Winning over new advisors is an essential part of every asset manager’s business plan. But, with traditional in-person networking severely curtailed by the ongoing pandemic, firms have been forced to find new ways to connect with prospects. In the absence of in-person contact, building new relationships can prove more challenging than maintaining relationships with existing loyal customers. A key first step in building new advisor relationships is making it easy for them to learn about the firm and its products. However, advisors who haven’t yet done business with a firm often prefer to go about this differently than existing clients. By understanding these differences, asset managers can tailor their strategy to engage with prospects in the ways they prefer, ensuring that prospects are able to gather the information that they need in order to start using a new firm’s products.
In SS&C’s recent Advisor Insights survey, conducted in Q3 2021 in association with Horsesmouth, we asked advisors, “What is your preferred method for gathering more information on an asset management firm that you have never done business with nor used its products?” We also asked, “When you have an existing relationship with a firm, what is your preferred method of engaging with that firm?” In each case, advisors were asked to select all options that apply. While the tried-and-true methods of phone conversations and in-person meetings with a salesperson topped the list for both prospects and existing clients, the preference for these approaches is much less marked amongst advisors who don’t already have a relationship with an asset manager.
How advisors prefer to engage with asset managers
In fact, when it comes to learning more about a firm that they have never done business with, advisors are almost as likely to prefer webinars hosted by an asset manager (selected by 29% of advisors) or visits to the asset manager’s website (27%) as a phone conversation (30%) or in-person meeting with a salesperson (also 30%). And, unlike most other communication options, advisors were actually more likely to select asset manager webinars and website visits as a preferred method for learning about a new firm than as a way to engage with a firm they already do business with—29% vs. 27% for webinars, and 27% vs. just 16% for visits to the asset manager’s website.
The key takeaway for asset managers is that digital forms of engagement, in particular advisor-focused webinars and the firm’s website, offer valuable opportunities to inform prospects about the firm and start them down the pathway to becoming clients. To capitalize on these opportunities, asset managers should ensure their websites make it easy and engaging for prospects to find the information they need, and should also focus on delivering webinars that are timely, informative and showcase the firm’s expertise.
To understand more about advisor preferences and behaviors, as well as their investment behaviors, see our Advisor Practice Analysis service.
Written by Saadiah Freeman
Product Manager, Research & Consulting