Advisors - April 21, 2020
Zoom for Advisors: Saving Face Time with Clients and Prospects
Amid one of the fastest market sell-offs on record, financial advisors have been inundated with client concerns about coronavirus and questions surrounding the future of their investments.
With most people smartly staying home in efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19, advisors must adapt to the “new normal” of working remotely in order to connect with clients when face-to-face meetings aren’t an option.
Video conferencing and the increasingly popular Zoom Communications (ZM) have stepped into the limelight as companies in nearly every industry try to maintain relationships with their clients, and build new ones. Virtual meetings might lack the human touch of an in-person visit, but they’re superior to both phone calls and email in that regard.
With a mission to always support advisors and enable their communication with clients and prospects, we put together a guide to help you get started with video conferencing. We’ll share some tips on using Zoom for virtual meetings and highlight a few YCharts resources and visuals that fit seamlessly into video chats with clients and prospects.
Zoom Video 101
Other than a webcam and microphone (we recommend a headset or earphones with a mic for better audio quality), here’s everything you need to get started:
Set Up A Zoom Meeting in 5 Steps:
1. Create a free account at Zoom.us using just your name and email address
2. After login, select the Meetings tab on the left then click Schedule a New Meeting
3. Enter your choices for the meeting Title, Date, Time and other details, then click Save (This is also where you can set or change the meeting password, which we recommend using.)
4. Next, to share the meeting invitation, either: click the icon for your choice of the Google, Outlook, or Yahoo calendar app; or, click the hyperlink Copy the invitation to see meeting details and a link you can add to any email
5. At the date and time of your scheduled meeting, Log In to Zoom, click the Meetings tab, and then select Start to begin any of your Upcoming Meetings. Finally, once in the virtual meeting room, click Share Screen if you’re presenting materials.
If you want to start a meeting immediately, click Host A Meeting at the top right of any Zoom page when you’re logged in. Once inside the virtual meeting room, click Invite at the bottom of the Zoom Meeting window.
If you or your clients are looking for more information on setting up a Zoom account or meeting, see Zoom’s Video Tutorials and FAQ resource pages. For those already comfortable with video conferencing, check out Bill Winterberg’s post on Kitces.com to see his recommendations on the best tech equipment for video conferencing.
Meet with clients 1-on-1 to answer questions and reinforce the value you provide
With so much uncertainty surrounding global health, the economy and financial markets, it’s understandable that advisors are receiving more questions or comments from their clients.
That’s exactly why advisors should turn to technology to make themselves as available as social distancing will permit. It might take a few repetitions to settle into a routine with Zoom, but the alternative is being hard-to-reach to clients and prospects.
Just as with past sell-offs or periods of volatility, times of uncertainty and market turmoil are when financial advisors become most valuable. With that, now is the time to show clients you’re continuing to look out for their interests, diligently tracking the markets, and sharing with them your knowledge and guidance.
Here are a few ways to use Zoom for creating valuable touch points with clients, answer their questions, and explain the state of the markets through helpful visuals.
Meet with clients one-on-one to discuss their unique situation
Most client questions can be boiled down to: “What’s going on in the market and how does it affect me?” As such, that’s a great starting point for nearly every client meeting, whether in person or virtual.
To answer the first part of that question—what’s going on in the market?—share your screen with clients and point out some key data points on your YCharts Dashboard. Without having to change screens, you can give clients a voice-over of broad market performance and key indicators you’re watching.
Shown below is a Dashboard with data for major indices, sectors, and FAANG stocks on the left, and on the right are performance charts for model portfolios, the S&P 500 vs. US coronavirus cases per day, and key sector trends.
For the second half of the question—…how does it affect me?—a combination of other YCharts visuals can shed light on an individual client’s particular situation.
If you haven’t already, upload the client’s holdings to YCharts Model Portfolios by importing a .csv file or typing in the holdings’ tickers and weights. (Note: this will show only the past performance of current portfolio holdings and will not account for transaction history.)
Once the client’s portfolio has been added to YCharts, generate the Comprehensive Overview Report to walk the client through their portfolio’s performance, risk metrics, exposures and allocations. The Portfolio Report shown below also includes custom firm logos, colors and disclosures.
Walk through your next quarterly update
If you distribute monthly or quarterly reviews to your clients and prospects, the next few might be more important than ever.
With investors hyper tuned-in to the market since mid-February, adding a spoken commentary to any print materials you normally publish would go a long way with clients. It’s an opportunity to provide a very human touch when most people have limited social interactions.
Every quarter, we publish an economic summary PowerPoint deck to give advisors resources and ideas when reviewing the markets and economy with their clients. The Q1 2020 Economic Update, shown below, features a lot of revealing data about asset class performance, Federal Reserve quantitative easing programs, and key economic indicators such as unemployment.
Share weekly market updates & email the recordings
If you’d prefer to pre-record a video of your market insights then share it with clients via email, here are some quick details on using Zoom to record audio and video.
To record the video feed from your webcam, click Record on the bottom toolbar and a video file will be saved down to your computer when you end the meeting. To record your screen, click Share and after selecting a few options, click More in the Sharing Toolbar and then Record Screen.
After the recording is automatically saved to your computer, attach the file to a weekly client email or post it on your website and other social media accounts.
Continue building your book while prospects are at home
Zoom also opens the door for virtual prospecting. Getting face time with prospects is half the battle, so video conferencing might actually ease that roadblock to building your book of business.
Looking beyond the coronavirus crisis, video conferencing could become a more permanent fixture for advisors. Becoming comfortable with the technology now might lead to better and more efficient prospecting in the future.
A lot of the materials above are great for sharing with prospects, but the Portfolio Side-by-Side Report is best-suited for enabling productive sales conversations. The report compares and contrasts a prospect’s current portfolio with the strategy you’d recommend for them.
The nature of this head-to-head, data-driven comparison enables you to clearly demonstrate your value add and point out flaws or deficiencies in the strategy a prospect is currently using.
Being accessible will always be important
It’s important for advisors to be accessible and adaptable now more than ever. Just like previous crises, clients may look back on this time and consider it especially important to making referral or retention decisions down the road.
Video conferencing, and many other technologies, can help create a better experience for clients by making it easier to connect and communicate with their advisor. Virtual meetings are the “new normal” right now, but with noteworthy time and cost savings, they could be here to stay.
Looking for more visuals and content to share with clients? Check out these recent blog posts:
Resources for Client Communications in a Bear Market
Charting Through the Coronavirus Crisis with Ben Carlson
How To Create Better Touchpoints with Clients
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