DISRUPTION! Not a word we like in #FinancialServices, eh?

volcanoI’ve been very worried about our community of financial professionals.  There are companies out there that want our business.  Companies that have no business being in our business.  If we’re not strategic and armed with ways to fight back, they are going to muscle in and nab it.  We can’t have that!

Recently, I wrote about Google and the concerns I have there.  But it’s also firms like LearnVest.com and Amazon.com that I keep wondering, “What’s going on here?”  I know, I know.  We were so comfortable before and now these organizations are all up in our nut and crackin’ it.  What’s that about?  What do we do?

What’s that about?  LIMRA recently shared on Life & Health Advisor that 57% of financial executives believe an outside source will be a disruptive force in the next few years.  Holy smacks!  Add to that mix 21% of middle market consumers who are willing to buy insurance online and you have a business in the making, people.  That’s how disruption works!  When a fifth of the people raise their hand and say, “Yeah, I’ll never meet face-to-face with a person and buy insurance online with my credit card” that’s something that needs to sink in deep.  That’s scary because the likelihood is the survey is probably conservative; it’s probably closer to a fourth of the people.

What do we do?  What we don’t do is keep doing what we’ve always done.  We have to innovate.  We can no longer work 8am to 5pm, make clients come to our office during our office hours and only talk about assets under management.  I have mad respect for wealth managers, but we must think past the AUM market and diversify our practices…become more holistic.  This same report talks about the underserved markets and low-interest rate environments being large concerns – why?  Because they REALLY are!

In every  challenge lies an opportunity.  That message is no different for our smaller practices as it is for mammoth companies like Google.  Can you reach out to some different people than you normally do?  Can you try using social media as a way to differentiate?  Are you learning new ways of doing business and marketing your business?  We must innovate.

I don’t know about you, but when I read reports like this I always get a little pissy.  The thought of people who have no business being in our business makes me mad – and drives me to change the status quo.  We need to help each other though.

What are you doing in your practice to be different?  We would love to hear!  Please tweet me or comment here. Let’s get a conversation going and save our community!

Be bigger, better and more BIONIC today!

Sheryl Brown / @BIONICsocialite

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