Some advisers have seen new business levels jump by over 30% during the Covid-19 pandemic, despite widespread financial and economic uncertainty.
According to a survey by Dynamic Planner, more than one fifth (21%) of advisers said new business had increased and was higher or much higher, in contrast to 16% who had experienced a drop of more than 70%. Around a third of those surveyed said business levels had remained the same.
To help firms who have struggled during the crisis, the risk profiler identified the leading methods used by higher performing advisers to improve their business levels.
The survey revealed that those firms performing better generated new business from existing clients. While all firms had addressed the issue of Covid-19 with clients, those who were most successful were found to have spoken more about Covid-19 related concerns and spent more time building a rapport and understanding with clients.
Higher performing advisers were also more likely to offer a free initial consultation and in initial meetings, the use of open questions was used more frequently among the higher performing group, Dynamic Planner said.
The adoption of technology in engaging with prospective clients was also a clear differentiator, with over 50% of high-performing firms using video for the discovery meeting and 35% using it during the very first client interaction. Advisers also made greater use of online risk profiling, with three quarters of high-performing firms using this method, as well as online fact-finding.
Dynamic Planner said investing new money and reviewing portfolios was also a key part of a successful offer, and said there was a marked difference when it comes to fee income generated from portfolio reviews, with firms attracting more new business shown to be generating significantly more income from this activity.
Finally, ongoing reviews were central to winning new business in a time of deep uncertainty and change for clients, the group said.
Yasmina Siadatan, marketing director, Dynamic Planner, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the financial advice and planning industry in a uniquely challenging way, and it’s not over yet.
“The country is already in deep recession and is bracing itself for one of the most troubling economic periods in a century. The restrictions brought about by managing the virus are a huge challenge for a traditionally face-to-face industry.
“The issue of new business levels remains for most firms. We hope that by sharing this analysis of what those who have been most successful are doing, we can go some way in helping advisers learn from one another, make an even bigger difference for clients and come through the pandemic stronger and better than before.”