Financial Planning Services: Make it to the Top Using Seven Strategic Approaches
A recent poll suggests that a mere 8% of people choose to get professional financial advice when making important financial decisions.[i] However, the income that professional advice can generate is in some circumstances, almost 6000% of the initial cost.[ii] These statistics indicate that many people may not be aware of the benefits of financial advice. There is huge scope for marketing financial services to a sceptical generation. The UK needs financial advisors with motivation, drive and diligence to offer helpful, unbiased advice to clients. These advisors need a personable character that can win over uncertain clients who are looking to secure a worry-free future with wise pensions and investments.
The financial services sector needs the best – and for financial advisors keen to optimise their performance, asking what can be done to get to the top is a key question. Here are seven of the most important things to consider when pursuing excellence within financial services.
Know your target market
To get to the top it is important to identify the prospective clients that you want to work with and learn everything you can about the concerns and issues that they may have - and how to resolve those issues. Become an expert in your client’s industry field. Be visible to them, by attending networking events, conferences and trade shows. It may be helpful to work within a niche industry (or even several niche industries) as you will be able to become expert in those fields, earning a name for yourself in your specialism.[iii]
Earn your client’s trust
Expecting a client to trust you with a large portfolio prior to earning their trust is unrealistic. In many cases, you will need to put in considerable effort before seeing a penny from a client. Consider this an investment and work hard to evidence your usefulness to top clients. 47% of clients chose their financial advisor because they trusted them[iv] – and it is important to remember that trust must be earned.
Get to know your clients
As well as getting to know your client’s industry, it is important to build a rapport with each individual. Some 39% of investors indicate that personalised service was integral to the selection of their financial advisor, with 28% suggesting that good customer service was important.[v] As indicated above, trust is vital to the relationship between financial advisor and client. Part of this is getting to know the client well and offering a personalised service. They want to see a tailored approach; suitable for their individual circumstances, preferences and motivations. Evidence your understanding of this by showing an interest in their lives; take them to their favourite restaurants, buy birthday and anniversary cards and ask about their family. Social media can help you to get to know your clients better than ever before (but you’ll need to make sure that what you share on your own social media accounts is above reproach!)
Ensure your own finances are impeccable.
This does not, of course, mean that you need to have accrued a vast wealth. What it does mean is that you need to live by the advice that you are giving; such as having a healthy pension plan, life insurance, income protection insurance, savings and investments.
Learn from the best
Ensure that you surround yourself with colleagues and employers that you respect as being good at what they do. Never be too proud to learn from others; ask for constructive criticism and advice in your pursuit to get to the top. In addition, ensure that you keep reading relevant subject matter, attend courses and gain qualifications in the fields pertaining to your specialism.
Enjoy what you do
You will only get to the top if you are enjoying your work. If you don’t, why not? Do you need to find a company with different values? Do you need a different target market? Do you need to adjust the way you work to suit your lifestyle? Your clients will know if you are working begrudgingly, or if you are wholeheartedly invested in the advice that you are giving them, so spend some time ensuring that you are in the place you want to be.
Be the best
Following these seven strategies will help financial advisors as they seek to optimize their performance in the industry. We live in an age where disruptive technology and uncertain politics mean that wise investments are more vital than ever to the future of an individual’s financial health. There is huge potential for those financial planners willing to put in the effort to get to the top of their sector.
Register with a specialist recruitment agency
Registering with a recruitment agency that specialises in the financial services sector is an important first step in your career. Specialist recruitment agency, Aston Charles, works with multiple financial services organisations; from giants of the financial world, to small start-up companies. Aston Charles understands the market value of the skills that you are able to bring to a business, ensuring that you are not undersold when starting a new job. Of course, being satisfied in your workplace is not only about the money, so finding a company that shares your motives and values is also important. With Aston Charles, candidates have access to a wide range of businesses keen to take on motivated individuals to help drive their company forward to future success. In return, they will support you in your career goals and pursuit of excellence.
[i] Emma Ann Hughes. 2017. Less than one in 10 people get financial advice. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.ftadviser.com/your-industry/2017/01/10/less-than-one-in-10-people-get-financial-advice/. [Accessed 17 July 2018].
[ii] unbiased.co.uk. 2015. New data shows the benefits of financial advice can outweigh the cost by nearly 6,000%. [ONLINE] Available at: https://business.unbiased.co.uk/press-releases/new-data-shows-the-benefits-of-financial-advice-can-outweigh-the-cost-by-nearly-6-000--7-9-2015. [Accessed 17 July 2018].
[iii] https://www.investopedia.com/contributors/198/. 2016. How to be a Top Financial Advisor. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.investopedia.com/articles/professionals/071213/how-be-top-financial-advisor.asp. [Accessed 17 July 2018].
[iv] Sarah O'Brien. 2017. Here's what disappoints investors about their financial advisor. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.cnbc.com/2017/12/08/financial-advisors-fail-on-investment-performance-client-trust.html. [Accessed 17 July 2018].
[v] Sarah O'Brien. 2017. Here's what disappoints investors about their financial advisor. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.cnbc.com/2017/12/08/financial-advisors-fail-on-investment-performance-client-trust.html. [Accessed 17 July 2018].