Advice isn’t a product.

iStock_supermarketDo Woolworths sell advice?

Do Coles sell advice?

Do banks sell advice?

None of these groups sell advice. They all sell products.

Unfortunately when it comes to financial advice, Australia’s consumers don’t know the difference between financial advice and financial products.

Advice doesn’t provide the same tangiblity of a physical product from the supermarket or even the same intangibility as a loan specifically to buy your new home.

In terms of tangibility, advice is more the invisible hand supporting or pushing you to financial objectives not yet reached or over obstacles not yet overcome. Or advice can be the ‘helping hand’ holding yours providing the confidence for your next venture, adventure, challenge or simply your next step.…

Do your clients deserve the best you can deliver?

yes I canDo your clients deserve the best you can offer?

Remember your first clients? Remember how hard you worked to really excel and hopefully earn their trust and future work? Back then you knew shoddy or late work would not provide the opportunities to get off the establishment runway and fly towards growth, success and better returns.

As you gained traction your instincts were confirmed that offering your clients the best service you possible could was the ‘ticket to the game’ to your growing reputation and success. Deliver your best work become the unspoken motto, the assumed starting point for every opportunity, client or job.…

Why Do Advice Clients Buy – Part 2

mfsprout_20120606_281[1]Do clients buy for the returns you offer or the certainty you provide?

Time for a re-think?

Is it time for a re-think as to why advice clients will buy from you?

Consider the following:

  • the Grattan Institute recently suggested that Australians are paying way too much in fees ($10b!) for way too little regards their superannuation;
  • CPA Australia are strongly suggesting that the definition of ‘retirement’ needs a fair bit of work as the baby boomers are spending their superannuation too quickly;
  • the Australia Institute has raised significant issues that the policy regards superannuation is just not working, with the tax incentives for the wealthy costing precious revenues ($34B estimate) as welfare spending (currently $39B) soars and number of workers for each retiree reduces;
  • after 20 years of compulsory super only a minority of Australians seek and trust the advice from a financial planner.

Why Do Advice Clients Buy? – Part 1

iStock_ForkInroadWhy do your advice clients engage?

For greater returns or greater certainty?

I was reminded of this question looking at Google’s headlines last week with their ‘driver-less’ car ? Did you see them?

Google are making big promises about “changing our world” – what do you reckon? For me, there’s no short term returns on that project – it’s all about long term. It’s creating a perception that doing business with Google is doing business with a firm making some exciting bets surrounding our futures. (Quartz had some interesting things to say about it).

Back to why advice clients buy from you – the question of returns v certainty.…

What I learnt about financial advice from a milk ad…

Blank Road SignYou know that milk ad where the guy walks into his corner store asks the lady for milk?

She blandly spiels out the multiple varieties of different milk.

Having asked a simple question, the guy gets confused now not knowing which one is right for him.

He just wants ‘normal’ milk.

I reckon consumers face the same thing regards financial advice?

Apathy by choice?

Which type of financial advice are you after?

Is it up-front advice or on-going advice you’re after? Is it scaled advice, general advice, personal advice, product advice, limited advice, or maybe full  (or do you mean holistic?) advice?…

Tell me why your firm is shifting away from asset-based fees?

iStock_OpportunityIt was a simple question and I knew I didn’t do it justice when it was asked.

In fact, I didn’t realise it’s significant until afterwards.

I blurted out a quick response which didn’t properly answer it.

I’ve thought about it since. In fact, I’ve thought a lot about it.

For active clients, changing how you charge is a big change. It’s not a small issue nor can you afford to blunder in your explanation as to why are you making such a change.

You’re tampering with something that the majority of your happy clients probably haven’t believed needed tampering with.…