How to Survive the Attack of the Robo-Advisors

Automation has been a popular topic as of late, with the concern that many jobs currently occupied by actual humans will become obsolete as technology advances.

Those who work in the financial services industry certainly aren’t immune to the threat of automation. In fact, there are already a number of popular apps and websites meant to assist people with the kinds of services they’d normally get from an advisor.

If you’re committed to working in this industry for the long haul, you need to be willing to go the extra mile for your existing and prospective clients—proving, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that those slightly cheaper robo-advisors are no match for a living, breathing expert.

Here are a few steps you can take to make sure your clients stick with you for life.

Provide a personal touch.

Think about any mom-and-pop businesses you patronize. You choose to buy from them, despite the fact that you’d save money if you went to a big box store or shopped online. Why do you keep going back?

Maybe it’s because of the personalized service you get, or the accountability that comes with an actual, in-person transaction. Whatever your reasons for sticking with these businesses, figure out ways you can replicate their most appealing qualities in your own practice.

For instance, while you can’t provide 24/7 availability to your clients, you can show you care about their best interests by consistently responding in a reasonable amount of time with thoughtful feedback that takes all their needs into account. When you personalize your messaging, you remind your clients that they aren’t just being catered to by an algorithm, but instead, by someone who is deeply invested in their future.

Appeal to your history together.

One thing that apps are not very good at is offering reassurance. If you’ve worked with a client for a long time, you can find ways to subtly remind them of this in your conversations. For example, you might reference something the two of you talked about a year or two ago. You’ll impress your client with your recall, while assuring them your knowledge runs deep.

When you remind clients of your past together, you’re not just appealing to their sense of loyalty—you’re also making them feel more secure. After all, you’ve helped them through difficult times in the past, and you’ll be prepared to do so again and again, if the need arises.

Offer value not related to your business.

As part of your regular communications with clients, you might already be sending them things like market reports or other updates that directly relate to your business. But are you doing anything to connect on a genuine, human level?

In order to maintain lasting, meaningful connections with your clients, it’s important to cultivate a relationship that transcends business. You could start by finding out what your clients’ interests or hobbies are. Once you know what your clients care about beyond their financial security, you have so many more opportunities for organic conversations. Then, you can use your knowledge of their interests to offer even more value. For example, you could send them an email or text with a link to an article you think they’ll like.

Another thing you can send is a branded, customized magazine from ReminderMedia. Each 48-page issue contains a variety of compelling articles and delicious recipes that anyone can enjoy. Even better: every issue comes with a letter that can be personalized down to the individual recipient—ensuring you’ll stay top of mind with all of your most valued clients.

Check in regularly.

Ultimately, your clients choose to stick with you because you’ve established a solid relationship, built on trust and regular communication.

Of course, technology has gotten pretty good at the latter—auto-generating emails and notifications that are sent out to users at regular intervals. But the difference between you and the bots is that your clients know your messages come from the heart.

Download a PDF sample of American Lifestyle to stay in touch with past clients.

When you check in with a client on their birthday, ahead of a major holiday, or after they’ve been promoted, they know you aren’t just doing so because of some algorithm. They know your phone call, text, or email comes from a place of genuine interest and loyalty. Plus, you can use a phone call around a life milestone as an excuse to have a conversation about their financial well-being, which will do even more to remind your client of your value.

It’s important to remember that, while the actual services you provide are what brings your clients to the table, it’s your ability to build trust and offer value that encourages them to stick around. By maintaining rock-solid relationships with every single one of your clients, you’ll have a business that not only survives automation, but thrives.

Written by Kevin McElvaney

Zealous wordie and reluctant writer of short bios. I'm dedicated to creating useful and educational content.