December 1, 2018
Being a financial adviser in 2018 has been tough as waves of changes have rippled through the profession, creating frustration and uncertainty. However, Sue Viskovic from Elixir Consulting believes advisers are not passive players in these events and can regain a sense of stability and direction. Sue draws on insights gained from talking and working with advisers and provides some tips on staying focused, in control, and on top of the changes.
If there were a single word that we can focus on next year, it would be relevance. Not social media or client engagement or AI, nothing like that!
What does relevance mean? According to the dictionary it is the degree to which something is related or useful to what is happening or being talked about. In the context of financial advice then it would be how relevant you and your business are to your existing clients, potential new clients, and even referral partners.
Relevance has been uncovered as one of the critical drivers of success for the future of financial advice. Relevance coupled with trust will be the two pillars that will attract and retain your ideal client. Ignoring the importance of your relevance puts you in a position of danger.
So how do you remain relevant and how do you communicate your relevance?
In this short article, I’ll address some fundamentals that you can use in your business right now and moving forward into 2019.
The first thing to consider is creating a framework to work within.
Demonstrate + Involve = Empowerment – these are three keywords which will help you deliver the right message.
Whenever you can, demonstrate things like your capability, expertise, ongoing education, business philosophy, innovative solutions; the things that are important to clients.
Then involve people in a discussion about the things you have demonstrated through existing clients supporting what you claim, through business partners supporting you, through discussion groups and open communication channels.
Because if you can demonstrate what the client is looking for and involve others, you will empower clients to make the right decision to partner with you.
It’s a paradigm shift for some; rather than relying on others to position your business you take control of communicating your relevance to your existing clients, potential clients and referral partners.
Due to the Royal Commission, questions are being asked about financial services and financial advice – we all know that, and may have even experienced it.
Those businesses that think their clients aren’t a little bit concerned and thinking about their adviser, unfortunately, are not living in the real world – sorry to have to say that but I know this to be true through the research that I do.
So, let’s be proactive and start talking about and promoting things like your business philosophy. You already have one – it might need a refresh – but start bringing it to the forefront and be proud to share it and demonstrate your relevance to clients.
Clients are beginning to ask about the ways in which advice businesses are structured and run these days. They are asking questions such as, ‘What’s their business philosophy? Who actually owns them? How is the business run? How are my details kept confidentially?”
I understand we haven’t seen clients asking these types of questions before, but they are now, so be proactive and put this information on websites, corporate brochures and anywhere else a client may see it.
You’ve heard us all talk about the importance of content marketing and in the context of relevance I have to bring it up again because what content marketing does is help people answer their burning questions and demonstrates your relevance. If you don’t have things like a blog or white papers or articles where are you demonstrating your relevance regarding solutions for clients?
The other really simple thing you can do to demonstrate your relevance is to share information every time you attend a PD day, course or anything of that nature. Your clients wouldn’t have a clue about the amount of professional development you have to complete each year so tell them! A quick summary of the key points that you learnt from the course shared through your communication channels again demonstrates your relevance.
Relevance can also be demonstrated through your innovative solutions. Things like your technology, your processes and systems and of course the claims process.
Relevance isn’t just a word it’s an important pillar that will help your business stay alive now and into the future.
How relevant are you?
In her regular Practice Marketing column, Rachel Staggs provides insights to help advisers market their business to potential (and existing) clients.
Rachel is the founder and Managing Director of SRSCC, a specialist financial services marketing firm.