“What do clients want?” It’s the question that advice businesses ask themselves. For a long time the financial services industry has been widespread with providers engaging with a client individually for all facets of their lives. Mortgage brokers, financial advisers, accountants, bookkeepers and banks to name a few have historically had one on one relationships with clients in a very non-collaborative environment. But, how do you become a trusted adviser?
Clients want the sole trusted adviser – but how do I become a trusted adviser?
The most able professional to accomplish this is the financial adviser. The argument has been that with licensing requirements and their front-facing client engagement skills, advisers are better placed as the relationship manager than an accountant, for example, they may only see the client once a year. The market however is increasingly demanding and the services clients are requesting are sometimes outside the skill set of an adviser.
If we focus on the SMSF sector, there have been quite a few studies of late that draw our attention to firstly, the unmet financial advice needs of clients and secondly, the manner in which they want advice.
According to Vanguard/Investment Trends report the number of SMSF trustees reporting that they had unmet financial advice needs continued to grow in 2017, with 277,000 projected to have needs for professional advice, up from 255,000 in 2016. This is the highest level observed in the industry to date. While there is an unprecedented number of SMSF’s that want to use an adviser, the accompanying data from the report suggests that advisers are failing to generate revenue from SMSF’s, hence the advice gap in this sector. Encouraging figures however show that 57% of the unadvised trustees say they intend to turn to a financial planner to meet those needs in the near future.
Offering the services clients want and need
So how do you become the sole trusted adviser and offer a range of services that clients want? With regards to the SMSF space, we have found that our most successful businesses take on the role as Adviser and facilitator. The investments trends report showcased data backing up this theory with results indicating that SMSF’s were ready to pay more for financial planners if they would offer admin services as well.
Investment Trends’ research director, Recep III Peker said: “[Financial planners] struggle with this right now but if they can find a way to incorporate admin into their business, they can create significant revenue stream from these clients”.
Finding a balance of services, trust and communication
With relationships in mind, we have seen that for a Financial adviser, trust and communication can overshadow performance and fees. Finding the balance of services that accomplish all goals for a client can be a struggle, but it doesn’t have to be. Financial advisers have the ability to deliver on all aspects of a client’s financial affairs if they concentrate on their core competencies and provide solutions to their clients for other financial matters such as Estate planning, financing and Insurance.
Leveraging off technology, partnering with providers that enhance your business and becoming a facilitator for those services will hold you in good stead to becoming the sole trusted adviser for your clients.