With major regulatory changes, increasing demands from clients and changing communication with them, clients are looking for measurable value for the advice they receive.
How do advisor’s complete it in other parts of the world? The 5 most highly regulated countries from a financial advisor’s perspective are Australia, United Kingdom, South Africa, United States and Canada.
Let’s look at seven key strategies based on research on what successful advisor’s implement in providing value to their clients.
Hours planned in working on their business. In a one year time frame – Project 100 – (you need 100 hours to implement change into your business such as updating your value promise, going fee based or implementing new technologies. It is called project 100 because you will need to spend 2-3 hours per week for one year or 100 hours on building key practice management processes. The first step is to plan them in your calendar each week 2 hours working on your business. Plan the time first. For example every Wednesday from 8-10 or 11am working on the business implementing processes.
2. Business models – your goals, your clients and your business model
Does your business goals align with your clients? Managing a large financial advisory business is great if it matches your ideal client profile and creates a win-win relationship. When consulting with advisor’s, they have stated they want to build their practice and manage 100-200 million of assets or more. Then they want to slow down and work less. A business model does not work that way. Find a person (coach, consultant, mentor) who can help you build the business model and ideal clientele you want to create.
3. Client feedback – what clients value, without this all else will be average
According to Business Health Pty Ltd., ( Business Health, Key Value Drivers US 2013) only 15% of advisors in the United States have a formal feedback processes for their clients.Those advisors that have a formal feedback system earn up to 52% more than advisor’s who do not have a feedback system. A similar study had similar results by the USA FPA Research and Practice Institute study – Future of Practice Management -December 2013. If you want to become a “ideal client focused advisor” then build a formal feedback process into your client reviews.
4. Ideal client profile
Creating a win-win on communication, compensation and expectations. What is your ideal future client profile. Have it detailed and do a case study and put it on your website for the world to see.
5. Ideal client service capacity
The 60 / 40 principle. More than 60% of your time should be spent seeing ideal clients- very few advisor’s do that because they use the excuse of too much administration and lack of processes. A quick way to find your capacity for your clients is to add up the number of hours you work each year, say 1800 hours. Then find out what percent of time you service clients. Segment the clients into your main groups or segments. Then find out how much time you spend servicing each segment and add it up. The math may reveal some interesting capacity issues.
Put your value promise in writing and make it a process. Make a list of ALL your services and how you deliver value through those services. The critical part is the documented process that you use with clients to help them solve their problems. The document is not to showcase you, but the clearly outline how you uncover clients problems and how you solve them.
7. Ongoing services document
Build your client experience document. As a client what do I get for the fee I pay each year? Consider re-engage existing clients with an innovative and detailed review process and adding more value and services. Then build a document to show clients your detailed process for delivering your “value added review service”.
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