October 27, 2021

Tech Trends Series #1 – Transcript

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Tech Trends Series

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SUMMARY KEYWORDS

clients, advisors, people, tool, website, business, advice, technology, portal, process, practices, crm, meeting, firms, bit, review, fantastic, email, online, hubspot

SPEAKERS

Hayley Pearse, Cara Graham, Fraser Jack, Patrick Flynn, Matt Heine, James Sutherland

 

Fraser Jack 

Hello and welcome to the xXY advisor podcast I am Fraser Jack and today we are tackling a series based on technology and innovation. We are going to cover some pretty pretty incredible topics in this particular episode we’re going to cover off on all things around tech stacks we’re going to talk about before during and after the client journey. We’re going to cover off on things like client portals and security. In the next episode you’ll you’ll hear us talking around things like tech trends. Episode Three, we’re going to cover off on content marketing wicked Episode Four, we’re gonna start talking about business strategy and all things that technology how technology plays into your business strategy. And in the final episode, we’re going to tackle innovation around where to from here where does the where does the evolution of all of this advice that we’re using go from here, we’re lucky enough to be joined by a wonderful panel of speakers for the series we’ve got Patrick Flynn, aka the process guy. Advice innovative from simply Kai’s in. We’ve also got financial advisor Haley piers from caboodle financial services in Sydney. We have afsl Technology and Innovation consultant James Sutherland, we’ve got Perth based care Graham, financial advisor and director of an award winning at practice t WD. And rounding it out, we have joint Managing Director of net wealth net Hi, and welcome Patrick Flynn.

 

Patrick Flynn 

Thanks for having me, Fraser,

 

Fraser Jack 

thank you for coming along. Now. Well, let’s start with a little bit of quickly about you in your business at the moment how you help advisors to only give us a quick overview.

 

Patrick Flynn 

Sure, I’ve been working and advice in many capacities since 2005, across right from the bottom of the organization starting out as most do up until being a what I refer to as a rather mediocre financial advisor. Because what I really enjoyed was the process. So I’ve done a lot of work in ops management at licensee level. And now I spend most of my time consulting with practices on improving their policies, processes, and technology

 

Fraser Jack 

fantastically, you absolutely do spend a lot of time working with practices, you also got a couple of other businesses you work on, you have

 

Patrick Flynn 

got a couple other units. One is around websites. So we do a lot of work around website development. For practices, we really try to create simple websites that are very efficient, which ties in quite nicely with the other work we do. That’s why we call simply advice websites. And then we’ve got another perhaps a half business half hobby project of mine, which is called Life gold cards. And we use that as a series of tools, primarily cards to help facilitate conversations with clients around their goals.

 

Fraser Jack 

Fantastic. And so is it three businesses in India first one’s called simply Kaizen, which is which, which is a Japanese word. Talk us through that.

 

Patrick Flynn 

Yeah, so it’s a Japanese word. There was very much in vogue in 80s management. But nothing can be invoke forever, even though it may be really, really good. And it’s all about continuous improvement. So it’s Japanese for change, and good. But it’s really become synonymous for that continuous improvement. So it’s really not trying to necessarily change everything overnight. Which I find positions me a little bit differently to other consultants who often try and revolutionize things right away. But rather building a cultural change in the sense of change and iterative changes. That means you can do small things today, which hopefully you learn something small today that you can go and take back and use as iterative improvements, then having a process for doing that continuously.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, fantastic. And you so certainly a fantastic guest to have on to talk about all the things we want to talk about in this particular series. Now we’re talking about technology states today and you work a lot with advisors and advise practices around the country, on technology stacks. Let’s start with the with the conversation of technology stacks. You know that in the client advisor engagement process, maybe before they become a client source, maybe there before Client marketing, suppose what what are you seeing in that space?

 

Patrick Flynn 

Well, it’s a an interesting area, because first up before you can really get into the technology, you’ve got to take a one step back and think about the process to a degree. So we know the pre sales process starts before we’ve made any contact. And that’ll involve, it might be some marketing material, that’s part of that pre sales con contact, it might be just our website very simply, or it might be you know, a bit more old school, it might be how referrals are made, that happens and it gets introduced to you before it even gets to anything you can influence as strongly as you can your own in house process. So there’s a lot of stuff you need to consider there. And when we’re trying to break up our tech stacks, one thing that people don’t often fully consider is the importance of breaking it up between when a client becomes what I typically call a prospect, which is where I usually consider the handoff point today, they’ve engaged you, they’ve contacted you, they’d be expecting a call from you, they know your name you’ve spoken, that’s what I typically refer to as being a prospect, and then anything prior to that I call a lead. Now those terms are interchangeable, you can call them whatever you want to call them. I don’t love the word lead. But it’s certainly a two bit of terminology that a lot of the software use. And I really try to break those things up. Because what’s good for leads is not necessarily good for prospects. And it’s probably not good for clients. And vice versa, in terms of what people are using, if we using tools like HubSpot, that’s a personal favorite of mine. It’s a very, very powerful tool that really tries to capture everything about the client all the way from the get go. So if you’ve been to my website, and you’ve subscribed to my newsletter, I use HubSpot. And I can I can I know what your IP is, I know what you looked at, I know how long you spent there. Or at least I know what IP address you access to from in any case. And it builds on that. So it might be I know your IP address at day one. But you haven’t subscribed to anything, you just read one blog and you went away. But then six months later from the same IP address, you came along and you read another blog. And then another three months after that you came in this time you subscribed, which I hope you all do. And when we do that, your we then can see our you know what, I now know your name, but I always knew your IP address. So it links all of that data up. And you can really see just that wonderful visibility right across the entire communication they’ve had with you where even though it might not be overt communication, now the little breadcrumbs that the prospect or leaders left along the way gets to accumulate. And then when you do actually engage, you can know a fair bit about their interests, or why they came to you in the first place beyond just what they stuck in a comments form in the inquiry section on your website. So that’s, that’s pretty cool.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah. Now this is a really interesting subject, because we, most advisors will hear the word CRM and they will automatically think of, you know, one of the major financial planning CRMs insert, insert logo or name here. But when it comes to client relationship management, the CRM actually start well before as you said, that lead lead process or that summer Whose call it marketing qualified leads, and then it moves to a sales qualified leads is the technology that marketers would use. Some I’ve heard people say, suspect, then prospect. But you’re

 

Patrick Flynn 

like, that’s a simple one. And, you know, sometimes I often use those terminologies based on what it says in the system, maybe they’re not the best terminology. And when you’re working within your sales team, or with your advice team, the suspect and prospect works really well. But then when you’re working with the rest of your team, and they’ve got a spill something in a field, and the field calls that lead, or the field calls of prospect, it’s often better to just you know what, leads not the best term, but if the system calls or let’s just call it lead, yeah, you’re not trying to call it something funky.

 

Fraser Jack 

And it doesn’t really make too much difference at the end of the day. As long as the guys don’t understand that they tell you talking about them.

 

Patrick Flynn 

Exactly. As long as you’re not sending emails out that have high lead no name, then you should be okay.

 

Fraser Jack 

So the thing about this is it’s the CRM merge collects the data of the humans that are interacting with your website. So it’s not just a website, standalone and client relationship management systems standalone. It’s HubSpot as one that does the two together, correct? Yes, absolutely. And so which probably leads us on to the conversation around websites and how important their digital online presence is, you know, your client facing the shop for and all those sorts of things. Tell us about Tell us about that. Because obviously you do a lot of work with websites.

