You are not just a financial adviser
Let’s start with the fact that you are not just a Financial Adviser. If you are practising a life centred approach, then a financial adviser is only one role you play. You should have three hats you put on to assist your clients. Let’s take a look at what they are, how to communicate what you really do to clients and how you increase your value as a planner.
What do you do for a living?
How many times have you heard that question and when you reply you are a Financial Adviser you see people switch off? They think you just sell people products and let’s face it Financial Advisers don’t have the best reputation. The title implies that you act on behalf of the financial industry, not for the benefit of your client.
The title ‘Financial Adviser’ is not accurately describing what it is you offer to your clients and is undervaluing your services.
So, what do you really do for a living?
- Life Planner
First and foremost, you are a Life Planner, after all, aren’t you helping your clients to plan their lives?
This part of your service is to find out about your client, where have they been, where are they now in their lives and what their story is. To discover together what it is they want to achieve between now and when they die. What sort of lifestyle do they want to live now and what lifestyle do they wish to enjoy in the future?
In essence, it is an in-depth fact-finding session. Of course, your relationship will grow over many years with your client, and you will find out more as time goes on. However, if you do it correctly, you can speed the process up and build real trust with your client early on. It’s all about asking great questions in the right order.
Because until you know your client and what their values are, what’s important in their life, what their hopes and dreams are and what their challenges have been, what right do you have to talk about their money or what they should be doing with it?
- Financial Planner
Once you have spent time listening to your client and getting to know them and possibly their family or spouse, you can then start to financial plan for their future.
This second hat is about looking at their assets, liabilities, income and expenditure to identify what’s coming in and going out every year between now and when they die. Comparing this to the cost of the life they choose to live.
Are they going to run out of money before they die, have just about enough, or have too much money when they pass?
Your role is to help the client get clarity on where they are now and where they are heading financially in the future. Allowing them to discover the opportunities of what is possible to do with their resources in the time they have left.
This is where good cash flow modelling software can really help – if you would like to discuss the type of software we use to provide outstanding service to our clients, contact us today for a free chat.
- Financial Adviser
IF, and only if the financial plan indicates that a financial product is required, then you can put on your third hat which is as a Financial Adviser. Providing a service to find the appropriate financial product or vehicle to support your client’s needs and their plan. This may cover areas such as:
- Life cover
- Savings plans
- Health protection
Anything to do with arranging, changing, switching or movement of financial products. You cannot provide financial advice if you have not completed steps 1 and 2.
Life Centred Planning
What you are doing by incorporating all these roles into the service you provide is called Life Centred Planning or Lifestyle Financial Planning. This is because it’s all about your client’s lifestyle – what it looks like, what the cost of the life they want to live is and, just as importantly, what the cost of the life they don’t want to live is. Their life should be at the centre of the planning.
Being a Financial Adviser is the least important role you play for your clients. Your real purpose is to help your clients understand what they want for their life and how to achieve that through planning.
If you want to move your practice to provide a more a life centred approach, then we can help. Contact us today to find out about the support we offer to assist you in revolutionising your business so that it really adds value for your clients and will differentiate you in a competitive market.
MRA help individuals, businesses and families achieve the best quality of life they can with the resources they have. MRA specialise in corporate solutions, cash-flow analysis, life centred planning and much more.
Business Consultants based in East Sussex we service clients across the South East, Sussex and Kent, including smaller towns such as Ashford, Battle, Bexhill, Bodiam, Brighton & Hove, Cranbrook, Crowborough, Eastbourne, Hailsham, Hastings, Heathfield, Herstmonceux, Lewes, Mayfield, Newhaven, Rye, Seaford, Sevenoaks, Tenterden, Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells.