02/06/16‘My Mum Said if I have to ask then I can’t afford it…..
Maserati, Ferrari, Breitling, Rolex, Laboutin. Hand Made Suits, Business class, bespoke furniture…
For some, the above names and items will not only evoke thoughts of a few zero’s at the end, but also perhaps, quality-maybe even a big tick on the Bucket List of life. Over the years, these names and items have built their own value and are synonymous with quality-yes, we can always luck out and buy one of the aforementioned that was made on a Friday afternoon, but the aftersales service will be just as good and you’ll be even more pleased you spent £850 on a pair of shoes.
You’ll notice that ‘Financial Advice’ was missing from the list-yes I cant believe it either! In a recent article (Financial Adviser 1st June 2016 page 10 to be precise) was an article that got me. It’s not a new story, but it got me thinking. the headline says ‘Brits wont pay more than £50 per hour for financial advice’
Now when the going rate roughly, is £125-£150 per hour, there is a bit of gap-like turning the Marianas Trench on its side sort of gap-in cost vs value.
On the next page was an advert about the CII awards and the various categories you can enter into to (Let me tell you how brilliant I am and maybe I’ll win). But if I fail to show value to my clients, then potentially I wont have a business to shout about and the CII will lose serious amounts of subscription money as advisers drop off the radar because they can’t get the income they need (not want), because no client is prepared to pay the going rate. Now I’m sure I’ve over egged and exaggerated things to make my point, but it is a point worth making.
In whatever industry we work in, there are always assumptions made that a client ‘knows’ what the basics are of our job and what we do and we decide not to showcase it. In the case of a Financial Adviser, the 5,000 strong poll is telling us we need to elaborate more on the ‘behind the scenes’ work that goes on, so we can build up our value and that when that bill is put in front of them, it is accepted without hesitation, because the value has been perceived.
For example; when I’ve met a client to discuss investment or pension, I will come away with documents that will help me understand a client. I use that information to decide where, of the 3,000 or so investment funds available to me, I am going to recommend my client to invest and I wont spread across all 3,000 but maybe 15/20 which I have to whittle down. Once I’ve the investment funds sorted, where am I going to hold them? does my client want 15/20 bits of paper through their post every quarter? or would they prefer one place, where they can log in and see everything? if the latter, there’s 60 odd places those 15/20 funds can be held-my job? who’s best for the client? what were their requests? and that’s just to get things going. Once a quarter, I’ll look at everything again and check it’s all running ok. Rarely, what I have just described, will anyone be told that’s what happens.
For the sake of all our businesses, let this be an ‘under the hood’ check. Do I have a brand name that exudes value and quality? Do I tell my clients exactly what I’m going to do, or do I assume they know, because of the job I do?
Maybe, next year, I’ll re-write this blog and hopefully my business will sit alongside those I listed.
Have a great weekend