 

Patrick Flynn 

Well, websites really critical and where people often think of websites is in the marketing basket and I don’t Think of them in the marketing basket at all, I just think of them as another piece of technology. And when you’ve got technology, it’s up to you to see how you do it. A car can be a, something you have for fun, it can be something you have for transport. It might have cross purposes, of course, but it’s what you want to do with it. If you have any piece of technology, if you’re thinking about the problems, you have any business websites work really well as a centerpiece for from the clients perspective, or what you’re doing. So when you’re thinking about your your website, if we’re taking a look and going okay, great. First up, we’re looking at the the first person to engage us. And we see we see all the the whole gamut of stuff where we’ll see advisors that just wanna have something that’s set and forget, we’ll see advisors that want to really use it as a content marketing resource. We’ll have people that use lead magnets to really capture people when they get there, we’ll have people that actually don’t really want much new business at the moment. But they want to be ready to turn on later, when they feel they’ve got their internal systems and their and their efficiencies sorted out. We’ll even see people who are saying, You know what, I actually get a lot of inquiries. And I’m just need to use this as a qualifying tool, I don’t want to mark it with that I want to manage with it. So it’ll be using functions like apply to become a client, or having people book online, but they have to pay for their first meeting or have to make a donation. Before they can get to that first meeting. Those sorts of things, when you really think about a website like that, just as a marketing tool is really understanding what it can do. But it is, when it’s done well, really that centerpiece of how the client engages with you short of walking into the office, or physically meeting you, it’s the next best thing, they have to ascend a pace. And it’s really important that you invest in it, to make sure it really feels like that centerpiece. And then when you’ve got your website sorted, a lot of the technology can be built around that. So if you’re using a using a platform, like say a Wix, for example, which is free, and if you want to have really basic functionality is a really great tool. If you’re just starting out and the budgets really tight, Wix is a really good option. But it doesn’t really integrate with a whole lot very well. It definitely integrates with some things. But as you start to sort of make things more and more complex, it starts to break down on you, and you start hitting that ceiling. If you use a tool like WordPress, or if you go with you know, something really fancy, like a customer developed solution, then there’s a lot more that you can do with it. And there’s a lot more you can integrate with there. And if you’re thinking about it is not just this just needs to market, well, this needs to be our centerpiece, then you’re really thinking about all those interplays that we’ll have with all the different little bits of technology. And you’re thinking one step ahead of how they’re going to fit together, not just whether it’s going to look good, or load quickly, or can do SEO,

 

Fraser Jack 

it’s a really interesting piece, as you mentioned, is not just a marketing tool. How do you feel about the idea that websites? As you mentioned, some, some advisors might not be looking for loads of new business at the moment? How do they feel about the website being also the centerpiece for their existing clients?

 

Patrick Flynn 

Absolutely. Either. There’s no differential differentiation in my mind, there are 100% the same. So for example, when I find myself repeating myself on a topic where I get a narrow question, then I’ll write a blog about it. And then I’ll direct both new and both prospective and existing clients to that particular blog. So that I don’t have to repeat myself. So we’ve got one on there, for example, it’s completely website based and it’s around. It’s around team profiles on your website, I’d often get the question, should I include the whole team on there? Should I include the person who does bookkeeping for me one day, a week, you know, these little trade offs that are in there, and I’ve got a guide to exactly that. Which means that now for even my existing clients, I don’t have to answer that question ever again. Because if I was to answer it, I’d spent two minutes answering it and they get a verbal answer, as opposed to a 600 word reference point that they can forward on to their team members. So I’m giving a lot more service by doing that. And it’s really geared more towards my existing clients then prospective ones, the prospective ones just hopefully like it and you know, use that as a tool to engage further

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, fantastic. So becomes a resource for your existing clients. 100% now you’re obviously seeing a lot of space a lot of stuff going on in when it comes to tech stacks in the advice process itself. So you know, engaging, you mentioned, we talked about lead prospect, but when somebody becomes a client, talk to us about what you’re seeing and how you’re seeing advisors putting things together to create a stack around the advice process.

 

Patrick Flynn 

So the advice processes, many things so before we jump into the the elephant of the room of SOS, if we think about the other parts of the process, they should workflows. So there are lots of Also can do funky workflow management, there is a point where you want to make sure that they’re built into your CRM. I find, whilst the best process management tools might be something external, and a might have an API between them, there are limits to those API’s. And you can feel yourself jumping from one tool to another tool. So whether it’s HubSpot, or whether it’s a financial planning, dedicated CRM, making sure that you’ve got the workflow capability, and functionality built out in your tool that you’re using to manage your clients the same thing that is the source of truth, I find it’s the best thing to do. Especially because those tools can be automated to update field values, trigger certain things generate certain documents send off particular requests, you really do want them all in one spot. In terms of what people are doing with those processes. For example, if you want to go down the process word process street is quite a cool one. But you know, HubSpot have their own integrations. And you can use something with a Kanban board style, which I’ve seen used quite well. So like a Trello, or Asana can do that quite nicely. If that’s really more your approach. It really depends on whether how important visibility is to now important automation is to kanbans board style, once that’s just literally a board where you can see the different stages of the advice, and you can click and drag a card across those so you can feel like that thing is processing through and you can see whether something’s getting stuck at this stage or stuck at that stage or something like that. There’s tools to do that. And that’s the Trello and Asana, the ones where it’s like a process street or we use lucid chart for building out processes. That’s for mapping processes in particular. And I find lucid charts really, really cool for that. So once we’ve got those mapped out, then it’s a matter of what’s in them, which is perhaps beyond the scope of this topic. But in terms of what people are using for generating statements of advice. That’s a tough one. So where we’re, I think the real big decision here for most practices is, do I have an all in one solution? Or do I have a standalone solution? Do I have what’s effectively the paraplanner software, and maybe the advisors jumping in to do a bit of research, but really, it’s more or less the power planner software, they’re the ones who are in that tool, they’re using a day to day, it’s complex, but it’s okay, because that’s all they do, and they get it. And then you’ll have the advisors who maybe they aren’t even doing the research, or maybe they’re doing the research in conjunction with the power planner, and they barely need to go in there at all, the support team don’t need to go into a tool like that at all, they can use anything else. So you’ve got that trade off there, do we want to have one tool that does everything, and maybe isn’t the best at everything, but he’s really good at power planning in particular, and research? Or do we want to have the most just completely standalone tools. And that means we need to push data or pull data from one to the other? If that’s even possible. In some cases, it’s not all we may need to translate data from one to the other. And that really does depend on the style and scale of the business. How technical are your advisors? How much are they doing this DIY, if the advisors are heavily involved all the way through the process, then one tool would be a little bit more suitable. If you’ve got very clearly delineated teams, or if indeed you outsource your power planning to an external provider, and you don’t really care how long it takes, then you might be more inclined to do the standalone CRM, that’s not really necessarily an advice focus tool. But it’s a very powerful tool because it’s a CRM and that’s all it does. And it’s Silicon Valley back then. And all that jazz.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yep, yep. Fair enough. And I think a lot of what you were saying in that in, in that price in that conversation was the idea of understanding the functionality of every single system, because a lot of the time the functionality of the system is for, like you said a paraplanner are for an advisor. And we’re trying to, we’re trying to jump between the two or we are not using the functionality to to its fullest.

