How advisers can build client trust through transparent communications


Mark Bullen

Attracting and retaining clients begins with properly understanding their needs and expectations.

As the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have increased competitive pressure on financial advisers, transparency and honesty are qualities that have increased in importance.

Building confidence in financial advice

In an industry characterised by constant scrutiny alongside changing competitive and regulatory dynamics, never has it been more important for advisers to manage their reputation and focus on providing quality advice to Australians.

Advisers can do this by understanding the changing needs of existing clients, as well as the goals and ambitions of new ones. By doing this, advisers can engage in more honest conversations, enabling them to tailor their advice to each clients’ unique circumstances.

Helping clients understand the bespoke products available to them, as a means of further establishing the role and value of financial advice, is also crucial. Highlighting how the advice process works and, most importantly, how advisers have helped people just like them, are additional ways advisers can grow and gain the trust of new and prospective clients.

Throughout this process, there is also a role for life insurers to work with financial advisers in demonstrating the value of their services. Insurers can help advisers re-engage with their clients, whilst also contributing to greater confidence in the financial advice sector as a whole. To support and enrich advisers’ conversations with clients, insurers must provide resources that help them feel well equipped to have meaningful client engagements and future-focused discussions.

At TAL, we have developed the TAL Adviser Centre – a digital platform that not only allows advisers to create quotes and submit applications, but also hosts a wide range of resources that support advisers in their client interactions. The portal is continually evolving and has a broad variety of client-facing guides and tools.

Embracing digital to provide greater transparency

Being transparent is a powerful thing. The digital age has impacted the levels of transparency that clients expect from their advisers, along with all service providers. The future of client retention and acquisition will depend greatly on the openness of advisers to innovate and invest in digital capabilities and their online presence.

A study by TAL found 37% of potential clients will check an adviser’s website, and a further 25% will do a broader google search before getting in contact. These findings reinforce the idea that technology creates more opportunities to strengthen client relationships and deliver quality advice.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, when information has been inconsistent, a strong online presence is highly valued. At TAL, we believe that by developing and investing in a comprehensive website, and even social channels, advisers will provide current and prospective clients with a truer sense of who they are, what they do, and the types of services they offer. This will ultimately help to attract suitable new clients.

To support advisers in developing and refining their value proposition and marketing strategy, the TAL Risk Academy offers specialised marketing courses. These courses help advisers to enhance their digital capabilities, which then helps to strengthen their business and build solid long-term relationships with clients.

Client retention matters more than ever during difficult times

Client retention increases lifetime value and ultimately drives revenue for advisers. Satisfied clients will remain loyal, they will advocate for advisers’ businesses, they will refer potential new clients, and they are likely to take up additional services and products offered. That is invaluable to business success.

With a multitude of changes occurring across Australia’s financial landscape, from interest rates and superannuation changes to shifts in employment and working models, the need for financial advice is more important than ever. By eliminating the uncertainty around financial advice and embracing digital capabilities to create greater transparency and responsiveness for clients, advisers will remain well-equipped to continue providing quality advice to Australians well into the future.

By Mark Bullen, Head of Marketing

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