An IFA client has started working through his existing clients, one by one, face to face to present his new proposition.
His presentation meets some important criteria: it’s clear, easy to understand, has a Wow factor, is easy to explain, is transparent about charging, states what he will do, let’s the client know what he won’t do, says what he will deliver, sets expectations for the client, gives expectations of the client, and makes the client’s decision making easier. All of these are relevant and worth presenting.
However in order to be presented the maximum amount of that key ingredient, confidence, the adviser has to be sure in his own mind of value the services offered and delivered. The adviser needs to know the value of each element of his proposition and therefore how the total value to the client is greater than the charge he is making to the client.
The truism “Price is only an issue where there is no value” springs to mind. However a couple of other truisms are also very relevant: “perceived value is the customer’s reality” and “value is only determined by the purchaser”. It is something of a paradox that while the adviser needs to be certain of the value he believes he is delivering, it is only the client that can determine the value. Products and services have NO value unless the client perceives them as meeting needs.
The IFA in question had the excellent idea of including a slide in his presentation headed The Bottom Line. On this slide he sought to present a simple picture of the client’s financial affairs, how the client had fared during their time as a client, and therefore a summary of the financial benefit added by the adviser. The slide was purely financial because this is what the adviser knew to be true.
As advisers get to know their segmented clients at an individual level then an even greater level of tailoring can take place. The adviser can begin to understand the exact value perceived by the client beyond that which is purely financial. Informed by a structured feedback process the adviser can present a scorecard to the client which might focus on the hard facts but also include some non-financial benefits to the client that provide value over and above any financial returns.
For the adviser who knows his client well, services such as hand holding, reminding the client of why they made previous financial decisions and providing reassurance regarding the long term nature of investments, all delivered through a robust ongoing review service, can be perceived as hugely valuable by unsophisticated and sophisticated clients alike.
Jim Constable is senior consultant at FP Advance
The views in this blog are those of the individual.IFAonline
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