For many firms, it takes some time to implement a consistent, profitable and competitive adviser charging structure. If you need a snapshot of what is going on, ask the individual advisers these questions:
- Do we operate a completely consistent pricing policy across all advisers and clients?
- Can we successfully argue the case to the regulator for any variations that may occur?
- Do our clients understand exactly what they are paying for our services?
- Is there a sound case for us, as a group of advisers, to adopt the same pricing policy?
- How often do we operate outside any existing pricing guidelines that we may have?
- Have we got a clear fee structure for the situations when we need to use it?
- Do we talk about ‘taking fees’ as opposed to ‘charging clients’?
This will give you a clear picture of where the business really stands and also bring home to the others the fact that the market has changed forever with regard to how clients pay for advice.
David Shelton is the author of The Business of Advice book and website www.businessofadvice.co.uk