The importance of effective communication for advisors
October 27, 2016
Efficiency is becoming more important in a world that tries to do more in less time. Gone are the days when snail mail and the telephone ruled. Today, digital technology and social media aim to improve communications.
The Putnam Investments Social Advisor Study completed in the U.S. is one of the largest surveys for financial advisors, and monitors the progress of the social media usage. In their 2016 report they stated that LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, are surging forward as significant communication platforms.
The study found 85 per cent of financial advisors actively used social media in their daily work. This is an increase from 75 per cent in 2014. Over half the advisors surveyed reported that social media improved their efficiency a great deal.
As technology continues to find, and expand, on new ways of communicating, my observation of its use is two-fold.
First, communication is faster and that is a good thing.
The second issue is whether the communication is effective. The concept of effective communication is easy to understand, but at times difficult to implement. Faster is efficient, but the true value is in the quality of the communication, not necessarily its speed.
We are still just humans communicating with other humans.
Receiving financial advice is one of the most important types of communication there is. Industry training and knowledge make financial advisors able to do their job. Great communication skills allow them to excel at it.
In our capitalistic society our lifestyle is possible because of our ability to purchase the goods and services we want. In that sense, money does make the world go around.
A failure to communicate with your financial advisor, or vice versa, could result in a failure to manage your money well.
Good communication is critical. Speed up the technology, but slow down and focus on the message.
Normal human challenges to effective communication still remain. Bad communication done more efficiently, is still bad communication.
My recommendation is to establish an excellent ability to communicate with your financial advisor. The same is true of others in your life that you depend on for advice.
Expect good communication from your advisor. Humans process information differently, and financial advisors need to respect their clients’ preference for communication.
All forms of communications should be done well. Including verbal, written, digital, investment statements, and the frequency of your communication. All areas of communication should excel.
Understand your role in effective communication. Be as specific as possible in how you articulate your financial objectives and concerns.
It takes two to communicate. That part has not changed.
Technology changes the potential efficiency and can be used as a modern day tool.
The real art of good communication still relies on human skills.