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Course of action

Tax is big news as the Budget looms and IFAs have an opportunity to use their CPD learning to effect real change

Last week I started my article by talking about the value of continuing professional development and how, according to advisers, CPD works best if it has a strong client/business focus. This applies to the all-important keeping up to date and development of competences.

These are both areas Technical Connection will be strongly serving through its Techlink Professional Platform, with appropriate content and automatic CPD logging to take the slog out of recording time spent. And, of course, there will be tests to round off the continuing structured programmes delivered.

Our technical CPD function will certainly be covering the changes we are all expecting in the upcoming emergency Budget on June 22. I talked about this also in last week’s article and used the example of the significant tax changes Budgets often bring (and this next one, very probably, more than most) as a brilliant opportunity to communicate with clients.

Putting oneself in a position to confidently communicate on subjects perceived as being of relatively high complexity, especially where choices exist, requires thorough preparation – and the preparation will represent CPD.

Turning CPD into usable communication with clients that is likely to generateactivity is where the magic comes in

Technical Connection will be presenting this business-focused CPD in a structured format (with testing) for Techlink users to access and have their time spent and test results automatically logged. We believe this be seen as extremely beneficial and will also be completely aligned with the sensible notion that the CPD aspect of keeping up to date and developing competence and confidence is secondary to the business need to keep up to date.

Professional development driven by the needs of your clients and your business gives the activity and the desire to carry it out a strong focus. Inevitably, with this strong business focus, the learning will be done better as it will be learning for a real business purpose. And turning CPD into usable comm-unication with clients that is likely to generate activity is where the magic comes in.

This is another area on which Technical Connection has spent a considerable amount of time and it is clear that the more readymade the material can be – adapted to be fit for the particular adviser’s purpose – the more valuable and valued it will be.

Think about the most powerful communications you receive. They are perceived by you as relevant and not just a mass communication. For the adviser, though, with good segmentation and client knowledge there will be the ability to carry out the cost-reducing and value-enhancing process of mass customisation, ie. communication that is perceived as personal in that it speaks to the particular characteristics of the individual but is the same for all in a particular category, with the same characteristics. A win/win then – for the client and the adviser.

So, when it comes to the Budget, how can this process of mass customisation be carried out? Well, it is really up to you to decide the balance between the mass and the customisation. The broader the segment, the more the leaning towards mass. The more narrow, the more the customisation.

A kind of midway mass customisation might be founded on the following segments:

  • investors;
  • estate planners;
  • retirement planners;
  • businessowners; and
  • trustees.

Based on what we expect from the Budget, this should give advisers the means of creating some powerful communications that will highlight the changes and what to do about it.

This part is where the magic lies, the proactivity, the call to action. And it is the action that things can change for the better – better for the client and better for the adviser. Without action, it is just talk and not so valuable CPD.

Learning is all very well but it must be for a purpose – to improve the financial wellbeing of both client and adviser. Tax is big news at the moment. It has the capability to inspire anger and the desire to do something about it. With this feeling aroused among taxpayers, the adviser enthusiastically offering sensible counsel and reasonable solutions capable of execution stands in a very strong position.

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