 

Patrick Flynn 

Especially if two thirds of the users don’t even use the core functionality of that tool, then you start wondering, should this be two tools? Or is this the best way to have it set up. And maybe it is there is a lot of value, genuine real value of having everything in one spot. It’s not just the you know, the old school way of doing things that it’s very useful to have things all in one spot. And especially when you start getting a really high levels of investment, in terms of your business that’s maturing, that scaling and stuff like that, then some of those tools can be really good. So if you’re, if your dreams are really big, and all you are at that level of scale, then the software that might be best for you might be one of those all in one solutions, because at really high levels of investment around your systems, your process, supporting coding and things like that. Those tools can work really well. You know, honestly, I still haven’t seen a better document produced then a well invested explane site. That’s got Deep support built into it that has relatively simple processes that underpin it, and has that level of investment that’s been done really, really well. But not a lot of practices can do that. And that’s just not realistic for where a lot of people want to go. So if you’re looking at something that’s a little bit more modest, then then and you’re not going to ever really have that budget of, you know, 100 grand plus to invest over a couple of years and really deeply building your stuff out, then some of those other tools or splitting out those tools starts to make more sense.

 

Fraser Jack 

It’s only difficult when when the price tag gets up to that range. You know, talk to me about client portals a lot, there’s a lot of going on at the moment with regards to, you know, sharing of sharing of data and documents and storing stuff in one place. What what are you seeing in the client portal space.

 

Patrick Flynn 

So one, I’m continuing to see lots of people try client portals and not have them work out. And the reasons i think that that is the case is one under investment. So they expect it’s going to solve everything. And it, it just can’t, but also try under investing in how much effort the clients are going to have to go through and how much support you’re going to have to give clients to engage in online client portal. So if you’re looking at one of those solutions that really can do so much and does everything. Most of the financial planning CRMs that have a portal of potentially very powerful, the dedicated portal tools like a my prosperity or money soft, they can benefit from a lot of investment. But if you just plug and play and you just say, Hey, everybody is is a login, please log in here, use the client portal, there it is, you can go and enter your data there if you want to, then no one’s going to do that because no one wants to log into another thing. And they don’t necessarily trust this tool. It’s not in your website, it’s clearly through something else, even though it might have your logo at the top and it might have your colors, people are smarter than that they can tell. So they’re going to be going through a pretty jarring experience. Where I think it can work well is when you either invest really heavily in the example I use for that, as always the major banks. So if you have if you bank with CBA, and you’ve been trying to get to speak to a teller for the last five years, you’ve probably gotten spear tackled somewhere in between by somebody saying, What are you doing, the app can do that for you. If the app can’t do it, the ATM can do it for you. Please don’t speak to a teller and I swear they have KPIs based on failing every time somebody gets to a teller. That’s the amount of effort that is required. Because you need to then start saying to people, I’m not emailing you, the soI, I’m uploading the soI to your secure client portal, that’s where you access it, you can’t fill out a fact find it’s not safe, it’s not efficient, it’s not easy. Would you need to take a little bit of pain today, to work through the client portal, if you want to sit with one of our team, you can book 15 minutes with our admin person, they’ll set up a zoom with you and now step you right through everything that you need to do. Or we can do it at the start of your next appointment or whatever it is, we’ll take the effort to help you. But that is how it’s done. And that requires substantial effort and ongoing effort. Because if you don’t do that people just won’t use it. If the easiest thing for them to do is to email you, then they will. So if you have a really narrow use case, that can be the other alternative that maybe doesn’t require quite so much investment, it can work as a stepping stone. So if you use it just as a fact finding tool, or just as a document storage tool, we don’t want you to email us documents, it’s not secure, we want you to upload them to your secure client portal. That’s what this is here to do. It might be this is just for managing your portfolio in this just so you have visibility of your portfolio, what’s in your account, your partner’s account and your SMSF account, all in one spot. That’s all this thing does. It’s not trying to do 50 things. And then you expand it one by one by one, you start with the secure uploads, perhaps. And then maybe it’s here’s also where you’re going to receive the history and acknowledge privacy. And then the next thing is this is where we’re doing data collection for you. And so on and so forth. Then, after you’ve been expanded that out slowly, slowly, you can then start saying more, we’re now doing everything on here, we’re not going to do things the way we used to. And that can be really challenging to get to and takes time. And that’s where I see a lot of people have problems, especially when you know most practices don’t even mandate having an email address. So if you’re going to have all of these exceptions, which may be the right call for your business, I’m not saying it’s not. But if you can’t even get to the point of Hey, I want to have a bunch of automation built into emails, then looking at an online portal is is a significant extra light. beyond that.

 

Fraser Jack 

It’s an interesting point you make about the resources, the time and resources to actually make it work properly. Not just expecting it to work out of the box.

 

Patrick Flynn 

A really important point though, is when you do do it, it can be really cool. Like you get to see this in, you know, you can see a demo with any of those providers and you go, Oh, well, if we had all that data in there, it’d be really good for the clients and be really good for us. It’s just how much effort it takes to get there. But I do genuinely believe the rewards are there if you put the effort in.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yep. Fantastic. Pat, thanks so much for coming onto this particular episode, we look forward to catching you in the next one, where we talk about tech trends. Awesome. Sounds great. Thanks. Welcome, Holly piers.

 

Hayley Pearse 

Hello, thank you for having me.

 

Fraser Jack 

Thank you for joining us in this series. Now, I do want to give this as a very quick overview of just your business at the moment.

 

Hayley Pearse 

My name is Hayley Pearse. And I am an advisor and the operations manager at caboodle financial planning. We operate virtually, and we connect with other financial planning practices to help them segment their client database and take over their C and D clients.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, amazing. So there’s a lot there’s a lot going on with you and what you’re doing, and obviously in the technology and innovation space. So I’m very keen to jump into this conversation with you. Let’s start with tech stacks in this this idea that we all have, and we are all implementing so many different pieces of technology. Tell us about your, your your tech stack from when you’re both bringing on new clients. And we’ll probably work all the way through to the end when you’re servicing clients. But let’s start with a new club.

 

Hayley Pearse 

Yeah, so because we don’t market to consumers, we I guess market to other financial planning practices, we use a tool called Zoho analytics. It’s very similar to Power BI, if anyone sees something like that it’s helps you segment data analyze data, represented in different formats. And we use that to collate the Analyze the list of clients that a Another pro, another advisor might be looking to, you know, removed from from their books, given the level of compliance and the changes have been in the industry, it’s normal that they’d want to focus on a segment of their clients. And they ultimately want to be able to make sure that those other people that they can’t serve us any longer are looked after. And these analytical tools allow us to segment who they are the type of products they have the revenue that we might receive from those clients. We do also use that at an operational level throughout the business.

 

Fraser Jack 

Fantastic. So that’s just for new businesses coming on when you bring a book in and you’re able to then look through, what do you like, that’s all to me, that sounds like structured data you’re looking for how do you has the tool I guess, go and do all that.

 

Hayley Pearse 

It requires a lot of inputs. So like any system, you have to have be able to put good data in to get great tartar out. So our chairman work, he puts a lot of effort into drawing information from commission systems from whatever CRM the advisor is using compiling it. Work is an actuarial by trade. So he understands how all of these things work. But at all is like Zoho analytics is there to help people who don’t have an actuarial degree to be able to use pivot tables and graphs to segment demographics of client bases, you know, bands of revenue, things like that. So it just helps us analyze how we’re going to approach this particular portfolio when it comes on.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, amazing indecision. Does that information travel into your CRM? Or do how’s it going into you as always, your CRM?

