learn about web-based video/audio conferencing platforms
Do you know what a Web-Based Video/Audio Conferencing Platform is?
Web conferencing software allows participants to conduct or attend meetings via the Internet. This is also known as online/virtual meeting software. It enables remote meetings based on VoIP, video conferencing, instant messaging, file and screen sharing. The most widely used are GoToMeeting, Skype, and Zoom.
I don’t have the patience for Skype, and I find it temperamental with dropping calls and video delays. Web-Based applications allow you to use either a telephone connection or VoIP for the audio and the Internet for the visual.
I’ve been using GoToMeeting for years. I am used to it, and most business people are familiar with it. However, I’ve been hearing that Zoom is easier to navigate for non-business clients that are not familiar with Web-Based Video/Audio conferencing.
5. Practice at least five GoToMeeting or Zoom short meetings with someone in your office
Everyone has the jitters when using a new app or software, as they are not quite sure where the buttons are.
So, instead of doing it for the first time with your clients, you can practice with some of your colleagues from the office. Then you’ll have the chance to detect any issues with the software before your client’s appointments.
So first, make a few meetings with someone you know. Get the practice. Fix any errors that come up. And get familiar with the conference platform you chose to work with.
That way, when the appointment comes, you can talk your clients through the steps to join your virtual meeting.
6. Ask your clients to prepare for your meeting in advance
In advance of our coaching calls, clients complete a prep form, which includes the following questions:
- What have I accomplished since our last call?
- What didn’t I get done but intended to?
- The challenges and problems that I am facing now
- The opportunities that are available to me right now
- I want to use the coach during the call to…
- What Assignments / Tasks do I promise to do by our next call?
You can check our video on successful virtual team meetings for more information about these steps:
Ask your clients to prepare for your meeting in advance by answering questions like these and sending you their answers before the meeting.
You can also use your imagination to modify these questions, so they suit your specific business.
For example, what changes have happened in your business/career/job/profession and family?
7. Record your meetings
Web-Based Video/Audio conferencing platforms can record your meeting audios or videos.
This will significantly help with compliance and getting to know your client.
Remember to let your client know that you will record the meeting and make sure they are ok with that.
8. Send your client follow-up notes
Society has been virtual for decades. Pre-internet we used phones and fax machines. When the Internet and email came along, we added AudioAcrobat to record our coaching calls.
Then, we started using GoToMeeting when it became available. While we can record coaching calls using GoToMeeting, we continue to use AudioAcrobat to record coaching calls because it gives us flexibility.
We send an audio link to the client to listen to the recording when they have time. That way, we can transcribe portions of the recording and send the transcription to our clients for review. We also use AudioAcrobat to record follow-up notes.
9. Client follow-up notes can be re-purposed for social media
When I complete my coaching call, I summarize my notes into bullet points and then use these bullet points, and AudioAcrobat wraps up my notes.
A team member will retrieve the recording and transcribe my notes. They’ll organize my notes and add assignments, links, and processes. Finally, they return the draft to me, which I finalize and forward to the client.
If the content is generic and of particular interest, I’ll use portions of the material for social media as others might benefit from the ideas. This blog is a good example.
Also, you can check our article on 15 Content Ideas for Financial Advisors on Social Media
10. Organize your client follow-up notes before the next client meeting
In advance of our next coaching call, we send our clients an email to remind them of their appointment. That way, they can submit their homework, complete the Coaching Call Client Prep Form, and go through the notes from our previous call.
I also take the time to re-read my notes and any material the client submits. That way, I consider myself to be 100% organized for the meeting.
11. Some useful links on web-based video/audio conferencing platforms
9 Tips to manage virtual exhaustion (after you learned how to become a virtual financial advisor)
So far we have gone through the basics of how to become a virtual financial advisor. Now, I would like to give you some advice on getting exhausted in this new virtual era.
The world is changing fast, and we naturally want to flow with it. But don’t forget that your mental health always goes first. And here are some tips on managing virtual exhaustion and not getting overwhelmed in the meantime of becoming a virtual advisor.
- Reduce NEWS – you are not a container for what is real or unreal
- Schedule “virtual” free, buffer and focus days/time blocks: you can check more about this in our blog article: Time management for financial adivors: 7 basics
- Schedule 1-hour virtual meetings and 15 minutes’ buffer times
- Prepare for your meetings in advance
- Settle 3-5 minutes before your meeting
- Breath and affirm your values
- Be 100% present. Don’t multi-task
- Understand communication is: 7% words, 38% voice quality, and 55% physiology
- Breath and stretch after your virtual meetings