SOURCE: SEI

April 05, 2011 10:00 ET

SEI Quick Poll: Advisors Say Lack of Frequency 'Common Pitfall' Of Client Communications

1 in 5 Advisors Using Social Media for Prospecting in 2011

OAKS, PA--(Marketwire - April 5, 2011) - Nearly two-thirds (62 percent) of financial advisors say their greatest pitfall in communicating with clients is lack of frequency, according to an SEI (NASDAQ: SEIC) Quick Poll released today. This far outweighs concerns about timely, concise, or understandable communications. As for communicating with their clients about referrals, nearly half (42 percent) of advisors have asked less than one-quarter or fewer of their clients.

"Frequent and meaningful communication, delivered in a variety of ways, is the best method to build lasting trust between advisors and clients, which ultimately leads to stronger relationships," said John Anderson, Head of Practice Management for the SEI Advisor Network. "Yet advisors remain stymied by the task. Whether they're communicating with clients or prospects, it's the same story -- advisors should be more proactive. The best way to get ahead in today's competitive landscape is to spend more time in front of clients and prospects, providing valuable information."

As for prospecting techniques, the shift from old strategies to new techniques is underway. No advisors surveyed said they cold-call or "pound the phones" for new clients. However, one in five advisors surveyed said they have introduced themselves to at least one prospect in 2011 via one of the major social networks: Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Use of social media for prospecting has been slow to catch on due to old habits and some broker-dealers prohibiting access to these networks.

"Most advisors naively think they can run their practice simply by keeping their current clients happy," said A. J. LaVallie of The Advisors Group of Chicago, LLC. "The reality is there's a hole in the bottom of every advisor's bucket and it has to be filled with new clients and assets. The down market was a huge wakeup call for advisors that keeping clients is only half of the equation -- successful advisors are proactively reaching out to prospects and converting them. The SEI Advisor Network helped me develop a business and marketing plan to determine how best to spend my time and how best to run my practice. And they continue to provide me with the tools to work more efficiently, like investor-approved communications and new technology to manage my outreach to clients, prospects, and centers of influence."

To help advisors improve communications with clients and prospects, the SEI Advisor Network recently conducted 35 interactive practice management workshops held around the country. More than 700 advisors, none of whom worked with SEI, registered for the half-day workshops and were provided with a blueprint for running a successful practice. Topics included marketing tips and tools, as well as ways to improve practice efficiency. As part of the seminar, the SEI Advisor Network distributed a whitepaper, 10 Must Do Marketing Tips for 2011, to help advisors learn the ins and outs of effective marketing and communications. The workshops also taught advisors how to create a more efficient practice by segmenting clients and creating a consistent process for client service. Advisors were able to use SEI's proprietary tool, The Return on Time Calculator, an innovative method for determining where time is spent and how effectively.

To learn more about the SEI Advisor Network, please visit www.seic.com/advisors.

About The SEI Advisor Network
The SEI Advisor Network provides financial advisors with turnkey wealth management services through outsourced investment strategies; administration and technology platforms; trust, banking, and institutional services; and practice management programs. It is through these services that SEI helps advisors save time, grow revenues, and differentiate themselves in the market. With a history of financial strength, stability, and transparency, the SEI Advisor Network has been serving the independent financial advisor market for more than 16 years, has more than 6,000 advisors who work with SEI, and $31.1 billion in advisors' assets under management (as of Dec. 31, 2010). The SEI Advisor Network is a strategic business unit of SEI. For more information, visit www.seic.com/advisors.

About SEI
SEI (NASDAQ: SEIC) is a leading global provider of investment processing, fund processing, and investment management business outsourcing solutions that help corporations, financial institutions, financial advisors, and ultra-high-net-worth families create and manage wealth. As of December 31, 2010, through its subsidiaries and partnerships in which the company has a significant interest, SEI manages or administers $416.0 billion in mutual fund and pooled or separately managed assets, including $172.3 billion in assets under management and $243.7 billion in client assets under administration. For more information, visit www.seic.com.

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