Why Financial Services Professionals Should Adopt Social Selling

Learn six major ways that adopting social media has helped financial services pros improve their business.

June 20, 2016

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In banking, insurance, wealth management, or any other financial services field, you’re often pursuing big institutional clients or very lucrative contracts. Until recently, you may have downplayed the idea of using social media for that pursuit.

But the data shows that this old mentality has shifted towards a reality where more than 80% of financial advisors used social media for their business in 2015, up from 75% in 2014.

Part of that early resistance may have come from not fully understanding the benefits of using social media generally or LinkedIn specifically. For instance, financial services professionals who embrace LinkedIn can be among the first to learn about a friend's new job at a company they’re targeting—and can use that connection to advance their pitch.

That's just one of the major benefits of social selling for financial services professionals. Here are six more ways social selling can help your business.

1. Secure New Clients 

48% of financial advisors say LinkedIn has enhanced their profile with clients, according to a 2015 study by American Century Investments. And 43% of financial services pros say using social media has led to a return on investment.

Millions of dollars are being generated from social, according to many of the financial advisors surveyed. 17% of financial professionals attributed the acquisition of a new client whose business is worth at least $1 million to social media efforts. Another 27% found that their social media efforts played a role in significant new business worth less than $1 million.

Here’s one last statistic from this illuminating study: 52% of financial advisors answered that being connected with someone on LinkedIn makes it more likely that they’ll do business together.

2. Engage Faster & More Effectively

Cold calling has become too time consuming (with increasingly diminishing returns) and regular email inboxes are crowded. Rob Knop, a former digital marketing executive at Pacific Life, put it this way: "It’s not uncommon for financial pros to receive 50 phone calls and 200 of emails each day. Trying to break through all that noise is nearly impossible."

In contrast, using InMail is a much more targeted way to get your message to clients—they’re much more likely to see it and feel compelled to respond.

3. Leverage Connections to Land New Opportunities 

By staying connected to a friend or associate on LinkedIn, you'll see if he or she earned a promotion or a job at a new company. Signing up for Sales Navigator can also help you keep track of any important updates from friends and prospects.

Chris Andrews, a leader on Wells Fargo's treasury management sales team, told LinkedIn about one of his successes: "One of our salespeople saw that someone he was connected with on LinkedIn moved to a company that was a hot prospect," he said. The timing proved perfect. After arranging a lunch with the prospect, it turned out his connection was getting ready to send out a request for proposals, and ultimately Wells Fargo landed the deal worth more than $265,000.

4. Find High-Net-Worth Individuals

LinkedIn is the social network for high-net-worth individuals. In fact, 70% of high-net-worth individuals in the US are using social media—and of those, 62% are using LinkedIn weekly.

Moreover, according to a 2015 study by Putnam Investments, 70% of financial advisors have adopted LinkedIn, compared to 47% for Facebook and 42% for Twitter.

5. Build Relationships with Clients & Prospects

Social selling is more than just hunting data on prospects and following trends; it's a two-way street. To master it, you should engage on LinkedIn consistently. You can use LinkedIn and other social platforms to build relationships with prospects and current clients.

Provide useful, timely updates in your area of expertise, comment on what leads are posting on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and you’ll stay top-of-mind when they're thinking about whom to ask for advice.

6. Stay Current on Industry News & Trends

Using LinkedIn, you can participate in LinkedIn Groups, follow the industry leaders of your choice on Pulse, and get the latest news affecting your business.

If you're having trouble convincing your sales team to get on board with social selling, direct them to this post and LinkedIn’s other resources on social selling for financial professionals.  

For more on how social selling can become a competitive advantage for your business, Download Proven Sales Strategies for Financial Services.