What do you do for me? – Those First Crucial Five Minutes…partIV

clock face stopwatchWhat’s your role?

What do you do?

How do you best describe your role when positioning what you do with clients,  potential new prospects, or alliance partners?

I’m especially interested to understand what you say in those first vital minutes of a meeting when you are still ‘setting the scene’ for discussions.

Hang on, am I making an assumption here?

Do you state (or re-state) your role in your meetings?

No you don’t? Why not?

Maybe you don’t need to explain your role, because it’s obvious. For new clients, they understand what an accountant (or planner, or adviser, or banker – you fill in your own role) does, and for existing clients there isn’t a need for re-explanation because they already know what we do for them?…

Is there something burning? – Part 3 of those First Crucial Five Minutes

clock face stopwatchThere’s something about a burning smell that’s hard to ignore.

Instinctively, that smell distracts us until we can locate the cause or origin.

Which is why it’s SO important to address anything that might be ‘burning’ in the financial lives of our clients as soon as possible in those first crucial five minutes of every client engagement conversations.

If a client has a sense that something is ‘burning’ in their financial lives and you don’t acknowledge, understand or address that issue, chances are they’ll be distracted by their ‘issue’ until they can investigate it further.

So always explore for the burning issue.…

Those Crucial First Five Minutes – Don’t Assume…

clock face stopwatchIn Part 1 of this series about the first five minutes of client meetings, I discussed the importance of “setting the context of the meeting” to effectively take control  of important client engagement and progress meetings.

The focus of Part 2 and second crucial component of those first vital five minutes of each meeting is about “not making assumptions”.

There’s a new financial planning firm nearby my office with a sign on their front window, saying something like “…come in and find out how we are different.”

If you want your financial advice to stand out and be different from others, you have to go a little further than the start made by my new neighbour.…

Engaging Advice Clients – The First Five Minutes – Part 1

clock face stopwatchWhat do you reckon?

Are those first five minutes of the advice conversation between adviser and client crucial?

Or is that the time for good old-fashioned rapport building?

In the past ‘advisers’ (or ‘product distributors’ or ‘salespeople’) focused those first five minutes in one of two places – either get the client to ‘like’ them, or differentiate the features of their products or services as primary means or the ‘hook’ to proceed to next step of engagement.

Will that work as well in the future?

I don’t believe so.

I reckon our future clients will be more discerning, future products will be more similar, new competition (& pricing) will be tougher,  and ‘old ways’ of establishing the potential advice relationship will just be harder.…

What does success look like?

iStock_SuccessWhen people hear the ‘certainty proposition‘ for the first time, no matter how much they might like the sound of it, they understandably ask how will they be able to determine the value or success of this approach?

Prior the delivery of a ‘certainty’ proposition, the majority of advice propositions focused on the value of what was being offered (i.e. specific tax, investment, or risk advice), rather than why these offerings and products might play a valuable role in the unique financial lives of the clients purchasing them.

For reasons best tracked back to the product origins of today’s financial planning industry, consumers have focused on determining the value of specific mortgages, investment returns, self-managed super funds rather than the destinations these products may lead them to.…

What I learnt about financial advice, FoFA, and best interests from toll roads…

Financial TollRoads?On Wednesday night a couple of weeks ago the latest round in the Future of Financial Advice (FoFA) saga limped through parliament heading for who knows where. Due successful lobbying by financial institutions, plus noise from incumbent industry associations and funds, Australian politicians continue to demonstrate a fundamental misunderstanding of our future financial advice market.

Despite original intent, the FoFA legislation is less about providing Australians with financial advice and more about flogging financial products. To illustrate, think about toll roads for a moment…

Consider the major financial services suppliers (i.e. Westpac, AMP, National Australia Bank, Industry Funds, ANZ, CBA, Macquarie et al) as toll road suppliers (Macquarie already understands the similarities!).…

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