Financial Advisors, Why Aren’t You Using an iPad/Tablet?

Financial Advisors, Why Aren’t You Using an iPad/Tablet?A recent study released on gadget use in the financial services industry from ByAllAccounts, found financial advisors are keeping up with the latest tech devices, with 86.8 percent using laptops, 85.5 percent using smartphones and 41.6 percent using tablets. The brand of choice, when it comes to tablets: Apple’s iPad.

According to Financial Planning, financial planners are adopting the iPad as a business tool four times faster than the next fastest industry, business and professional services.

What is it about the tablet that is so attractive to financial advisors? Aside from the opportunity to stay connected while out of the office, tablets let advisors offer a much more interactive and visual experience with their clients. If you’re just using your tablet for presentations and to check email, you are missing out on a big opportunity to increase revenue, differentiate your services, and improve the client experience.

Financial Planning recently shared how some advisors are using their iPads to improve their business and leverage technology to set them apart from competitors:

Develop Polished Prospect Presentations. The dynamic and interactive nature of these devices allows advisors to display and highlight information in a way which cannot be done with traditional printed presentations. Apple’s Keynote app for the iPad allows you to create presentations and pitch decks which will impress. In particular, Keynote lets you create professional-looking transitions and animations. It is easiest to work in Keynote on a Mac and then import the presentation to your iPad. PowerPoint presentations can also be imported into the Keynote iPad app. If Keynote’s existing presentation themes don’t work for you, you can easily create your own or purchase them through a site.

A Personalized Approach to Client Service. The usable real estate of a tablet is very similar to a printed performance report or financial plan. Being able to manipulate a financial plan in real-time, with the swipe of a finger, creates a unique and personable approach to adjusting client needs. Real-time feedback from manipulating information such as retirement age, child data, real asset values, or forecasting small business valuations connects a client directly with their plan for a more effective implementation strategy.

Present from iPad to iPad. Like most professionals, most advisors have one iPad and share it with prospects or clients when they present information. Consider getting an additional iPad and tethering the two devices so that you can present from your iPad to the guest iPad your prospect or client is using. This makes for a more relaxing presentation environment where you don’t have to lean over to make your point.

Meet Virtually and Save Time. Time is a commodity these days. Tablets allow you the opportunity to “meet” through video conferencing anywhere in the world – you don’t have to be in your office. You can also share your screen to review important information. Check out Facetime, WebEx, GoToMeeting and Fuze Meeting.

Access Client Information from Anywhere. Many advisors use Dropbox to sync files across all of their computers and devices, including desktops, laptops, mobile phones, and their iPad. Having this data in the cloud makes it easy to pull down important documents when you need them and present them on your iPad. You can also access your mobile CRM programs (RedTail, Junxure, etc.) to pull up client information prior to meetings or to consult during meetings. To store files, consider using GoodReader. This iPad app also lets you annotate and mark up documents. Be sure to check with your compliance department to make sure that these apps meet their requirements.

Give Your Clients Access to Their Accounts. Since your clients are already using their iPads to access all sorts of information, consider giving them access to their account information. You can get your own branded iPad app that allows clients to log in and review their account information. This way, clients can stay up to date on their investments and it will allow you to put your firm brand in front of them. Apps which can help you with this include Orion Advisor Services and Black Diamond.

Build your Own App. To help stand out from the competition, some advisors are building their own apps and launching them in the App Store. The apps might be as simple as a portal to push out information, or as complex as a budgeting or planning app. The key is to get your brand in front of as many prospective clients as possible. If you also do marketing events, this is a great way to engage prospects and demonstrate you offer something different than most advisors. It’s a big bonus if you can gather prospect information with your app, so they are engaged and immediately qualified. One such iPad app, branded for advisors, is the Amp app from Boulevard R.

Create Urgency in the Sales Process. Use apps like GoalGetter or Amp to run an initial assessment, while you are sitting with prospects, so they can see if they are on track to reach their goals. This sort of quick projection can wake prospects up to the fact they might not be on track and give you an opportunity to present how you can help them. These apps are designed to move prospects from a first meeting to an in-depth interview and proposal presentation.

Build Your Lists at Events. If you use a leading email service provider, check to see if it offers apps you can download and use at events to build your lists. Mailchimp has a Chimpadeedo app to allow people to sign up for your lists at your events and then import them directly into your Mailchimp account.

Get Client Signatures More Conveniently. Using an app, like DocuSign Ink, to capture signatures electronically, offers convenience for both you and your client. It’s also a secure way to record their signature.

New Ways to Connect With Prospective Clients. Social media sites including LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook are great for getting out in front of both current clients and prospective clients. These channels enable advisors to connect with prospects more frequently and allow them to share useful content, such as timely links to articles and market commentary.

Real-time Access. The mobility tablets create gives advisors real-time access to accounts and reports which could, typically, only be accessed from the office. Clients can now have on-demand access to their account information and this holds advisors to a new standard in terms of accountability and transparency.

*Advisors please consult your firms’ policy before using a tablet.

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