- 2-Minute Article
3 Ways to Help Clients Make Sense of Their Online Financial Searches
Tips to help your clients through their online financial searches.
The good news: for clients who want to learn more about retirement investing, there’s a wealth of information available online. A common search like "invest for retirement" yields over a hundred million results.
But that's also the not-so-good news: the abundance of recommendations and different points of view can result in information overload.
That’s where your experience and advice becomes vitally important. You can help your clients and prospects narrow down their choices to make decisions less overwhelming and direct them to resources where you know they’ll find reliable information.
Here are some ways you can add extra value to your client relationships.
1. Be available for questions
Research shows people view their financial advisors as a welcome source of assistance and a preferred option to turn to when they become confused or overwhelmed with online searches for financial information.1
Reminding your clients that you’re willing and available to answer any of their financial questions can help you solidify your value and become indispensable to your clients. Let them know how best to reach you, too: email, phone, and text message are all good ways to check in or set up a meeting for further discussion.
2. Proactively provide relevant information to reduce confusion
Searching online is the easy part. Trying to determine what information is valuable and relevant is the difficult – time consuming — part.
An abundance of choices can also result in taking no action at all, or "decision paralysis." One study shows the more choices given to potential 401(k) participants, the less likely they are to enroll in their workplace retirement plan.2
Doing the work to narrow down product options and present only the choices that are most relevant to the client's needs can make decisions far easier, reduce stress, and save them valuable time. If clients are looking for more education, refer them to a credible online resource to reinforce your discussions and recommendations.
3. Stay on their level
Research shows when people feel the information is beyond their understanding or the level of detail they can process, they literally shut down their computers.
Your clients may also "shut down" and stop processing information when they feel too overwhelmed with financial jargon or technical details. So remember to confirm understanding frequently as you deliver information, and reduce or thoroughly explain jargon as much as possible.
Whether it’s helping them sort through online information, juggle multiple financial priorities, or make adjustments for life's changes, every interaction you have with a client is a new opportunity to build your relationship and help them stay on track toward their goals.