If you can build a great ongoing review service you will be able to continue charging a premium price to your clients, increasing their lifetime value to you and increasing the sale value of your business whenever you elect to exit (the double whammy).
If the 1% ongoing fee model does come under pressure (and I expect it will for some firms) then a great review service will allow you to preserve whatever premium can be retained compared to run-of-the-mill firms.
I think many clients will struggle to see value for money (especially when converted into a cash figure), if all you do is manage their investments. New online services will provide a “good enough” money management service that clients can “kinda” do themselves with some guidance, but at a much lower cost.
The client view
Business Health have conducted client surveys (more than 60,000 of them) on behalf of financial advisers all over the world. From the data I’ve seen, two fascinating facts emerge:
- Clients rate their desire to receive ongoing service and advice highly; let’s say it’s 10 out of 10. That is, when they enter into discussions with an adviser they understand the need for receiving ongoing advice and are happy to get it.
- However, when asked how well they believe their current adviser delivers his/her ongoing service, they rate it much lower. Let’s say it’s a 3 out of 10.
Clients know how important it is to receive ongoing advice, but they think the ongoing advice they currently receive is not adequate. This is a problem. There are only two things you have to do at a review meeting to make it high value:
- Show (by using your cashflow model) the client that everything is going to be alright (and if it is not going to be alright, tell them what to do about it).
- Politely remind the client what you have done for them lately (i.e. show them your value, in cash wherever possible)
This is pretty simple stuff, so simple it’s often forgotten about.
Ask yourself this question:
“Does my existing approach to client reviews achieve these two goals?”
Out of these two things, the first (show the client that everything is going to be alright, and if it’s not tell them what to do about it) is more important by a factor of 10. If all you did at every review was show the client that everything was going to be alright you would have a great business and strong client relationships for life. Let’s call this the cake.
The second point (politely remind the client what you have done for them lately) is the icing on the cake…but let’s face it, icing without cake is pretty weird. Yet, the icing is the best bit, and it’s important. So you need to provide both!
Next week I’ll talk more about how to deliver outcomes for your clients.
By Brett Davidson