 

Hayley Pearse 

Yeah. So our CRM is is Zoho. So Zoho one is, I guess the best way to describe it is sort of like the Google of CRMs. It has its own calendar functionality. It’s got a CRM, it’s got a signature facility forms, surveys, ebooks, it’s got, you name it, it’s got everything. And yeah, so the data that we we source out of Zoho analytics then feed straight into our CRM, which then allows us to begin our onboarding process. So introducing the client to caboodle and working them on as the client.

 

Fraser Jack 

So this is really interesting, so that the CRM itself has all these well, plugins for for a better word, but they already they’re already there. Um, so you’re not trying to, you’re not trying to make systems talk to each other, which is good, which is great. Talk to us about your onboarding process, and what other sort of technology and stack information you’re using. Yes. So

 

Hayley Pearse 

the onboarding process is really the clients chance to get to know us. Sometimes they’re not in love with the idea that they’ve been transferred to another advisor that operates virtually so we do have to use a lot of engagement tools to connect with these people and build that trust. We use a lot of videos. So where are we so we do use ScreenFlow, which is allows us to record videos. It also allows us to add captions. Now that’s just a it’s a paid application. But it’s very high quality. There are many free tools you can loot use like loom that allow you to put to get together videos to be able to share in email templates, things like that. So we have an onboarding process where we send out a series of emails. Instead of hammering them, we take the info about probate all at once. Often the change makes people you You know, it’s a lot of information. So stepping it out over a period of time allows them to get to know, each member of the team, how we can service them. And we also use that opportunity to set up the next 12 months what that will look like. They’ll know exactly when they’re going to hear from us, and in what format they’re going to hear from us. We largely do that via email, as I said, using videos, things like that. But in some instances where they don’t have email, we just pop the Hello, good old fashioned letter in the post.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, amazing. So I’m talking to me about these these videos. So as some of the videos just, here’s one we prepared earlier, like a welcome to caboodle, or some of them personalized.

 

Hayley Pearse 

We do personalize ones at review stage. So in the initial phase, it’s webinar ninja is the tool we use, actually, and that’s often the client guide, as well as the two advisors. So myself and one of the other advisors we have, we think it’s important that the clients coming on board know that, yes, they have their advisor, but there’s a team of people that kaboodle that can pick up and help them whenever they need. So we use that with the three of us to be able to welcome I guess, in a general way to caboodle. And then as I said, at review time, but much more personalized,

 

Fraser Jack 

incredible. So just on if you’re taking over an advisors book, let’s say, we’re taking every book from me as the as the mock advisor in this conversation, then, would I do a video with you as that work?

 

Hayley Pearse 

Definitely. So we’ve used tools like zoom, Google meet, webinar, Ninja is our favorite, because it sets you up with a template layout. And you can just use that every single time, minimal editing, it spits out a file that you can just attach or upload to YouTube. And it’s really nice and simple. And yet we have a guest, we have a structure where we talked to the previous advisor, so they give their chance to explain why the transfers occurring and and give that transfer of trust.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, amazing. And so um, so this all gets sent to the client, because I’ve only got their email. Is that how you send it? Do you send it via email? Or is it sent to them? Is there a portal? Or is it?

 

Hayley Pearse 

No, we just embed that in an email to them. That way we can keep an eye on the analytics, check out whether they’ve watched it. If they haven’t, then we make extra attempts. So that email is always followed up with a phone call to welcome them. But if we’re not getting any response, then we just try harder. And that’s not in a pressuring sense. It’s it’s important that the client understands that we’re now their advisor and why that’s occurred.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, amazing. Okay, so do you have a workflow or a template, then that sets up that automates that stuff? If they don’t open? Yes, so

 

Hayley Pearse 

Zoho CRM is really good in that way that you can set up automation. So that Yeah, there’s a series of tasks, and we have a new portfolio process for each client so we can see where they’re up to where they got to in the process. And as soon as one thing happens, then the next thing is triggered. So it all automatically happens in our client guide just needs to keep an eye on where this person is up to within that process.

 

Fraser Jack 

And how do you work out when the reviews are going to happen within the weather that process?

 

Hayley Pearse 

Yes, so we have within the first three to four months, we shedule, their first review, clients don’t usually like to wait too much longer than that. We also have a six monthly checking service. So as well as their review, where we pop them an email or a phone call just to see how they’re going, you know, any questions, anything we can help with. So they’re aware of that Constant Contact, and we set those contact months right at the beginning, as soon as they join us, we set their review months and those two contact months. And every month, we just run a list of who’s due to be contacted for whatever reason this month, and then that automation commences.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, incredible. So it because I obviously you run a while you’re working in a practice where there’s a lot of clients, as you mentioned, you’re bringing a lot of what’s referred to as C and D class clients, you bring them in. So you’ve got to you’ve got to basically work at scale and a lot of cases, talk to me about that, that review process around how does that work with, you know, obviously contacting them how much time you can personally get to spend with them versus what automated?

 

Hayley Pearse 

Absolutely. So when you take overseeing a client, they’re not one type of client. And most financial planners will all target a nation they like to be contacted or communicated with in a similar way. We have all different types of clients there. Some of them are elderly, some of them are young. And we really have to be able to segment out each each part of our process to suit that type of person. So for the people that do have email and are high engagement, we know that if we send them a link and to book their review call that they’ll book it in, we don’t need to follow up with a phone call. But then there are the people that are notorious not responders, and we have those people tagged accordingly. They need phone calls, they needed a follow up SMS, things like that. But then we also have the post only people and their review invitation needs to go out sort of two weeks before they review is actually due because the post takes so long at the moment. We Also segment out people that have communication challenges. So if there’s a language barrier or hearing barrier, if they have a power of attorney within segment that particular process are different ways. So the CRM has really allowed us to dive into the different streams of clients we have and then tailor how we deliver our service to those people. When it comes to booking review calls, we’ve got someone that does that and doesn’t take too long. As I said, we really utilize automation to encourage people to booking their review call. But when that doesn’t happen, then we just we follow them up with a phone call.

 

Fraser Jack 

Well, fantastic. So much, so much to unpack in that he really appreciate you coming on this particular episode. We look forward to catching you in the next episode when we’re talking about tech trends. Welcome James Sutherland.

 

James Sutherland 

Hey, Fraser. Hey guy, bro.

 

Fraser Jack 

Very well, thank you for coming on this episode. Know that for the listeners out there. That just gives us a quick overview of exactly what you’re doing and how you’re working with businesses at the moment.

