Financial advisors know all about the value of developing relationships with prospects and clients. Whether you’re providing banking services, investment vehicles, or insurance products, you know that the number one way to get business is through personal connections and referrals. You rely on word of mouth and warm introductions to help you win people’s trust.
But the shutdown conditions imposed by the pandemic have made relationship building much more difficult. The traditional methods of networking don’t exist at the moment. There are no events or industry conferences to attend, no large gatherings, no going to places of worship or alumni meetings. You can’t go into the bank branch or office to analyze prospects or share leads. When everything is digital and everyone is working from home, are there different ways to meet people and have conversations?
Meaningful engagement in the digital world
Much of our interaction with friends and family has moved online, but social media has some limitations for building professional relationships. Facebook is a little too personal, and not many clients would want to connect with their financial advisor there, as it could feel intrusive. Twitter has promise but it’s not easy to search, and posts are served up haphazardly.
Of all the social media platforms, LinkedIn stands out as the only one designed for professional engagement. It’s quite common to build a first-degree network on LinkedIn filled with your family, friends, casual acquaintances, people you went to school with, and colleagues both past and present, all expecting to talk about their work life and business opportunities.
But if you restrict yourself to using LinkedIn with your standard account, you’re very limited in who you can reach. Most of the information coming through your feed is from 1st-degree connections. If you’re directly connected to 500 people, you will have a few million 2nd- and 3rd-degree connections. But there are 750 million people on LinkedIn, so you’re missing out on 99 percent of them. There’s no way to find them, let alone share information and start conversations.
Best practices for building client relationships on social media
So, how can you use LinkedIn more efficiently and effectively? Microsoft Relationship Sales (MRS), which includes LinkedIn Sales Navigator and Dynamics 365 Sales, makes it possible for you to follow the best practices for client engagement on social media.
Find your best prospects
Using LinkedIn Sales Navigator, you can search the entire LinkedIn network based on detailed criteria and home in on the clients who are right for you. You can identify C-suite executives and individuals with high net worth. You can search for people who have just been promoted or just changed companies. You can filter by geography, right down to the zip code. If you have a specialty serving physicians, law firm partners, venture capitalists, or financial service professionals, you can find them. LinkedIn Sales Navigator gives you unlimited, unrestricted access to follow and engage with any of the 750 million people on the platform, even if you’re not connected with them yet.
Connect through warm introductions
Financial advisors often dismiss social media because they don’t want to be doing cold outreach. But using LinkedIn Sales Navigator, you never have to approach people from out of the blue. You can get introduced through mutual connections. You can respond to the updates they post. You can share content that you know they’re interested in. Personalizing your interactions makes them much more effective.
Stay in touch by making full use of the available tools
MRS is a powerful solution, with many use cases and touchpoints built in. Once you find and connect with prospects, you can track and manage your interactions using Dynamics 365 Sales. Many financial advisors have trouble staying informed about their prospects and clients, and the only time they follow up is when someone deposits more money in their account, which can be off-putting for the client. MRS makes it easy to keep up with a large network and connect with them in real and intelligent ways.
Both LinkedIn and Microsoft offer training to help you get the most from MRS so you are monitoring and reaching out regularly and thoughtfully, without creating a lot more work for yourself.
LinkedIn is proving itself an effective social platform for financial advisors. According to a Putnam report, 85 percent of advisors surveyed are using LinkedIn for their business activities. LinkedIn reports that its platform is four times more effective for prospecting compared to Twitter.
The shift to remote work and digital interaction has driven more financial advisors to turn to social media for networking. But many expect to continue using it even when in-person activities return. Putnam says that 84 percent of advisors expect to maintain the changes they’ve made in their communication practices. With the advanced capabilities of MRS, you can use LinkedIn to not only generate more pipeline and close more opportunities but also to engage with your clients more frequently so you can stay top of mind and have more authentic relationships.
For more information on how you can build better client relationships on social media, reach out to David Wodnicki, Microsoft Relationship Account Strategist at LinkedIn.
To see how Dynamics 365 Sales and Microsoft Relationship Sales work, check out these demos.