The magic duo: man and machine – Part 2

11 October 2019 Myra Knoesen

In part one of the article Jacques Coetzer from Sanlam Broker Distribution wrote about omni-enabled experiences, catering for clients’ digital requirements and gave a few tips to intermediaries of how technology can reinforce a relationship with a client. 

In the second part of the article, we take a look at four questions intermediaries should ask themselves to build a digital-led business. 

The bottom line

Coetzer says there is no uniform approach that will suit all intermediaries, so it is important to find the technology solutions that best suit your business. “Ultimately technology should be used to deepen an existing relationship by personalising advice and honing the convenience factor.” 

He cautions against waiting too long and missing the boat, “The bottom line is that if clients are not able to undertake certain transactions easily using a platform they prefer, they’ll find an alternative intermediary or service provider. On the flip side, intermediaries who position themselves with the right technologies now, will have an advantage going forward.” 

“In addition, it is crucial for product providers to be highly present in the digital market place. So often, the perception is that when product providers implement technology for clients to self-service, it aims to disintermediate the intermediary. However, if done correctly, it actually has the opposite effect and generate leads for intermediaries instead. From the product provider’s perspective, digital online fulfilment does not mean detracting from the role or value of an intermediary. Companies have to be digitally present, because if they are not, clients could easily choose to buy elsewhere. When a client buys a product online, and the service and process adds value to them, a digital trust relationship is created – and helps the business to add further value to the client by offering holistic financial advice – thereby creating a link back to the intermediary,” he says. 

A side note

Four questions intermediaries should ask themselves to build a digital-led business: 

  • Do you have a business profile on LinkedIn and Facebook, and do you regularly publish articles that would be of value to your clients?
  • Are you using your website optimally to interact with existing and new clients and driving sufficient traffic? Does your website have a strong call to action and not only content?
  • Do you offer your clients an e-signing capability?
  • Are there aspects of your business – perhaps the admin side especially – that you could automate through a system or application?


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