 

James Sutherland 

I love the words you use. Exactly. So I’m doing two roles at the moment, I’m doing compliance with a particular IP cell, which has been fun. And also on the part other part of my businesses reviewing other afsl ELLs and licensees, the smaller ones tech stacks and what they’re how they’re managing their tech, because as you know, it’s changing. Based almost on a daily basis these days.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, absolutely. And that probably leads nicely into the topic of this particular episode, where we are talking about the tech stacks and what you’re seeing in what’s available and what’s coming on. Let’s start with what you’re seeing out there in the in the space of say, pre pre client engagement, let’s start in that space, and then move through the the advice journey, but before somebody becomes a client, there’s all sorts of plugins and bits and pieces. What are you seeing out there? Yeah, well,

 

James Sutherland 

if we’re talking about you thinking more around the electronic background process, or more, so

 

Fraser Jack 

the the marketing and branding,

 

James Sutherland 

marketing, branding, yeah. All obviously COVID changed a lot of a lot of areas in this space, with people doing bookings, online, calendly cetera. And I’m getting that sort of invitation more often now. And sending out of fsgs, or having fsgs, online, etc. So I think I think practices have embraced it now. But the expectation they can’t see the client face to face, do the preamble, the gathering up of information using Dropbox, mind practices I’m using is using SharePoint. So giving clients access to SharePoint pre meeting. And obviously, as I said earlier, the online backlines

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, and what about the website stuff? What are you seeing coming down into the website,

 

James Sutherland 

the updating of websites, or just the documentation on websites just

 

Fraser Jack 

with, with how websites have changed over time to now a lot more, a lot more? A lot more goes on on the website, I guess a lot more research goes on from the client. So therefore a lot more information is being or a lot more value is being put into websites. Yeah. Well, there’s

 

James Sutherland 

two schools of thought there’s those that are exactly that with regards to having more information as possible on websites. And certainly I’m seeing that working with with firms that do. There’s another school of thought, where you just make your website as simple as possible, because what is it any more than 5.67 seconds or something and you’re done anyway. So because I think people are clients, it appears to me are using more that who I am, what are you and using things like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, particularly nowadays, and maybe in some instances, tik tok.

 

Fraser Jack  

It’s an interesting, the old influencer. Fantastic. Thank you for that. Yeah, cuz I think you’re right. There is this concept of actually having less on your website. I think there’s a story brand talks about that, too. And a lot of ways just just making it tell us exactly, you know, as if the clients logged on exactly what they need to know. without, without going into all the guff.

 

James Sutherland 

Yeah, we can name a couple of firms that do that quite nicely. And then when you go on to the other bigger firms can remember their names, but it’s just this I was on there the other day, it’s this massive site has page after page after page. It’s almost like going into Google and you just get get lost in the details.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yep. Yep. Fantastic. Enter you did you say you had a couple of names of firms that are a couple of websites that you thought were quite clever in that space of just being nice and simple and straightforward.

 

James Sutherland 

I think folks in here do it really nicely. bidding Nash that’s to pivot to firms. If you if you want to look at a fairly simple sort of slide that’s, that hasn’t got it in pages. Do some favor and go to those two sides.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, I couldn’t agree more. Now, tell us about you mentioned the online factfinder talk tell us about the process during the advice process, the tech stacks that you’re seeing around there that people are using really well, when it comes to the actual advice process, getting the information in working clients through that process?

 

James Sutherland 

Well, there are a couple of tools that are out there that are trying to do the pre explained type of stuff. And as you know, over the years, I haven’t been a big fan of explain. I will say, though, I’m actually changing my mind. Now working with more and more practices, I’m actually changing my mind slightly on that, and I think explains change their mind as to where they sit to. But from a fact fine point of view. There are some nice little integrations that are now starting to occur with companies like bra for example. And I think Patty’s company because his name escapes me. Yeah, listen, your voice evolution. Thank you very much, right? And so they are starting to make some inroads, and I’m seeing people saying, I’ve heard about these guys, what can we use for gas to fat phones? Because it’s that it’s that moving back and forth? Because clients don’t want to do the start? What’s your name? What’s your address, particularly for you already have it. So my attitudes always been complete what you complete and then ask the client what the latest information is. Because clients have time for just as much as advisors to client at time poor. So let’s try and make it easier on both, particularly the client because, you know, make it easy to do business with where an interactive factfinder allows clients to get the information that is expected not to be named by the advisor.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yep. And I can I can see this, you were you compliance head as well as your, you know, your client hat in this in this space? So it’s a bit of coming from both both directions? What about what about once you get into the process, and you’ve done some, you know, you may be trying to produce it sideways or anything like that?

 

James Sutherland 

Are the document generation is that a whole new subject?

 

Fraser Jack 

So back to the top of the text, textual, Oh, God,

 

James Sutherland 

document generation. Yes, I think that’s the bane of every financial practices, the the Roadblock, sites that are speak, trying to get a document out, but succinct enough, and use the word pretty enough. Take that for what you want. and dare I say quick enough, as quick a time as possible is where the firm’s I talked to that’s their biggest problem, generating advice documents in an efficient way that doesn’t need too much post work. So as much they get it as right as possible the first time, and then spend as little time as possible with the intricacies given the fact of the formatting of it doesn’t matter whether it’s explain or advisor logic, or midwinter, etc. They still need post work, they still need time spent on it. So how much time does one want to spend on that? I suppose what what does the firm need to spend on that?

 

Fraser Jack 

Yep. And and just with that, that post work or that time, what what are you seeing out there as sort of, I mean, I’ll be I’ve heard average times going into days and weeks. But what what do you seeing sort of as an efficient process for the general service? I see.

 

James Sutherland 

I’ve heard the same thing. days and weeks. Yeah. From go to wired. It can be days to weeks, depending on where you’re where you’re up to? Absolutely. It’s that that pose period I’m seeing in the efficient way? Probably five hours, I’m seeing an efficient way in efficient probably up to two days.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, it’s it’s, it is it is a long time and talk to us about so that the technology stacks in that space. What are you seeing with regards to plugins and those sorts of things that are working? Well?

 

James Sutherland 

Well, I think people are starting to use Microsoft suite a lot more now that particularly with COVID. Again, when you have teams on there, you’ve got your share points, you’ve got your other applications where etc, the utilizing those techniques, and then you got you get your Google suites. And I’m saying this combination of both those

 

Fraser Jack 

Yes, yes, I’ve certainly I’ve certainly used both, you’re certainly use both your only preferences.

 

James Sutherland 

I don’t I used to I used to be very pro Google, but with the firm’s I’ve been working with. They’ve had a fair bit of integration with regards to Microsoft. And Microsoft, I think is a lot more user friendly today than it was say, five, six years ago. And I think Google has made them become a lot more user friendly, you know, and finally, they’ve got teams working in a half this way, although it still has its limitations. And we’re using both teams. You and I are on Zune today for very other various other reasons and got crimes now got there, they rebranded meet

 

Fraser Jack 

the Google have updated me, so go hang out or whatever. used to be called well used to be

 

James Sutherland 

hangouts they changed it to me to now they’ve changed to something else.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah. Client portals, what are you seeing in that space?

 

James Sutherland 

In regards to just explain that as advisors

 

Fraser Jack 

using client portals, I think which is probably a fairly new thing, I guess used to be a lot of software provider client portals, but now there tends to be a lot of like you said, the SharePoint type Yeah, so it’s going

 

James Sutherland 

to drop boxes, etc. Yeah, yeah. And I think I think advisors advice terms using those a lot more, you know, you could rattle off four or five different online documentation repositories,

 

Fraser Jack 

is that the right word repositories is a good word, let’s use that.

 

James Sutherland 

And I’m giving clients access so you know, one of the firm’s we’re using is them. If they can’t find the PDFs they want from from a portal from a product provider, they will that they will give the client access to the particular address on SharePoint for them to get there particularly some of those older PDS as we had an issue the other day where the device and was trying to find a 2002 1009 I think it was PDFs from ANP and they couldn’t find it online

 

Fraser Jack 

and there’s it’s interesting when I think also email we’re starting to realize it emails not very secure for sending these types of things and these these shape share drives and shape portals are becoming increasingly more and more increasingly used.

