As most of us shelter at home, laboring to keep the family out of the frame for business-related Zoom calls and waiting to return to business as usual, many realize that business may actually never be the same again.
This new reality is something we better get used to fast.
And yet, not all news is bad news. Virtual communication is going to be one of the silver linings of the new order of business in the financial industry.
Social distancing is hitting the financial services industry particularly hard, especially for its armies of handshaking, back-patting, schmoozing-over-lunch executives, salespeople, managers and advisors. Wealth management – famously a relationship business – is and has always been conducted face-to-face, powered by handshakes and arm squeezes, especially when clients are weathering tough times.
Years ago, a number of, as we see today, were visionary outfits realized that a one-on-one, in-person model would not work in the age of billion-dollar advisory firms. They looked for a way to scale up, to establish presence for multiple clients without actually being in the same room with them. They found their answer in virtual communications like digital, audio, and especially video media. And yet, many financial firms have a history of looking at video with a wary eye. For the most port, they have stuck to face-to-face engagement, which always worked before, even if – as they realize now – it tended to limit their growth.
Then the world heard of something called COVID-19. In a heartbeat, classrooms moved online. Telemedicine became the answer to visits to the doctor. FaceTime calls became the sole lifeline for certain elderly people who wanted to see their grandkids. In short, social distancing has dragged video to center stage in human relationships. Now, video is a normal, even quotidian part of day-to-day interactions. What’s more, it’s a fully accepted and trusted way to interact.
One might be tempted to dismiss the love affair with video engagement as jury-rigging, yet this is no temporary workaround. A crisis like the one we’re going through tends to reshape the entire landscape, and permanently. Someday soon (let us hope) we will be returning to the office, but that doesn’t mean that video will simply surrender its novel role as a crucial communication channel. Business will be putting virtual engagement at the core of their strategy, and the firms that get a head start on video today will be the ones who will do well tomorrow.
Starting is easy; these are the perfect days for DIY. These days, clients are less interested in high production values and more hungry for information and authenticity.
As part of your maiden voyage to the land of video, experiment with devices you already own. Pro tip: no need to spend more than $250 on new equipment. When the crisis ends and the world is no longer from a spare bedroom, your virtual communications will need to evolve. After all, the financial industry offers a very value-added service, and your communications need to reflect your brand.
Video seems hard, but it isn’t, really. Sure, it will alter the type and cadence of your communication, and that might feel uncomfortable at first, until one day it feels like just another day at the office. Well, you know what we mean… Naturally, don’t eschew coaching, tools, and ongoing support.
These days, each of us may feel a little alone, yet so much human kindness, truly impressive innovation, and new standards are being born from this global crisis – right now. Day by day, our isolation will come to an end. We will find more ways to connect than before, and video will be a habitual and valued part of the mix.
For more information, please read:
7 ways for financial advisors to boost video engagement | Financial Planning