When I meet IFAs -generally for training them, I am asked this question:
– should we have a website facilitating transactions and
– should we have a presence in the social media.
Frankly I refuse to believe that there is an easy answer to both these questions. Let me make an honest attempt.
If you are an IFA aged about 60 and do not see your children / employees continuing to be in this business/ profession it is going to be a different answer. However if you are 35 years of age and aggressively trying to grow this business the answer would be different.
Let us look at a well enabled website – this is like having an extra telephone! It is not going to dramatically push your business up, but it will simplify things for you. If your client can access his statements, his details, do a portfolio analysis, etc. on your website, he is going to call you less. Frees up a lot of time for you and makes life simpler. Having a website or no is not a question to ask. This is almost like asking whether to have a mobile or not (remember in 1998 many IFAs were asking this question!!).
Now let us look at why the IFA should be available on the social media – LinkedIn, Facebook, have a own blog and even being on Wassup groups. I am broadly including all this in Social Media.
1. Your client is there on Social Media: If you are based out of a city, the chances are that 50% of your clients are already there on social media and are expecting to see you there. You need to adjust to them, please do not expect them to adjust to you. That will not happen, you will have to change.
2. It is not very difficult: Being on the social media is not very difficult. Yes running a blog is difficult, but many of those functions can be outsourced. You can get somebody for the technology and somebody else to create content for the blog.
3. You are in touch with your client: As long as you engage regularly with your clients on FB, on your blog, on wassup groups, ..etc. at least you are in touch with the client without intruding much on his personal time. Also once you put up the info on your blog, the client can access it any time CONVENIENT to him without bothering YOU. That is an amazing time saving tool.
4. Your competitors are there: If you are an IFA and want your customer to do a Rs. 100,000 sip do you think another IFA is your only competition? The answer is NO. Mahindra Holiday resorts, Hdfc realty, Tata Motors – all are your competitors – you are all fighting for the wallet share of the client.
5. Clients can read about other aspects of your knowledge, give a referral to other potential clients, and generally build trust in you.
I hope I need not write more or even kindle you about your options. Make your choice…
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