Balancing adviser needs and clients wants

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The professional Financial Advisers’ needs matter as much as the Clients’ wants.  Consumer groups & regulators will probably disagree of course, but the ideal practice is one which surely achieves this balance isn’t it?  After all, practitioners are trying to earn a living and meet the wants and needs of their own families whilst trying to appease

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Best practice advice means meeting client expectations too, doesn’t it?

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What constitutes “Best Practice” advice process is a constant work in progress, but it does not develop as rapidly as either technology or client expectations do. In fact, there is a distinct probability that the gap between what professionals call best practice advice and what clients expectations of best practices are, continue to widen. The

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Handling regulatory uncertainty

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The regulatory uncertainty level amongst advisers is just about at an all time high. It’s not just new rules that create the uncertainty; it is the shift to principles-based or outcome-focussed regulation that doesn’t have the definitive and prescribed series of “thou shalts” and “thou shalt nots” which creates the most uncertainty.  Then layer in

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What problems do you solve?

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In the struggle for professionals to define a value proposition asking: “What problems do we solve?” is probably the best place to begin. It is a simple question for sure, but it cuts to the chase.  It helps us ‘zero in’ on what it is we actually achieve for clients. We can define actual outcomes from

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Maybe financial advisers could be selling coffee?

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Do you remember when petrol stations competed on client service? Fundamentally they were all selling the same basic commodity, at about the same price, to anyone who drove up.  That included the regulars who lived in the area and who had high lifetime value and the out-of-towners cruising through who just needed the go-go-juice so

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Where will the greatest disruption to your practice come from?

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Disruption has long been a feature of financial services distribution.  Disruption constantly occurs with new market entrants, product innovation, shifting strategic focus on the part of suppliers in relation to control or autonomy of distributors….but disruption has typically come from within the industry itself. Some years ago I read a piece of LIMRA research which

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Getting strategic clarity follows the same process as giving advice

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The most important business-building step is having a well-defined strategy, yet strategy is one of the most misunderstood concepts in professional services. It is an area that many advisory firms struggle with, and frequently find themselves without any clearly defined strategy for how they will achieve their business objectives. That is what “strategy” is of

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The shortcut to creating trust

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Simply creating trust with a prospective client is the initial hurdle to having them engage in the advice process.  To be fair the required level of trust initially is relatively low – can they trust you not to waste their time…can they trust that you really know what you are doing….can you be trusted to

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Scope creep: The number one problem in fixed fee advice

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“Scope Creep” is the killer for the Holy Grail of professional services business models: fixed fee advice. That ideal model which so many aspire to is having clients who agree to ongoing fixed fees, and the practice income just rolls in month after month. Fixed fee advice being delivered on an ongoing basis is a

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Is your marketing budget as big as your dream?

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Nobody likes a budget – even financial advisers don’t. But a marketing budget for your business is a good budget…it’s an investment in growth. Even well established advisory firms usually want growth as they usually  want to do more business with higher value and more challenging client cases. For early stage advisory practices the marketing

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