The COVID pandemic has certainly changed traditional ways of working and caused all kinds of problems with meetings that would have historically taken place in person, face-to-face. The ability to make eye contact, shake hands, engage in dialogue and discussion, answer questions and gauge facial expressions are all part of what makes us human and how we establish relationships.
People are understandably reticent to meet in person, especially older and more vulnerable individuals, but the demand for advice remains. This has forced advisor practices and their clients to adapt to the new environment. Whilst its true that technology has yet to replace in-person face-to-face meetings, there are viable alternatives.
Most financial advisors offer an initial, no-obligation meeting and many of them are currently using either telephone discussions or online platforms such as Zoom or Skype to conduct meetings. A common question is, once I have chosen a potential financial advisor in my area, how will we actually meet to discuss my requirements? Typically, a one hour introductory on-line meeting will take place and follow-up information then emailed or posted covering the points discussed at the meeting. This will include an outline of costs and a breakdown of the work involved. Clients can then digest the information, discuss with other family members and decide if they wish to proceed with further work.
Whilst few would describe this approach as ideal, it does provide a work-around solution and more people are becoming comfortable with the new way of holding meetings. There are far more 70-year-olds comfortable with getting on a Zoom or Skype now than there used to be, which will change the old way of working, possibly permanently.