 

James Sutherland 

Yes Yeah. With people hacking systems etc.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, we’re certainly seeing a lot of that around James is there anything else that you’re seeing in the in the in the tech stack space that you find fairly exciting?

 

James Sutherland 

Well we’ve got that one one last thing we may need to talk about a little bit is the goals getting goals and aspirations some clients because that’s not part of that is part of find obviously and then you’ve got different companies using different things to go to is like a Stewart wheel 365 has some goals and your goals engine in there, the couple of springs to mind

 

Fraser Jack 

if until the end. And you’ve seen them being used in in Philly Well,

 

James Sutherland 

I have Yes, yeah. They the people who use them, swear by them and it is a good way to to be able to draw down you know, what are the client’s objectives both now and today because as you know, with fasciae standard to funny hair that rattles off the top of your mind where you know with the ramifications of advice today and in the future is now something that advisors again need to give more thought to. And having short term medium term long term goals helps with regards to showing what the advices today can benefit them in the future and the reasoning why

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, that’s interesting, I guess trend which we’ll get to in the next episode, but their concept around you know, the, the the ESG wheels or lumion the my prosperity that the Finn 365 are those sort of front end conversational tools?

 

James Sutherland 

Yes, yeah. How can I forget lumion

 

Fraser Jack 

no worries for Santi. Hi, James, thanks for coming on to this particular episode. We look forward to catching you in the next one we’ll be discussing taking trends. I look forward to it. Thanks, man. Welcome to the conversation, Kara grave.

 

Cara Graham 

Hi, thanks for having me.

 

Fraser Jack 

Thank you so much for joining us today. Let’s give us start with a quick overview of your business and the size of your practice at the moment.

 

Cara Graham 

Yeah, so my name is Kara Graham. I’m from Tw Australia and we’re based over here in Perth, although we do have I guess a branch in the in Sydney. I am a director in the business but my main role really is working directly with clients as an advisor we currently work with I should know this number off the top of my head, but I’m gonna say about 350 different clients might be a little bit higher now. From there, but we tend to have a pretty loyal client base and we’re also just regularly meeting new people and bringing on new clients as well.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, fantastic. So it’s a legit business. It’s he said, WD Australia.

 

Cara Graham 

pwd Australia. Yeah, so the majority of advisors are input. And we have one advisor in Sydney currently.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yep, fantastic and wonderful, wonderful award winning business let’s say yes, yes. Fantastic. Now let’s have it let’s have a quick chat about tech stacks. You know, obviously the you technology is a big part of the process of everything you’ve done as I mentioned before, you’ve had a lot of awards and in technology is certainly being a part of that journey for you guys. What sort of technology or stacks are you using with with your clients before inside you know the prospecting type marketing, you know, website type stuff?

 

Cara Graham 

Yeah, well I’ll have to admit I get a really that involved in the website side of things. I think as an advisor, I try to stay clear of that and just focus on what I know but you know, Most of our clients come to us from other clients or from, you know, other advisors or accountants and brokers and things along those lines. So we are predominantly a word of mouth business, you know, and that that has worked exceptionally well for us in the past, when we do get an introduction, then we’ve said, Oh, we use the Depo sales app to track any new leads, and opportunities. We’ve been using that for the last few years. And that’s been really great, just to get some, I love to put some firmer numbers around what was happening, you know, I think like a lot of people, you know, it’s very easy to just use that same spreadsheet to sort of track the things and then when you want to try and look deeper into the numbers and say, Where did this come from, you know, what referral forces are really paying off? How good is you know, my conversion versus my colleagues conversion, then the spreadsheet just was a padding it. So therefore, I felt that because I’m really good in that regard, you know, it’s relatively easy to use. And, you know, it’s probably more just about, I guess, rubbish in rubbish out. But just making sure that we’ve got some uniformity amongst all of our advice in terms of what they enter and how they enter it from there. But that’s been really useful. Another technology tool that we’ve been using for the last couple of years, in terms of, you know, booking things in has been calendly. I think I came across calendly, maybe about two years ago, at one of the FFA conferences, I went to a presentation, and one of the guys was talking about this, and that has been a really good addition to our business, you know, just automating the client’s ability to sort of take control of a diary booking reschedule if they need to, it also gives us some good controls, you know, I can, you know, really just sit Okay, you know, I’m quite busy at the moment. So I can just said, Okay, I’m not going to have any initial meetings for another two months, because I’m at capacity, just dealing with some of the things I’ve got on at the moment. And so that’s been great. We rolled that out amongst our across our business probably about a year ago. So we’ve got all the advisors and Associates on it now. And it’s just streamline things, you know, no more manual meeting confirmations, no more having to manually go back and check with clients that they’re coming. So that’s been, that’s been excellent. And then probably the other tool we use at that kind of pre stage is a digital questionnaire was currently got that with advisor forms. And we’ve just had a couple of issues with it. So far, there’s been times of, I guess, the ease of things merging into x time, which is the main client management system that we use. So we’re just revisiting a few of those hurdles and trying to work out a couple of kinks in the process. But generally speaking, if the digital form doesn’t work, then we revert to the good old PDF form collects compact data as well.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, the good old there was a there was a dislike of technology back in his day. It’s it’s super important with referrals, at first sort of very talked about, did you say the Zippo sales app? sales app?

 

Cara Graham 

Yeah. So yeah, that’s sort of a particular portion of the Depo. That’s just a sales sales app tracking.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yep. And in does that mean? Can you just run me through quickly how that works practically? Is that does the does the accountant or the referrer get that information? Can they can they visibly see where that leads up to? Or is it

 

Cara Graham 

I believe you can set that up where you don’t currently have that set up in the business. So essentially, there’s sort of two halves of it we’ve got the lead so if somebody mentions to me Hey, I gave your name to Joe Bloggs, today they’re going to give you a call or you know, you should give them a call and I’ll input into those into that lead section and then once I’ve had a chat with them or once I’ve opted in then it goes over to opportunities and then within the opportunities we have a bit of a timeline so we can sort of have you know pre meeting at meeting stage preparing our proposal waiting for acceptance. So at any point I can look at what have I got on the go or what have we got on the go as a practice you can really sort of curate it to have what you want so you know we add our weekly advisor meetings, we have everything from Depo flows into Power BI and then Power BI was sort of being able to kind of manage and almost kind of designing definitely what we want to say you know what’s useful for we can look at it and say okay, how many proposals have we got how much possible new business have we got there might be coming in this month or next month. And you know, again, looking, breaking it down by referral source, breaking it down by advisor, you know, and just looking at all of the staff, which has been really useful. And I don’t know I sort of keep having this. I’ll call it a problem where, you know, people take ages to respond to problems. Go and then they all come back at once. So I had like a few in the pipeline, and it seemed like everyone was just taking their time accepting. And then just last week alone, I had three clients accept their proposals. So it kind of when it rains it pours.

