Are We Going Back to the Future in Financial Services?

How do you build a successful financial services practice today?How do you build a successful financial services practice today?

How are financial services changing? How do you prepare your organization for the changes in your markets? What can you do to help your financial services and advisory business thrive as the next generation of digital native customers begins to create relationships with their financial services professionals?

Successful financial services entrepreneurs change how we buy insurance, investments, and banking services. Are you up for the challenge? Do you know how to build an extraordinary customer experience and journey with your firm?   Are you prepared to leverage people, technology, and systems to win, grow, and retain clients over the longer term? The future of financial services requires a team-based approach to client acquisition and development. We will share more about this in future blogs.

Several hard trends are impacting financial services markets. They are happening now, and they will continue to change how you do business forever. We’ll start sharing these hard trends starting next week. These hard trends help you establish future facts that can help you build a stronger, more profitable practice.

The critical question as a practice leader is how can you shape the soft trends to build a brighter future for your financial advisors, support professionals and clients? Can these activities keep you ahead of the curve in financial services?

During visits to Michigan I’ve started discovering a more entrepreneurial class of financial services firms springing up there and globally. They are not your father’s financial services organizations! These practices understand how millennials buy, and what they expect from their providers.

They are focused on solutions for their clients versus just selling more products and services to achieve their organization’s financial goals. As advisors they are becoming architects of their client’s financial future. They are focusing on the big things that clients expect from their organization.

They are developing superior consulting and advocacy skills for many different stakeholders and agendas. In the past, many have been transactional sales people and order takers in dealing with customers. Technology, generational transitions, and new global competition are changing the game.

Millennials, GenX, and Boomers have different ways of looking at their financial service professionals. Many advisors have to change their mindset in dealing with their clients and their extended families. In many cases, the only person your client interacts with is an agent or a financial planner when dealing with your organizations.

Over 25 years ago I started my financial services career, recruiting many financial professionals for Bank One, Progressive Insurance, Ernst and Young. Westfield Insurance, GEICO, Nationwide Insurance, Chubb, Deloitte, and PriceWaterhouceCoopers.

I recruited so many people and roles I got a real-world MBA into how financial services works. I always loved recruiting many different financial services leaders and technologists. They were smart people doing cool things. They were building the next generation of financial services.

Several are considered visionaries and market leaders. Even today when I present at conferences there is always someone who remembers my career as an executive search professional.

Today, FinTech is disrupting both large and small financial services organizations. Technology organizations including Apple, Walmart, and Amazon present an imminent threat to many traditional financial services core businesses. Many emerging FinTech organizations are changing your customers’ expectations of a financial service organization. How do you move ahead?

People are predicting the death of financial services as we know it. Why do these new technologies pose such a huge treat to their giant organizations? Is there a way of disrupting the disruptors?  Can you build successful practice that’s a giant killer?

The one common quality all my best clients and partners share is they know how to sell their ideas, their vision, and change. They are responsible for creating today’s financial services markets. I believe we are at an inflection point in financial services and our society.

It feels like we been here before. How do we see, create and seize new opportunities in the financial services? We will need to change how we do things. We can create a brighter future! Are you up for the challenge?

See you next week.

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