Lead Tech's top takeaways from this year's NextGen2020 conference

By Christina Bentley on June 29, 2020

Helping our partners succeed

The financial advice landscape is always changing. If we want to continue to support our partners, we need to understand the issues that affect them and their businesses.

Our friends NextGen Planners invited us to a digital version of their NextGen2020 conference on Thursday, 25th June 2020. The event covered 30 talks on financial planning, leadership, financial wellbeing, innovation and the adviser gap.

We thought it would be a fantastic opportunity to gain valuable knowledge we could pass on to our partners and learn how to better support them.

What is NextGen2020?

The annual conference offers professionals a chance to network and listen to talks on the future of financial planning. Rohan Sivajoti, a panellist in our latest Mastermind event, created NextGen Planners as a community for young financial planners. Over time, it evolved into a business, offering the community dedicated training, resources and other support.

While this year’s event wasn’t held in person, the conference was just as exciting for our team.

In attendance at this year’s event were:

  • Kelly Baynham – Head of people
  • James Story – Senior content manager
  • Tom Wilson – Marketing automation campaign manager

We’re already looking forward to next year’s event and our team can’t wait to share them with our partners. Here are their key takeaways.

Financial Wellbeing: The Movement – Tom Morris, Ovation

JS – A member of the Initiative for Financial Wellbeing, Tom Morris spoke about the concept of ‘financial wellbeing’ and how advisers can use it to connect with people. This was a great talk and I highly recommend it to anyone looking to offer a holistic service to their customers.

He had a great approach to keeping it at the front of an adviser’s mind, which related to Tom Rath and Jim Harter’s book, Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements.

He stressed that ‘financial wellbeing’ shouldn’t be thought of in isolation – we should use it to support people’s other wellbeing states. This highlights that finances can be a driving force behind a person’s career, social and even physical wellbeing.

It’s crucial that advisers listen to what their customers want to achieve. Here are his top questions to help you understand their needs:

  1. Some people want to change their careers – can you provide a financial plan that supports this?
  2. Is a financial goal having a knock-on effect on their health and/or physical wellbeing?
  3. Does the customer feel fulfilled by their financial plan? Are they giving back to their family and friends, or investing in their social wellbeing?

How we are failing society if we do not engage with the next generation of clients – Tom Henshaw, True Potential

JS – Tom made a great point about how important it was to engage with the next generation of clients. This presents a tough challenge for advisers as younger clients typically have smaller assets. But he stressed that with the right advice, they can become extremely valuable customers.

He broke this problem down into three stages:

  1. The importance of advice in our society: Many people are on track to fall short of their desired retirement income, but research has shown that financial advice can massively boost a person’s wealth over a decade.
  2. Why younger clients aren’t being reached: PPI and payday loans have eroded trust in the finance industry, and saving for the future isn’t as appealing as the instant access and gratification that other services younger people have grown up with up (e.g. Amazon Prime, Spotify, Netflix) provide.
  3. How these problems can be solved: Encourage the development of younger financial advisers and financial education to younger people.

Tom also mentioned that an increasing number of Australian firms are using a subscription model rather than assets under management. Exploring options like this could really open the doors to younger clients here in the UK.

Crafting authentic marketing messages – Phil Bray, Yardstick Agency

TW – As a marketer, I found this to be a really engaging and informative talk. I certainly think our partners can benefit from looking at their businesses with a marketing hat on.

By treating your business like a marketing agency, Phil believes that advisers can better connect to their customers.

But to do this, you need a strong foundation. Building your business around your core values, your story and what you stand for can help you strengthen your brand.

To be truly authentic to your customers, you need core messages that:

  • Are repeated within your business
  • Are relatable to your specific target audience
  • Include your beliefs and what you stand for
  • Show evidence – how your product/service benefits the customer

Creating authentic messages that your customer could relate to is the key to making this work. Here are Phil’s tips for advisers:

  • Write how you speak
  • Be empathetic – what are your customers’ 3 AM moments?
  • Avoid jargon and buzzwords
  • Communicate often, but remember, every touchpoint either enhances or diminishes your brand authenticity

Circle of life – Zen and the art of growing into a business leader – Alisdair Walker, HA&W

KB – I was really impressed that so much great info could be delivered in such a short time. One message I enjoyed was how important it was to share ideas and working together helps us complete our life circle.

In the talk, Alisdair explained that aspiring business leaders need to be agents of change. They’re also responsible for driving and reinforcing change within their companies. Dealing with change isn’t easy and it doesn’t happen on its own – but it’s necessary for growth.

At the same time, not all change happens from the top. You should support your colleagues to help you achieve this by encouraging them to share their ideas. Coaching is a great way to do this and you should remind yourself:

  • To speak less and listen more
  • Not try to find every solution – instead help the person you’re coaching discover their own solution
  • That we don’t all see things in the same way

Finally, as you grow, it’s important to remind yourself that you ‘can’t see the label of the jar you’re in’. By seeking feedback from others you can look past your own personal bias and gain insights into how you’re actually perceived as a leader.

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