Revolutionising Relationship Management In Financial Planning With Social Media

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Financial Services support group, IMI Trust, shows financial planners worldwide that they don’t have to sit idle as the competition shrinks their client base. Relationship management through social media is the key.

They can build trust, strengthen business relationships and collect insightful feedback. Companies are now enjoying tangible returns from their blogging investment in the form of lead generation, sales, business opportunities, and media coverage.

Research by Gold Coast–based, financial services support group, IMI Trust (http://www.imitrust.com), shows that Marketing in financial planning has been in a holding pattern for some time. Numbers and percentages talk the talk and customers jump in the direction of the best sounding opportunities. Worse still for financial planners, the media constantly bombards their customers with news and hype. How can financial planners get their customers to resist change and stay with them for the long-term?

Financial planners are struggling with red tape and complain of being time poor. A new client of IMI Trust voices a typical opinion in the industry, “Relationship management is not a priority as compliance and achieving solid returns are my main concerns. However, if I don’t have any customers then there’s no point.”

IMI Trust (http://www.imitrust.com) shows financial planners that they don’t have to sit idle as the competition shrinks their client base. “An annual consultation is not enough to foster a lifelong business relationship. Being distant is worse than not being there at all. Social media allows you to directly contact your audience with accuracy, regularity and allows you to build rapport,” says Steve Torso, Managing Director of IMI Trust.

Social Media describes the online platforms people use to share opinions, insight and experiences with each other. One of the most popular forms of social media is blogging. Blogging is used to communicate directly to their target audience. Some corporates like Sun Microsystems have thousands of readers visiting their blogs proving that the public want to hear what the company has to say. Other blogs with international reach are translated into multiple languages to appeal to their global client base.

“As a financial planner you can communicate to your client base en masse, at very low cost and in a very efficient way,” says Dominic Dirupo, Director of IMI Trust.

"In addition, companies are able to build long term loyalty with their clients, by giving them an insight into who they are and what they offer. Corporate blogs provide companies with the ability to communicate with their clients on a more personal level,” continues Dirupo. “They can build trust, strengthen business relationships and collect insightful feedback. Companies are now enjoying tangible returns from their blogging investment in the form of lead generation, sales, business opportunities, and media coverage.”

This shift towards social media is welcomed by clients. Financial planning is an industry without borders as interstate and international investors often make up a financial planners client base. “Whether you are a financial planner in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Singapore, London or Los Angeles it does not matter. Clients will be able to build a relationship with you, if you give them the opportunity. They need confidence in you and this is just one part of that puzzle,” states Torso, with podcasting being another part of the puzzle.

Podcasting allows you to broadcast your company’s message with your voice. “If you provide your clients with useful and engaging content that appeals to their interests, social media will have a viral marketing effect on your business as word is quickly spread.”

As the public look to the internet as a primary source of information, Social media has been a notable winner for both companies and clients alike. By breaking down the barriers of communication, the market place is now understanding there are real people with real lives behind these companies. For an audio description of social media and how it can benefit business, please visit: http://www.prwebdirect.com/userfiles/2006/10/03/22614/Social_Media.mp3.

Good returns are only part of the solution for a financial planner to build a complete business. Relationship marketing provides the rest of the answer.

IMI Trust is a leader in helping Financial Services organisations build relationships with their clients and streamline their systems. The emphasis is results through education, training and research.

http://www.imitrust.com

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Dominic Dirupo
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