How well do you get your point across?

Good advice is an incredibly important investment – especially now there is an increasing choice and more flexibility faced by customers. Do you let your customer’s know how much your advice is worth?

Let’s take an ‘at retirement’ client as an example. Once they’re ready to retire they’re likely to be (understandably) focused on getting the highest income during their retirement. However, the situation is not always as straightforward as they may think. There’s a potentially bewildering range of features all with different benefits to consider.

In an ideal world this would all have be taken into account long before your clients starts thinking about their retirement. So how can you make sure your clients know the value of your advice when it comes to their money? Plan ahead.

Do you have a ten point plan?

It’s vital to explain things to your client in a simple way without confusing them. While at the same time emphasising just how much is involved in this process and the importance of your role within it.

To help you get an idea of the things to consider, I’ve listed five areas below, along with some suggested questioning you may want to include in every meeting you have. This list is not exhaustive. You may have a ten point plan, either way, I would suggest you include some, if not all, of the questions below.

Let’s continue using our ‘at retirement’ client. They’ll need to spend time weighing up their options and the decisions they need to make. You asking well timed, clear questions will make them begin to understand the work involved for you and how valuable advice really can be. Here goes:

Objectives of the meeting

  • What are you really looking to achieve when you retire?
  • Who else do you want to consider within your plan i.e. spouse or your dependants?
  • What are you doing about estate planning?
  • What do we need to take into account about your current situation and your future circumstances/requirements?
  • What is most important to you when you are in retirement? What really matters to you?

 Key considerations now and in the future

  • Do you have any health conditions that will affect your planning now or in the future?
  • What action would you like to take and when is the right time for you to act?
  • What value do you place on the importance of fully researching the marketplace and understanding the options available?
  • What provision have you already made for your retirement and what solution(s) are available through your existing provider(s)?
  • What else is available in the marketplace that might be suitable for you and when?

Assessing their attitude to risk

  • Taking into account your objectives what is your attitude to risk at retirement?
  • How do we make sure the solution you are recommended relates to your specific objectives?
  • What impact is inflation likely to have on your standard of living if a fixed income is purchased?

 Potential benefits

  • What about the other people in your life e.g. spouse, dependants?
  • How do we make the “at retirement” solutions for you as tax efficient as possible whilst also considering the interaction with estate planning?

Outcome

  • Which retirement product(s) might be suitable for you?
  • What type of retirement planning solution best fits your objectives and when should we act?
  • There are lots of potential solutions how do we identify the right course of action?
  • How do we make sure you get a personal income that meets your needs, is sustainable, and addresses your desire to provide for any dependants?
  • What do we need to do to make sure these solutions remain on track to deliver everything you want in retirement?

 What did our clients say?

We can all do more to educate and inform our clients about how valuable advice is. This includes distributors, product providers and professional bodies. It’s pleasing to see people in our profession supporting this through various campaigns and in the media.

Some of our recent research into the “at retirement” marketplace found that 79% of respondents did not already have a financial adviser. However, of those that did have one, nearly 3 out of 10 had found an adviser recently because they were thinking about their income in retirement.

In summary, there are clearly opportunities here for financial advisers, and clients will no doubt benefit from seeking professional advice. In an increasingly competitive marketplace, it is crucial that you are able to differentiate yourself and how you do this can be vital to your success.

 What can you do about it?

Think about how you do business. When faced with an “at retirement” client, how do you articulate what you offer? Do you get across the benefits you provide to a client in an effective way so they choose to take professional advice from you?

Next time you’re speaking with a new or existing client, think about these things. They can make all the difference.

 

Prudential offer a number of guides that can help you develop your business. You’ll find all of them here.


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