How Advisors Are Operating in This Era of Uncertainty

Red Zone Marketing conducted research from Sept 15-21, sponsored by Incapital, to find out how financial professionals are adapting and changing in response to crisis conditions. This is the third time we have conducted this survey (May, June & September 2020) and it continues to produce interesting insights as financial professionals navigate the landscape of their operations.

Key Findings

The research uncovered the marketing strategies today that are actually producing new clients. The research also found that there is uncertainty amongst financial professionals regarding and whether virtual prospecting can be mostly successful, when they will be meeting face-to-face again with clients, and when they will have in-person events. It also is clear that the current COVID-19 situation is lasting longer than financial professionals expected. 

Which Marketing Strategies Are Producing New Clients?

The marketing strategies that are producing the most new clients are:

  1. Referrals without asking
  2. Asking for referrals
  3. Email marketing
  4. Virtual events

Top financial professionals are having success bringing on new clients through a wider variety of marketing strategies including social media marketing and content marketing strategies.

Are Virtual Prospect Meetings Working?

60% of financial professionals surveyed have conducted a virtual prospect meeting. And, although 62% of financial professionals believe that prospecting and selling can be done effectively via virtual prospect meetings, the confidence level in virtual prospecting has gone down slightly since surveys in May and June. 

When Will Advisors Meet with Clients Face-To-Face?

Nearly 60% of financial professionals shared that they will not be meeting with clients face-to-face until sometime in 2021. Of the top financial professionals surveyed ($800,000+), more than 75% will not be meeting face-to-face with clients until next year. And, only 19% of financial professionals will be hosting live, in-person events in 2020, down from 47% when surveyed in June.

When Will Advisors and Their Teams Fully Return To The Office?

58% of financial professionals stated that they either are or will be returning to a normal, in office schedule for all team members in 2020. This is a departure from the survey results in June 2020 when 83% of financial professionals surveyed stated that they would be back in the office with their team during 2020. These results also differed when looking at types of locations. Financial professionals in urban locations do not anticipate having their team members fully back in the office as quickly as those in suburban and rural locations with 51% stating that they would not be back into the office fully until sometime in 2021. 

What Are the Largest Barriers To Success?

The largest barriers to their success are rated by financial professionals as:

  1. Repeated shutdowns due to a resurgence of COVID-19
  2. Volatile markets
  3. Social/physical distancing requirements
  4. Robo advisors
  5. Lower fees
  6. Shrinking margins
  7. Unemployment
  8. Competition from other financial professionals

Overall, the industry remains quite positive. The revenue of most financial professionals is projected to be up. Only 17% surveyed believed their revenue would go down in 2020 as compared to 2019.

To listen to a webinar covering all of the most recent advisor survey data, please click here.

Related: 10 Proven Ideas for Marketing in The Age of Social Distancing