 

Fraser Jack 

It’s like you said it’s a problem, not a problem, but a problem. fenders fantastic to the Tell me more about how you use Power BI, that’s just in the internal protests? Or in looking at that? Or do you use that across other I mean, with the sales app, or is the Power BI use, now they raise as well,

 

Cara Graham 

we use it on the new client side of things. And then we also use it to track how many meetings and appointments each of our advisors and associates are having. So one of our capex, sort of key KPIs for our client facing staff is, is I guess, what we might call FaceTime, you know, time spent with clients or referral partners. And so we can use that to, you know, track week by week, how are people tracking in terms of their meeting targets? are they spending enough face time in front of people where we want them to, from there and again, that’s been that’s been really useful, as well. And just, you know, being able to do that digitally, as opposed to manually has been a bit of a bit of a game changer as well.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, well, talk to me about the the actual advice process itself is there, what are you using with technology, once you sort of client become engaged, and they want to, and they want to become clients during the whole advice process.

 

Cara Graham 

So we use expand quite a lot, which I don’t know the proportions of what advisors tend to use, you probably know more than me, but we use that pretty heavily amongst the advice process. So you know, some of the tools within next time risk researcher will fall over and x tools for looking at any sort of product insurance or modeling. From there, that’s probably the main sort of tool that we use in the advice process, you know, we’ve sort of looked and dabbled into into a few others. But I guess from our point of view, it just feels like explainer sort of got the technology there at the sort of best stage and the sort of most accessible stage so far, one of the downsides that we have noticed, say, on the wellsville, beside which we’re looking at things like super funds, is that a few newer funds aren’t listed on there. So you know, we’ve had a few clients come through which fair bit more technology, you know, technology focus, and they want to look at, say, some of the micro investing apps like raise or spaceship, you know, and they’re not on their alpha had another client who he works in marketing, and he works with a business called superhero, which is, again, a slightly newer fund, and they’re not on there. So you know, I think that they’re good, but they probably got a way to go to keep up with the market, it just seems like there’s a lot of new products and a lot of new offerings coming through. And they just sort of, you know, when they’re not on there, we have to go back to manual, which is obviously really frustrating and just fraught with error, we tend to find from there as well. So explains, you know, pretty kind of major tool, we use fo from a task management point of view. So just sort of tracking, you know, the team, we’ve got a pretty big team, there’s about 30 of us all up. So you know, we sort of try to spread the load between the, from the administration to the advice, preparation side of things, so zepo can sort of help, they’re just managing the project. And then, you know, I think like a lot of us, we’ve really moved quite a lot on to using zones for the delivery side of things as well. You know, they pre COVID we occasionally use Skype for some of the clients that were over east, you know, even often just had a meeting over the phone, you know, for clients. So what I’ve erased versus now, I’ve been genuinely surprised that after that COVID period, we just gave our clients the option and said, Do you want to keep doing good? Do you want to come into the office? And I’ve been genuinely surprised that you know, certain clients say like younger people, for example, they went No, I want to come into the office and then older people that that just said, No, you know what, zoom is really convenient. You know, I don’t have to travel in I don’t have to, you know, wear proper pants, I’ll just jump online and then I can get you know, get back to Golf or, you know, going going through something fun straightaway afterwards. So we’re using that more and more, I would probably say at least half of my meetings are over zoom these days. You know, some weeks, some weeks even more, and even, you know, sometimes if you know you’ve got a tickle in the throat or you’re just not feeling 100% Then again, it’s really easy switch to say, well, let’s just do a zoom and make sure everybody you know, is safe and protected and we’re not, you know, you know, putting anybody in a vulnerable position as well.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yep, thanks. So, tell me about some cloud portal. So you use a cloud portal or using the experiment,

 

Cara Graham 

we use the explain one, predominantly. But we don’t get great feedback on it. We also, I guess, depending on what investments the client has, then we sometimes use it the, the portals offered by them. So at the moment, we’re predominantly, we, when we hit sort of, we’re working with Volvo two, quite a bit. But we’re in a project to transition across to net wealth for a huge amount of clients. And that also is moving across in the net wealth portal as well. You know, we’re probably about maybe 50%, for that project at the moment. And you know, so far, there have been a few hurdles, but the portal has been received pretty well. You know, clients are really liking the ability to just have it, you know, in an app on their phone, be able to access it on the go, you know, even me as an advisor, you know, there’s access on the advisor app. And so I can jump on, I can see my clients, I can show them in the meeting how the app works, and you know what, what they can see from a portfolio perspective. So that’s been a huge benefit. And I think it’ll be even better want to completed the project. We, you know, I think explain does have some advantages that you can capture sort of, you know, some different accounts, but we just haven’t had great feedback from clients in terms of some of the accessibility the websites a bit clunky, they always are getting logged out there getting their, you know, their password sort of turned off. And yeah, I would probably say, literally, the meeting I just had before this, the client said, Yeah, can you reset my password? Again, I think she says of every meeting. So, you know, I think it’ll be good to, you know, get onto the network on which is just a bit more, I guess, you know, a little bit more up to date with the times, you know, it’s kind of giving people what they want in a format that’s nice and accessible. And, and visually pleasing as well. You know, everything on there looks so smooth and, and beautiful. Whereas I think, you know, explain they have updated a few things along the way. But it just all still feels a little bit clunky. To me.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah. Fantastic. Thank you for coming on. And sharing your takes take information. and secure. It’s always a tough on the security log here, isn’t it? It’s sort of, we want security, but we want it easy. So it’s, it’s a very tricky one. We’ll catch you very soon. Welcome to this episode. Matt Heiner.

 

Matt Heine  

Thanks very much, Fraser. Jack, great to be on the

 

Fraser Jack 

show. fantastic to have you here. Now you’re of course the joint Managing Director of net wealth. Give us a quick overview what that

 

Matt Heine 

means? That’s a good question. I wonder about that on a daily basis, actually. So as you mentioned, joint Managing Director at net wealth, as you’d imagine, I’m involved in every aspect of the business, then at the business now for over 20 years, and have a particular passion for product sales, marketing, and obviously technology.

 

Fraser Jack 

Fantastic. Now we know you’re a you’re a lover of all things technology and innovation. So a perfect person to be talking to on this particular series, where we’re covering up on tech stacks, in particular sort of talking about both and before you know the before and advice. So the prospect type clients. So what what are you seeing

 

Matt Heine 

here? It’s a good question. And obviously, over the last couple of years with COVID, new business has been a little bit challenging. So clearly, pre COVID, new business was largely done face to face. And with everything that’s gone on advisors have had to really adapt to how they’re onboarding clients, how they’re finding clients. And that’s really sort of changed, I guess a lot of the marketing angles. Although marketing spend, in some cases, well, for advice firm. So we’re saying content marketing becoming increasingly popular, and that is because it is extremely effective. We’re seeing advisors using more digital tools, clearly zoom teams, and other video conferencing tools, and now just part of life when it comes to seeing new clients. But we’re also seeing social media channels being used far more frequently as a way of keeping in touch with existing clients, but also promoting their brand and their content online. And I was really interested to see in our recent advice tech report that we’re also seeing in some cases, and admittedly it’s still a small amount of firms, but some advise tech firms so those are the best firms that are using technology incredibly effectively for real business outcomes are spending upwards of $5,000 a month on Facebook advertising, which I thought was staggering so it’s great to say the advice community really starting to leverage some of the digital tools and channels out there to find new business.

