Practice Management

Here’s How Financial Advisors Can Transition to Working Remote

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Financial advisors are in the midst of a transition to working remote because of the novel coronavirus and social distancing. For sales professionals, nothing beats a face-to-face interaction. Thekeys to a sucessfull sales relies on that individual or business knowing, liking, and trusting you. It’s not easy to accomplish all three of those factors when you can’t physically shake someone’s hand or look them in the eye when they’re talking about financial security 10, 20, 30+ years down the road. Peace of mind and security is what we sell, which at this point is heightened even more with fears of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

This is why we just can’t stop the work we do. We must be “out there” even more to assist our prospective clients. But what can we do if we can’t physically be “out there” to see people? Many companies across the world have incorporated a “work from home” model for years now. Some companies, like Zapier, have a 100% virtual workforce. Other, much larger, Fortune 5000 companies have incorporated a “work from wherever you want” model, as long as the work gets done. To implement these models successfully, it requires discipline from your workers, but more importantly, total buy in from leadership and access to resources. Personally, I’ve been working virtually for over 8 years, so I know a thing or two about how to get things done when you’re out “on an island” and your team is spread out all over the world. With colleagues as close as a few miles away and as far as Ukraine (I’m in Los Angeles), keeping it all together requires the right balance of resources and leadership. Here are 3 things that will help advisors transition to “working from home” while we get through this indefinite quarantine (social distancing) happening across the board.

1. Discipline When Working Remote

Working from home can feel like a “vacation from the office” at first. It’s great, it’s comfortable, and a place with endless distractions. Enjoy it at first, but remember you need to get things done. People are still depending on you.

Ideal “Space”

Create your ideal “space” when working from home. Remove the distractions, and treat your workspace as if you’re about to meet with a client there. (which, you technically are)

Distractions are easy when working from home. TV, radio, kids, wife, husband, pets, deliveries, online shopping, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and even day dreaming! It happens! To remain productive and avoid these pitfalls, get in the right mindset. To attain this, start with a few things you can definitely control.

Look and Act Like You’re Going to Work

Get dressed and do your hair like you’re going into the office. Have breakfast and lunch at normal times. If you need to take breaks, step outside the house and get some fresh air on a quick walk (avoiding people at ALL COSTS, of course!) Now, on the “attire” point, I’m not saying to wear a suit at home, but avoid taking calls in your pajamas. The way you look and feel will go a long way in your attitude while working from home. The point is, the more you can mimic the things you would do in your corporate office, the better. Treat it like your job and not a “too sick to come into the office but ok to work from home sporadically” day.

Get Comfortable and Don’t Sacrifice Health

It’s important to upgrade your equipment, including a desk and chair that work well for your posture so you don’t end up having back pain or other issues. If you are dealing with back pain from sitting, check out this article on one-sided lower back pain which a lot of people in the work-from-home era are dealing with. I know we’re not a “healthcare” company, but something like this can eat into productivity, which is something we care about. Pain does not bode well for efficiency while working.

2. The Right Tools for Efficiency and Communication

So you’re working from home, you’re disciplined, you have your work station, and now you need to conduct meetings like you’ve never conducted before. Here are a set of tools that are designed to make you more efficient and impactful when working remotely.

Video Conferencing

When your client is handing over their life savings, being able to talk via video conference is going to make that transaction MUCH easier to swallow. In my experience, the easiest, most reliable video conferencing tool is Zoom. If you don’t want your clients dealing with downloading a file and restarting their computer just to conduct a meeting with you via video, this is your answer.