The digital landscape and the financial services industry is evolving rapidly today and because of this, even the process of selling the services through the digital medium has to be upgraded or changed. Adapting to ever changing digital environment has its own unique set of challenges. A combination of factors like increased competition, changes in consumer behavior, new digital technologies means independent financial advisor has to be updated and has to adopt these new channels of sales.
Knowledge remains the key to overcome these challenges in an ever changing business landscape. A complete understanding of digital, social, financial and possible future trends in the industry are key to the IFA's success. Here we have shared some key challenges faced by agents in today's time.
In today's digital world 92% of the B2B buyers conduct online research before buying and more than 57% (average)of research is complete before buyer reaches out to sales in our case the Independent financial advisors. Because the information is easily available online individual prefer doing online search and making up the mind about the product and then reaching out to Independent financial advisors if needed. Hence many times the agent gets too late into the buyer decision-making process.
Millennial are difficult to market financial products and since the information is easily available online they do their search online and buy it online if needed, the window for the IFA to interact with the millennial is much lesser than the previous generations. Millennial also have a peculiar behavior, they prefer to have a relationship online and then take it offline if needed, Since Independent financial advisors are not present / active online they are losing out on that relationship building process and completely lose out on the potential sales he or she could make
In earlier times the IFA was concerned only about offline marketing and reaching out to people through outbound marketing. With Internet there are multiple marketing channels that's around, which makes it difficult for an IFA to ensure that their message is out there as effectively as possible.
Once on-boarded the activation rate of Independent financial advisors is less than 50%. This leads to a loss of a huge number of potential Independent financial advisors and potential sales in their network. If Independent financial advisors manage to make their first few sales easily they are motivated to continue scaling up their business. Social media may open these first few leads for them easily.
Independent financial advisors find it difficult in overcoming the stereotypes associated with the financial industry and specifically sales.
Instead of having to talk to local IFAs, one can simply access the website of a recognized financial web aggregator to find out all the necessary information required by him. In this process, the Independent financial advisors lose out and are at a disadvantage due to the aggregators extended reach and deep pockets for marketing.
There are many things that the IFA needs to do to overcome these difficulties. But one of the easier things that they can start off with is being active and present on social networks. Being active on Social Network and sharing finance related content on the social networks leads to having a top of mind recall with their friends, family which can lead to referrals and inbound leads.