Lifestyle financial planning is still relatively niche in the UK, so how do you get clients to pay for something they've never heard of? Smart Financial managing director Steve Martin reveals his secrets.
"There's no value in advice without the financial planning process, and why would I want to do anything without providing value?" Martin (pictured) told delegates at product provider-free financial planning conference BACK2Y.
The question is, how do you convince clients of this value? Martin quotes his famous namesake comedian Steve Martin - "Be so good they can't ignore you".
Martin learned to value his service the hard way.
"I had an experience some years ago when I gave away a great deal of intellectual property in the hope of stuffing someone for £40,000 worth of commission - it turned out I was the one who got stuffed, and rightly so.
"That made me realise that I would never give anything away again."
Lifestyle financial planners need to understand that there is value to everyone in what they offer, Martin said, though in reality the number of people who can access it will be limited.
"Everyone in the UK could benefit from a lifestyle financial plan but not everyone can benefit from it after we have been paid adequately for what we do," he told delegates.
"However not everyone sees the value. Financial planning has to be sold, and people will buy it from us if we can show them with an emotional connection that it works."
And for it to work, as the comedian Steve Martin's quote says, advisers will have to show excellence in every area of what they do and how they present themselves.
"If you have weaknesses in what you do the clients will tell, so address these. If you don't have the skills you need, get them. Get your presence right - don't turn up in an old banger or invite clients to a shabby office and then try to charge them a packet because they won't pay.
"They will perceive it's not worth it."
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