Industry Trends

I have two words for you: data mining


Industry

I’m pretty sure one of the top 10 things I hear from advisors is, “None of my clients use this social media stuff.” And … I’m pretty sure they’re wrong. (With a billion active users on Facebook today, it’s something to consider.) 

The one thing all advisors have available to them is their book of business. The data collected over years (decades!) can be staggering, and most advisors use a CRM (client relationship management) software package to manage this data. So I have to ask, “Are you mining your data?

I recently read in the Wall Street Journal that Peter Hancock (the incoming CEO of American International Group, Inc.) is banking on turning data into dollars. (On a side note, I have to bet that John Hancock Life Insurance is thinking, "Hancock is running AIG!?" Sorry, insurance humor ...)  As the article reads, Hancock expects the results will include new products, better identification of fraud and potentially lower premiums for certain customers. 

This got me thinking. If data mining is good enough for a gigantic insurance company to use as part of their strategy – and that’s a lot of data, folks – then shouldn’t data mining be on your radar for 2015 and beyond? Absolutely!

Going back and revisiting clients is just good business sense, but so many professionals are too busy looking at the next rung, the next deal and the next elephant to remember the clients they helped so many years ago with their planning. Good advisors are reaching back out on occasion here or there; great advisors are enormous givers and have systematic ways of staying in touch with lots of people. Social media can really help with this.

Where compliance allows (for those registered reps who read this) connecting with your clients on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc. allows you to see so much more of who your client REALLY is and what’s REALLY important to them. These social signals are invaluable to maintaining not only your book of business, but also your credibility, care and courage as an advisor. 

By becoming more than someone’s financial planner, you are surrounded by your clients as their friend and can meet others who are most important to them. Combine this social activity with the data in your CRM, and you will be light years ahead of many advisors out there.

There’s no exact science to data mining, but there are results that are consistent across many organizations that are doing it well. Recognizing birthdays, anniversaries, etc. is a simple, yet effective, use of data that will help you stay in front of clients. Being on top of your game though, watching windows on annuities, term conversions, different needs for coverage laddering, etc. is where you will boost profitability within your business.

The Bottom Line: I have two words for you: Data mining. Learn it. Live it. Love it.

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