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Voyant | Articles

What clients really want from you. Hint: Its not stock picking or products.

There's a constant stream of research carried out with investors and personal finance clients across the world, a lot of it seeking to identify the silver bullet of exactly what clients want from their financial adviser.

I believe there is a real value in keeping an eye on research from across the globe. We all have to future proof our business and knowing where we need to be in 5,10,20 years down the line is important. All we know is the firms of today will not survive in the future. Think Kodack.

And there's one major finding that comes through time and time again, that we just cannot ignore. At the end of the day, they all amount to the same thing; using Voyant to build your client's financial picture for every year from now until death. Cashflow planning takes account of income, expenditure, assets, liabilities, future planned expenditure and purchases, future windfalls etc. and plots all of this out for a client. It sets out the client's forecasted financial position for each year into the future.

What do clients value?
There are many, many studies carried out to identify the factors that clients really value in their financial adviser relationships. And they all point to one key finding. It's not your investment proposition and your ability to pick winners that clients value - whew!

Instead in the majority of these studies, clients cite a range of factors ahead of your investment expertise. These include the following themes,

Trust / integrity:
Of course this is no surprise, clients need to be able to really trust their financial adviser in order to build a long-term and fulfilling relationship. For the relationship to be successful they have to share their goals and dreams with you. This won't work in the absence of total trust.

Personalised advice:
Clients place huge store in the advice that you give them being based on their specific circumstances. The value (and trust) that they place on the relationship will quickly diminish if the client feels that they are simply getting off the shelf advice that is not designed around their specific needs. Personalisation is a huge theme of modern services. I'm still amazed at how correct Google are at understanding what I like when I see their paid ads. Google knows I love golf! Bland vanilla advice isn't going to work anymore. 4 times salary - life cover really is a finger in the air type of advice.

Peace of mind:
Clients want to be able to see the full picture; they want to be able to understand the impact their financial decisions are having on their lives. They're not so interested in the products in isolation, they want instead to understand what products will do for them. Understanding is the parent of peace of mind.

How do you position yourself?
This is the big question! How do you position yourself in your conversations, on your website and in your communications with clients and prospective clients? If you're talking only about you and what products you sell, I believe that you are missing a trick in fact I think this is deeply in the past. I presume your website has an about us section but does it have an about the client section? Talking about products will not excite a prospect who is seeking a trusted adviser, personalised advice and peace of mind...

Our financial adviser clients remark on how using Voyant ticks so many boxes with clients. The system however also plays a key role in delivering on those factors most highly valued by clients.

Trust / integrity:
One of the key ways of building trust with a client is through demonstrating that you are deeply invested in their financial future. You want them to be happy and achieve their life goals with peace of mind that they will never run out of money. Once a client sees and understands Voyant, they can see their financial roadmap now and into the future. They understand the importance of future planning meetings to keep the plan up to date and place a huge value in these meetings. The client values your process and your advice, and as a result their trust in you grows.

Personalised advice:
Well there really is nothing more personal than your Voyant plan! After all, it is built from the ground up and based upon the clients lifestyle objectives, financial ambition and current situation- all of them deeply personal. Products become incidental enablers of achieving their plans. Clients will be 100% clear that there is nothing "off the shelf" about the plan that you have developed and the recommendations that you make.

Peace of mind:
We all want to be able to see the full picture. With Voyant your client has full visibility of their financial plan at all times, understands their financial challenges and how the proposed solutions can address their challenges. They can consider different scenarios in their financial future. And they know that they have you in their corner as their expert adviser, keeping them on track and helping them to make wise financial decisions.

Does your current proposition communicate these universally important factors?

To view our most recent client video click here.

Best regards,
Stephen Browne