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IFAs replace the vicar as someone people can turn to

Consumers will pay a premium for IFAs who focus on leadership, relationship building and creativity, according to business consultant Dan Sullivan.

At the PFS conference in Birmingham, the motivational speaker said if IFAs are to get the most out of their clients, they need to focus less on product sales and more on relationships.

He said advisers can fill the gap left by solicitors, accountants and clergymen as someone for clients to turn to because they combine the skills of mathematics and psychology.

Sullivan, founder of business development practice The Strategic Coach, believes the entrepreneurship of IFAs plays a vital role in shaping the future of their clients.

He said: “It is your role as IFAs to shape your clients’ futures. They will feel confused, isolated and powerless when it comes to many of their financial issues. They will not ever admit to feeling this but it is up to you to gain their trust by acting with leadership.

“They will not turn to their solicitor – they will want to know who is being sued. They will not turn to their accountant because they will not understand how they are feeling. Who else can they turn to? A clergyman?

“Clients might not want to pay for a product but if you can ensure you are delivering leadership, a trusted relationship and creativity of solution, clients will pay for that and they will pay a premium.”

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