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3 Ways AI Can Help Financial Advisors Grow Their Client Base

Two businesswomen in an office look at a tablet, exploring ways to use AI for wealth management
Trying to figure out generative AI? This technology does some of the more time-consuming tasks, taking predictive AI one step further, so you can focus on clients. [Tinpixels / Getty Images]

Your clients don’t want more face-to-face meetings but they still want a personal touch. Generative AI helps advisors find meaningful connections, get the right information, and start conversations that matter.

In-person meetings? That’s so 2019. Clients want financial advice with the convenience of an online account but the empathy of an in-person conversation. How are financial advisors finding new clients, deepening relationships with existing clients, and maintaining the trust of both? By using AI for wealth management.

The old ways of doing business aren’t working — even as demand for wealth advisory services is rising. Incorporating AI can help you bring your wealth management advisory practice in line with today’s customer expectations, and most importantly, reach new clients.

Get closer to your clients

How are key decision-makers using AI to build new relationships and improve existing ones? Hear from the experts.

The new client search once meant setting up several screens with dozens of open tabs. You’d peck and search on Google, LinkedIn, or one of the many other subscription databases, hoping for a viable name to jump out. And let’s not talk about the cross-referencing on Excel spreadsheets.

Now imagine a world where warm leads are served right to a dashboard with plenty of context. Even before you pick up a phone or open your email, you can see a potential customer’s financial behavior, demographics, risk appetite, and investment interests, overlaid on market trends, financial forecasts, and consumer sentiment data. Instead of an introductory email, you can reach out to this customer with details on specific products that make sense for their needs. 

What is generative AI for wealth management? 

Generative AI for wealth management is the next level of predictive AI, which financial advisors have been using for years to forecast investment performance and market trends.

With generative AI, financial advisors can find new clients quickly and provide current customers with better service through proactive, context-rich outreach. 

1. Generative AI does the legwork to help you find new clients

Trying to figure out generative AI? This technology does some of the more time-consuming tasks, taking predictive AI one step further, so you can focus on clients. 

Predictive AI, which analyzes historical data, also helps financial advisors discover hidden connections to prospects in databases through digital automation. It’s proven extremely efficient. AI in sales has been shown to increase leads and appointments by more than 50%, while reducing costs between 40% and 60%. 

There’s a reason Merrill Lynch banned the practice of cold calling for its trainees: Once, it was a rite of passage, but now it’s not even remotely effective. Merrill Lynch estimates cold lead conversions are less than 2% versus 40% for personal referrals.

Now it’s time to level up with generative AI. This technology uses historical and real-time data — including emails, social media posts, company websites, press releases, published research, news stories and more — to create new and innovative content. 

Before, advisors reviewed a call list compiled by predictive AI, then called phone numbers hoping to make a connection with very little background information to start the conversation. But generative AI can create emails, call scripts, and more, specific to the potential customer’s unique needs, based on the trusted data it analyzes. This context helps advisors quickly pull together portfolio simulations, targeted offers for potential new clients, and personalized communications that immediately demonstrate your value and inspire their trust. 

After you start using AI for wealth management, you’ll never go back to cold calling again.

2. AI can help you discover and deepen a network of connections

To find new clients, advisors need to figure out who in their circle can make personal referrals that are also worthwhile. AI for wealth management works as a personal assistant on digital steroids to offer warm leads and associated network connections. The generative AI technology delivers the lead information in context, leading to high-quality introductions based on real-life connections. 

Once predictive AI has served up that warm lead on your dashboard, you can prompt the generative algorithm to write a personalized email to your potential customer. Forget those form emails where you insert a name. Generative AI can instantly create a note that details a potential customer’s interests and investing priorities, offers access to content like ebooks and webinars that align with their needs, suggests investment products that match their investment behavior, and even offers references they know who can vouch for your expertise. 

All this digital legwork sets up advisors for conversations that are far more substantive than cold calls. And it saves advisors time. They no longer need to pour over the internet, open dozens of tabs, and read through stories that may or may not be relevant.

3. Have more productive conversations with clients — at scale

Generative AI can be a vital tool for nourishing existing clients as well. Financial advisors need scale. They need to operate efficiently and engage more often with clients who crave personalized advice and often prefer digital-first experiences. 

But as practices grow, servicing and staying in touch with clients can be a challenge. Monthly newsletters, educational resources, and webinars are effective ways to communicate with clients, but they can’t foster deep and meaningful relationships.

With generative AI for wealth management, advisors can receive automated insights and reminders regularly, recommending best steps for ongoing outreach. Advisors and support teams also can automate schedules in digital marketing tools, then prompt generative AI to create personalized content — like individually curated newsletters or investment performance documents — based on client needs and interests. 

With personalized details like these in hand, financial advisors can find more meaningful reasons to engage with clients more often. More importantly, clients will feel these interactions are unique to them, rather than a concerted sales push across an organization. This builds positive sentiment and trust — and clients do more business with an advisor they can trust. 

AI is helping advisors adapt and stay closer to customers in the ways they prefer — part human, part digital. The goal? To forge closer connections and stay in touch with clients over time.

Data-driven AI for wealth management helps build your practice 

You already have what you need to find new clients and have better conversations with existing ones. To succeed with AI, turn to your stores of customer data, the best and most trusted information you can access. The first step, however, is connecting disparate data sources on a single platform, giving advisors (and AI) the fuel they need to work with more clients, more closely and more often. 

Currently, advisors juggle so many disconnected sources — their email, firm documentation, texts, chats, back-end systems, social media, and their LinkedIn network, to name a few. Sorting through all this data manually is time-consuming, and AI can help — but it can’t be as effective when your data lives in many different places. 

Once firms have unified their data sources, however, financial advisors can optimize these trusted stores of information with AI for wealth management. This technology can help you find new clients quickly while maintaining personal, value-added, high-touch relationships with existing ones — at scale. The days of inefficient cold calls are definitely over.

Want to better connect with clients?

Explore the future of financial services and learn more about what clients value most from their financial service institution.

Michelle Feinstein GM/VP, Global Wealth & Asset Management Solutions & Strategy - Industries

Michelle Feinstein is general manager and vice president, Global Wealth & Asset Management Solutions & Strategy for Salesforce Industries. Her expertise is in digital transformation for wealth management. This process of digitization is complex, it requires firms to accelerate plans to harness data, digitize advisor-client experiences, and modernize service to scale and support growth.

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