Written by: Kristen Schmidt
As a Manager of Strategy & Technology Implementations, it’s my passion to help advisory firms assess technology and integrations that boost efficiency & growth. I am often asked to describe our “ideal client”. I could rattle off ideal AUM, ideal staff skill set or any other impressive statistic that would be the perfect fit for our service offerings. But I have never answered that question using those statistics. Instead, our ideal client is a “doer”. Our ideal client weighs the benefits and risks and is open to change. Our ideal client MOVES FORWARD in implementing our recommendations.
Firms must first identify what they need from technology by separating requirements vs wants.
Once the technology tool options have been narrowed down, it’s time to evaluate the integration functions and impact it will have on current or future firm processes. But the trend we are seeing is that advisory firms stop here.
All that work – all that time and effort – halted.
Advisors are playing with demos for months on end, complaining to everyone what they don’t like. They are spending valuable time dreaming of a tool that doesn’t exist.
Is it easier to sit in the dirty diaper than to change it?
Are advisors willing to give up streamlined processes, improved client services, firm growth – all just so that they are not challenged by change management & implementation?
Excuses: Cost of technology is often an excuse, but most advisors who fret over cost have not done the math to know what THEIR TIME IS WORTH. What is your hourly rate? And if you calculated your time spent vetting, demoing, reassessing, and stalling – was that more expensive than the technology itself?
Downfall: The biggest hurt to the non-doer is the speed of technology evolution in our industry. Technology is changing every day in huge ways. What you assess today will be different tomorrow. That means any assessment or research a firm did is null and void after a month of not doing. Rinse and repeat your technology assessment, research and demoing.
Moral: It’s not worth your costly time to research & assess technology unless you are ready to begin implementing your decisions and building the technology within your firm’s workflows. Too many firms are behind the times with advances in technology & integrations and your clients are noticing and prospects are walking away.
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