 

Fraser Jack 

It’s almost like they’re starting to take it a bit more seriously now these days,

 

Matt Heine 

absolutely. They’re competing with every other business now it’s

 

Fraser Jack 

gone are the days when I was only the big end of town that would that would implement that type of strategy. Now a lot of small businesses are taking it very seriously. Tell us about websites and their online presence from you know, all sorts of things through from reviews. How important is

 

Matt Heine 

your website’s clearly very important, our lives Been online now for at least 10 years if not longer. And it’s certainly mainstream. I remember actually having this conversation with my brother about 20 years ago, where he was convinced that the internet was a passing fad. So we’ve clearly moved on from there. Now I think we’re just trying to decide if Bitcoin is the next passing fad or not. But look, what websites are important, they are the first impression that many clients will have, they set the tone for that relationship, they set the tone for the engagement that you’re going to have with future clients. And therefore, it’s really important that it is a great representation of your brand, and the level of service that you’re going to provide. One of the really important things with any website, though, is it needs to be current, there’s nothing worse than going to a website and finding that the only content on it is old, it’s stale, that people are still listed on the website that don’t work there anymore. And not only is it a bad customer experience, and doesn’t set a good time for the future meetings. But Google also really dislikes them. So Google will make sure that your website doesn’t appear on the first page, they’re looking for fresh content, they’re looking for websites that are being actively maintained. Because they want to give their customers a great experience. And I want to make sure that they can drive traffic to websites that are going to deliver value for their clients. So websites really important. They’re a great way, as I mentioned, to position your brand, they’re a great way to position you as an expert, particularly if you’ve got regular content, you’re in the future. And this is really where we see things heading, you know that the website will be the entrance to the portal or the client portal. So all of the informations and the digital engagement tools that sit behind it, whether that’s through mobile app, or through an online version of the client portal gets really

 

Fraser Jack 

interesting, that actively maintained idea. I mean, I think I used to I heard Tim Timbo read once he called it a stagnant pond, just to try and dramatic effect. But you’re absolutely right about that regular update. I think when we look at stuff, you know that your index, especially within us news, or articles, or information, it’s always about the women’s has published.

 

Matt Heine 

Absolutely. And the other one that’s absolute, you know, got to be a key focus is making sure the websites responsive. We all live on our mobiles these days. And we know that there’s nothing worse than getting to a website on your mobile from Google, which also do rank you if it’s not responsive, and then having to sort of expand it and click around and try and find menus as you’re navigating. So websites really important. And it’s worth spending the money on

 

Fraser Jack 

your name agent client portals. Tell us a little bit more about how that and what you’ve done sort of in the ethos ting report.

 

Matt Heine 

Yeah, so the real focus this year for the advice tech report was around client engagement. And what I was particularly excited about this year was that this is the fifth year we’ve done the report. But it’s the first year that we’ve actually seen any meaningful changes in the adoption of new technology. And so what I mean by that is that over the last four or five years that we’ve done the report the intentions of the industry, so that is what they intend to do over the next 12 to 24 months have always been high, we intend to adopt a managed account, we intend to adopt a cloud portal, we intend to use digital tools. But the actual adoption has flatlined. And it’s been a bit disappointing for us, actually, we put a lot of effort into educating the market and explaining why these things are important. But we also understand that it’s hard. And we understand that everyone’s busy. So this year, off the back of COVID, which has really accelerated tech adoption force change. We’ve seen really meaningful changes in the type of technologies that firms are adopting. And one of those is client portals. So I think advice firms are now recognizing that as a result of COVID, as a result of the emerging affluent or the millennial market, and also the fact that means the digital wealth has gone mainstream, that they now have to have a digital presence, because becoming non negotiable. And that means looking at client portals and looking at ways that they can provide services access to information and ancillary benefits outside of the typical review process. And it’s got to be on the mobile and it’s got to be on the web, because that’s where clients live these days.

 

Fraser Jack 

You’re exactly right. Talk to us about the advice process itself during the you know, Pena’s advisors providing advice with clients through that process, what sort of adoption of technology Have you seen?

 

Matt Heine 

Yeah, also another really good point. And sorry to keep harping on about COVID. But it really has changed the landscape very dramatically. And, you know, when we look at the way that we’ve been living, particularly over the last 18 months, it typically takes about 66 days to form a habit or to break a habit. So the way that we’ve had to live over the last 18 months has formed habits, and those habits are can be easily broken. So I’m not suggesting that we’re not going to go back to face to face meetings and some of the things that we used to enjoy, like going out for meals and going to the cinema, we’ve got to understand that that is going to be heavily augmented now with our digital online life. And so really, when it comes to the advice process, new business will go back to face to face. We can’t wait and I’m sure advisors can’t wait. I’m sure clients Can’t wait because it is very difficult to form that bond over zoom. But when we surveyed a range of Australians in our recent advisable Australian report, what we found was that whilst that first meeting was very important to be done in person face to face where possible. From that point on, the behaviors change quite dramatically. And the percentage of clients actually wanting a face to face meeting for document signing reviews, education system sessions has actually declined very significantly, and they’re very happy to receive an email to do it over the phone or to do it over a zoom meeting. So it’s important that we understand what our clients want, and that we shouldn’t assume what they want. Now, whether you agree with the research that we’ve done, or not, that’s fine, but I highly recommend that you actually survey your clients and find out directly from them. How do they want to be serviced? Do they want to come into the office for their six month review? Are they very happy with a half hour chat online? Because as I mentioned numerous times now, things are changing, and we need to adapt and be flexible to how people actually want to interact with us in the future. Yeah,

 

Fraser Jack 

fantastic. I remember I think it was Sam cawthorne, coining the phrase, don’t bounce back, bounce forward to the new normal, whatever that’s going to be and there was going to be So talk to us about the advisable Australian report. Tell us about that survey.

 

Matt Heine 

At the end. It was also a really interesting bit of research that we did, and it’s available on our website. So first of all, we wanted to try and identify out of the whole Australian population, what what is the real opportunity set for advisors. And then within that broader opportunity set, we’re doing deep dives. So the first one that we did was into the emerging affluent, which is what I like to call millennials with money, and why we think they’re a really important sub sector of the Australian device community. And we can come back to that. But more broadly, what we found was there’s about 2.2 million Australians that have got an active advice relationship, have had an advice relationship and are open to re engaging or looking at engaging an advisor for the first time. So you’ve got this huge demand for financial advice at a time where advisor numbers are falling. And so we’ve got this real sort of imbalance with supply and demand. So if you’re listening and you’re thinking about becoming a financial planner, there is no better time to get into the industry. But what it does mean is that advisors and advice firms need to become better at servicing potentially higher numbers of clients or looking at different ways to service lower value clients. And again, it’s challenging but you’ve got to be really clear on the fact that if we want to make the most of this almost golden opportunity, it is going to require change and change the value propositions and how we go about bringing onboard new clients and also servicing them

 

Fraser Jack 

yeah, you’re 100% and it kind of we know these stats are there we know that there’s gonna be more and more people looking less less advisors around and then in the first part of this conversation we talked about the idea of investing in your website investing in you know, getting you know, new business or new people coming in and I guess, I guess I could there’s almost a form of empathy there with with around some people guy wants to get lots of people knocking on the door, what what do I need to spend the money on the website, so it’s sort of a catch 22 and Indeed, indeed. Fantastic. Thanks, Matt, for coming on this particular episode, we look forward to catching you in the next episode, where we talk about tech trends.

 

Matt Heine 

Thanks Fraser, looking forward to it.

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