IFAs Under Pressure To Offer More – Advice That Is!

by | Aug 22, 2016

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Over half of IFAs are under pressure to go that extra mile with clients says a new piece of research.

When I first read this, hang on I thought, what are clients expecting now: their cars washing, the shopping done, or maybe their dogs walked?

Well no, it appears that advisers are under pressure to provide advice to clients on issues over and above what you might call financial matters. And top of the list comes providing pension advice (29%), property advice (26%), employment law advice (25%) and business software solutions (21%). I was surprised that surely the biggest question of all, how to get around under par, was not even mentioned.

The point being of course that the majority of advisers are willing to offer more so that they can cement their client relationships. Although, surprisingly, a large chunk of advisers, some 27% says the study, were less reluctant to be the fount of all knowledge.

The backdrop to this is the figure that only 26% of advisors describe their overall relationship with their clients as ‘strong’. Some 30% said their working relationships as ‘good, but they would like it to better’, whilst 41 per cent confess it is just ‘average’ and three per cent say it is ‘purely transactional.’ Well, the last lot sound a right laugh.

My advice is get a great coffee machine for the reception (just the smell will relax visitors), don’t feed people rolling news via a too large TV screen (it makes them feel depressed) and don’t leave them waiting (tensions rise as you’re left hanging in the reception area – I should know, as a journalist as I’m always made to hang around, it’s part of the job description).

The study, from people management software company BrightHR, also listed what it saw as the biggest challenges currently facing advisers as they try to offer more client services: the lack of time to meet clients face-to-face (53%), too much admin and paperwork to get through (26%), understanding ever-changing technology (11%) and poor communication skills (10%).

Putting the study together with BrightHR is author and business effectiveness expert Dr David Fraser who’s just launched a new report: Better Relationships, Better Business.

Fraser opined: “It’s surprising to learn that such a large proportion of financial advisors are admitting their client relationships were not what they could be. The awareness of the issue is encouraging because it hasn’t always been recognised. The survey clearly shows many businesses realise they need to prioritise time with clients and prospective clients but struggle to free up the capacity to do that. Internal relationships are important too, of course, to sustain the delivery performance and agility of the business. Our new report provides some answers to these challenges.”

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