As we enter June and officially hit the six-month mark of 2021, the feeling amongst our Carrick Partners Team is as though we’ve crossed an invisible line in the sand, moving us closer to the end.
“Even if there is no clear ‘end’ to the pandemic, we’ve certainly cleared a good distance from the bewilderment and confusion of 2020,” says Fred Van Niekerk, General Manager from Carrick Partners.
“Aside from a global vaccine programme underway, the momentum is palatable within the world of wealth management” he adds. “The conversation we’re having with our independent partners right now is not just to take stock of where you’re going with your business in the next six months, but to gauge how you can make a valuable difference in your clients’ lives.”
It’s no longer enough to do the same old things you’ve been doing or to offer your clients the same services. And with that said, here are a few Carrick Partner pointers to help you elevate your advisory business over the next six months:
Connect to your clients
One of the few positive outcomes from the Covid-19 pandemic is a universal desire to help each other. In a sense, it has reignited our humanity, prompting us to pivot towards a more personalised and thoughtful approach to how we do business.
“From Formula 1 to football, I often find myself researching topics that I wouldn’t normally have an interest in, just so that I can deepen the personal connection I have with my own clients,” Van Niekerk explains.
“Showing empathy and taking a genuine interest in your clients is a real need in our industry. If you want to elevate your business in the next six months, make that your North Star, not only in attracting clients but retaining them in the long term.”
Instead of selling financial solutions that we think are beneficial, start thinking about what they actually need. Remember, your clients, beyond their titles of CEOs or CFOs, are living, breathing people with wants, hopes, dreams, thoughts and ideas, and there’s no better time to put them back at the centre of what you do.
Think big and look offshore
The biggest pain point for many local advisors over the next six months will be to step out of their comfort zone of keeping to local-only investment advice.
“You’ve got to break a few eggs to get an omelette, and it’s time to recognise that giving the same advice year after year is incredibly limiting, especially after the year we had, and as we move forward through 2021 and beyond,” he adds.
To put this into context, he explains that over the last three years, the average South African has lost 30% of his wealth compared to a US citizen spending in dollars. At the same time, ‘middle-class’ consumables – anything from cars to food and electronics – priced in dollars have become 30% more expensive. Let that sink in.
“Independence has never been more important, and banging the same old financial advisory drum is going to give you and your clients a diminishing return.”
Align with market leaders
Strike while the iron is hot. If you’re ready to elevate your business, this is just the right time to connect with potential clients as well as scoping out financial advisory networks or groups offering a range of support services.
“Be sceptical of reviews and take the time to have honest conversations with reputable groups making headway and pioneering changes within the industry,” Van Niekerk explains. In other words, look for quality over quantity and more so, a culture of excellence.
“If you’re thinking of becoming an associate with a particular group, ensure that you will remain truly independent and not tied to pushing specific financial products,” he adds. “Seek an opportunity to grow, even if that means aligning yourself with a partner you might never have considered a few years ago.”
This sentiment rings true for the entire Team: Look for and place a high value on professionalism and integrity. Stay abreast of trends, and keep a keen eye out for pioneers in the local and offshore markets.
And if they offer ongoing training and mentorship from industry thought leaders, you’re on the right track.
“What we’ve learnt during the Covid-19 crisis is that everything that happens is a chance to move forward, especially if we choose to keep an even keel, to see the good in a situation, and most of all, to create opportunities instead of waiting for them, Van Niekerk explains.
“The nationwide lockdown has been a humbling experience for both myself and the Carrick Partners team, and instead of looking outwards, we started looking inwards, considering what we wanted to stand for as a brand as we entered 2021,” he explains.
If you truly want to elevate your independent advisor business in the next six months, make yourself part of the change that our industry desperately needs. The pandemic has given us all time to appreciate each other, and that’s a sentiment we’ve agreed to drive forward with in the next six months.
Interested in how Carrick Partners can give your business the boost it needs?