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Is videoconferencing taking hold in the RIA world?
Dani Fava, 08/21/2019
Director, Product Strategy & Development, TD Ameritrade Institutional
When I’m in the office, I’m on videoconferences pretty much all day long.
I initially rejected the idea of videoconferencing because I didn’t want to worry about my hair. But, I warmed up to it once I understood that the face-to-face connection is much more valuable than solely an audio connection, even if it’s only over webcam—and even if your hair is a mess.
Which got me wondering. Are advisors videoconferencing with their clients?
The short answer is yes, they are. According to our poll of Veo One® users, 68% of people who work at RIA firms say they videoconference with clients. So, we decided to take a deeper look into why, what tools they’re using, and what tips they have for a successful videoconferencing experience.
Why do advisors use videoconferences?
There are plenty of compelling reasons to meet with clients via videoconference rather than over the phone. Most importantly, it provides clients the benefit of getting face time with you even when they aren’t able to travel to your office. Saving time and removing friction from the experience is good for client engagement. It also adds convenience to your day. Just imagine spending less time setting out beverages or adjusting the office temperature for your clients’ needs and more time working in your pajamas (well, maybe your pajama bottoms).
What videoconferencing tools do advisors use?
Our Veo One poll found that 32% of RIAs who video conference use Zoom, 20% use GoToMeeting, and 18% report using something else. Not sure what these services are? Here’s a quick breakdown:
|Zoom – It’s easy to use, it works on any computer (unless you have strict firewall rules), it allows you to record meetings in the paid version, and you can use the basic version for free.|
|•||GotoMeeting – This service has a cost, but you can try it free for 14 days. It may be a bit more expensive than Zoom, but it does have unlimited recording and it provides transcripts of meetings.|
Source: Veo One. For illustrative purposes only
Try these best practices
When using video conferencing with clients, here a few things to keep in mind:
|•||Save it for existing clients. If it can be avoided, a video conference shouldn’t be your first meeting. An in-person relationship should be established before you move to video conferencing.|
|•||Set ground rules. Advisors and clients should be prepared and ready to give their full attention to the video conference.|
|•||Consider your space. Have a dedicated room so there isn’t anything on the wall or board. If you don’t have the space for a dedicated room, make sure your background is clean and clear.|
|•||Give your clients choice. Let your clients drive the timing that makes them most comfortable.|
|•||Don’t comment on what’s going on in their background. This is a hard and fast rule. Even a compliment can be seen as over-reaching.|
|•||Don’t use your smartphone. Although most services (Zoom and GoToMeeting included) can be used from a mobile device, remember that a phone is generally too small for reviewing number-heavy reports. If you intend on sharing reports, you should make sure the client has a laptop or tablet.|
|•||Start small and experiment. Choose a few clients that you think would be open to this method of meeting and iron out your approach.|
According to Brice Carter of Financial Strategies Group, “Videoconferencing is a great alternative to meeting in person. Especially when geography or traffic are a barrier to meeting. This technology allows you to grow by impacting clients across the country not just in your community. Just remember to treat these meetings with the same rigor and preparation as you would an in-person meeting. In addition to preparing your usual materials for the meeting, ensure that you have clear audio and video to make the meeting feel as genuine as possible.”
For those advisors who are rejecting video conferencing like I did, remember: Video conferencing doesn’t have to replace in-person meetings. They can make meeting more frequently possible. And Carter agrees.
“Getting in front of your clients as frequently as possible is one of the keys to helping them stay the course and pursue their goals.”
TD Ameritrade and the mentioned third parties are separate and unaffiliated and each is not responsible for the other’s content.
Content provided is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be advice for any firm.
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