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A guest blog post from Stephanie Dannebaum of Stephanie Dannebaum Consulting

Category: Best Practices
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Editor’s note: this guest post is from Stephanie Dannebaum, ChFC®, MBA/MPP, Founder and Principal CRM Consultant at Stephanie Dannebaum Consulting. She led the Practice Management Takeover webinar we hosted on Tuesday, January 10th, 2022, a replay of which can be viewed here.

Taking Your Technology from Major Barrier to Exponential Growth

Financial Advisor technology is your competitive advantage.

I experienced technology as a barrier for myself when I was working at one of the largest independent Registered Investment Advisory firms in the country. I served as the resident technology expert at my firm and I created Stephanie Dannebaum Consulting to help other Registered Independent Advisory firms successfully implement their customized client service processes with the robust features of Redtail CRM.

This blog post can be your sherpa as you navigate through the hills and valleys that is Financial Advisor technology.

What Part Does Each Person Need to Play? 

Advisors should be using technology the least.

The idea is to optimize your tech stack and empower your staff so you, as the Financial Advisor, can free up your plate to generate business.

Staff members should be the ones to log in to your technology systems every day to track notes and complete to-do items.

A condensed version of most software through a mobile app is enough for an advisor, where a staff member is going to want a full web version to be successful.

Set rules, expectations, and boundaries for your technology, don’t just set it and forget it. 

The Top 3 Rules to Engage your Staff in Technology

Rule #1: Play in the Technology Sandbox

Typically most software systems will offer a free trial. Free trials are the perfect opportunity to click every button you see. The software will not break from clicking buttons. If there is sample data within–that is even better! Use it as a safe sandbox to go in and play without any thoughts or repercussions. It’s a no judgment zone and you’re guaranteed to discover something new that will add value to your office. This is not the time to sit on the fence and say, “I’m not tech savvy,” this is the time to dig around and get under the hood!

Remember: The best case study to use is yourself. Put in your contact information, your details, your favorite restaurant, and see how you like to see and find information. 

Rule #2: Acknowledge the Curse of Knowledge

When you know something, you forget what it was like not knowing. For technology you might have scheduled a demo, you might have sat in on a training–but your team didn’t. Once it’s time to introduce a new software, assume there is zero experience with the product. From that expectation you can schedule hands-on education. You need an expert to visually demonstrate your expectations. From logging in to tracking RMDs. Your team is in a position where they don’t know what they don’t know and knowing there is a learning curve is better than ignoring it. Give people a chance to demo–to see it, feel it, read about it, and practice what you’re expecting, and adaptability will be more than 90 percent.

Rule #3: Develop an Internal Expert

The great thing about financial advisor technology is that it’s not like Apple where you have to wait for the next update for new things to be released. Instead, new things are added to software regularly! That can include bug fixes or brand-new features. A resident expert can keep up with any changes to continuously improve your office.

Get this person signed up for the software’s newsletter and reserve a few minutes at each team meeting to let them explain any new updates. It’ll empower your employee by giving them ownership and they can be the go-to person for questions.

Here are some other ideas to get the adoption ball rolling:

  • Offer incentives like a gift card
  • Include staff wins in team meetings
  • Offer specific recognition during staff reviews
  • Gamify adoption and announce leaders in a certain category
  • Question staff to discover pain points and give them the power to fix it

For more on templates and client phases, watch my Takeover Tuesday webinar replay I did for Redtail Technology on how to get your database in good working order. I also have a downloadable PDF you can access on my blog.

Still Lacking Technology Adoption? 

Sometimes in working with offices I find that someone on the team can say things until they are blue in the face and no one listens. Then someone like me can say something one time and suddenly. . . it’s adoption time!

My thought is that these tips will help you and you’ll find a few strategies and tactics that will work.

Remember technology adoption is the single biggest way to give your firm a competitive advantage–you’ve got this! 

Warm Regards,

Stephanie Dannebaum


Stephanie Dannebaum_Headshot

Posted by: Redtail Technology
About Stephanie Dannebaum: Stephanie Dannebaum went from an Advisor to Founder. She saw an opportunity to show other advisors how to take advantage of the robust features in their CRM and decided to start her business to help. Now she supports RIAs with practice management, teaching them how to use the CRM to generate deep business insights, offer a higher-level of customer service, and centralize client data.

When not helping RIA firms, you can find Stephanie spending time traveling, camping, skiing, or being outdoors with her husband Richard, daughter Olivia, and two dogs Sterling (Black Lab mix) and Webster (Boxer mix).