Answering services are an obvious solution for virtual companies, entrepreneurs, and growing businesses. For them, an answering service is cost-effective while working well with the structure of their companies. However, answering services can also be a powerful tool for financial planners and work well with the structure of their jobs and their businesses. It's not evident at first, but it is evident once you see how the two compliment each other. Here's how answering services can be a powerful tool for financial planners:
No Interruptions During Meetings
A big part of being a financial planner is that you spend a lot of time meeting with clients and potential clients, getting to know them and figuring out what you could possibly do for them. These are meetings that you don't want interrupted with phone calls, especially calls from other clients. As a financial planner, you need to be focused on one client at time, making each person feel like that you support them and understand. That's tougher to do when another client is calling. An answering service can handle all of these calls for you and only forward you the ones that need to be answered by you right away. This way, when you are interrupted during a client meeting, you know that it's an important call.
You're Away from the Office A Lot
Even though most financial planners will work for a larger company, they do spend more time away from the office than at their desk. This makes calls to the office less effective and calls directly to your cell more effective, although it does mean that you are answering the phone and taking more calls then you perhaps envisioned when you became a financial planner. An answering service can take care of this for you by taking all your calls and forwarding them to your cell when you are available. It's just like you have that company secretary, but much more efficient than the actual company secretary (nothing wrong with him/her, but giving away your cell number or directing people to the office voicemail only creates hassle). Of course, if you are an independent financial planner, then it can be huge for your business to have someone else helping you in this way.
Answering Services Can Do More than Answer the Phone
Financial planners would need more than someone answering the phone. They could also use someone to schedule appointments, to confirm appointments, and to answer questions from clients. Answering services can do all of this as well, customizing their approach according to your needs and the information that you want to deliver to clients. So, for example, instead of an answering service forwarding a call to you to make an appointment, they can make the appointment for you and let you know through an email or through an appointment booking service (this is worked out between you and the service). What a time saver! If there are additional services that you'd like the answering service company to do, then you would need to talk to them about your specific needs. Most companies are willing to work with their clients and to come up with customizable solutions.
Overall, answering services can be a powerful too for financial planners because they give financial planners more time to do what they do best: talk to people about their money. They don't go into this business to do the administrative work or to coordinate appointments. An answering service can do that and allow financial planners to do the work that earns them the money.