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Phil Wickenden: Irrational behaviour

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Often, when we think we are behaving rationally we really are not. At a wedding last weekend we were forced to park somewhere with a four hour maximum stay, necessitating two additional top-up trips to punctuate the matrimonial merriment (although I did mercifully miss an en-mass “oops up side your head” effort). On the second mission, short of change, I ventured into a (closing) HMV store, keen not to waste money on any change-inducing frippery. If money is to be spent, let it be exchanged for something of enduring value,” I said to myself.

Twenty minutes later I emerged with an album by someone called Joey Bada$$… but still with insufficient change for the car park. I am not sure what was going on, nor why this sleepy North Wales enclave whispered to me to boost my urban credentials, but it was not rational.

Nor is at least part of the adviser decision-making process regarding provider or platform suitability. Rational, that is.

Correlation analysis from our latest research highlights significant differences in what advisers say is important and what truly drives propensity to do business with any given provider or platform.

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Table one shows the top five most valued business services as stated by advisers, while table two shows what our analysis reveals are the most influential (when delivered well) factors on advisers’ propensity to do business.

While (remote) central support functions represent four out of five of the top services as claimed by advisers – our correlation analysis highlights that face to face consultants can have a far greater baring on where business does or does not go.

It is certainly not modish but the influence of consultants is wider and deeper than advisers realise or claim. While there are certain elements that are stated needs – things like the responsiveness of central support teams to email requests, providing timely telephone support centrally and the ability to resolve problems – there are certain unstated needs that have a far bigger impact on advisers at the point of decision. It is these factors (consultant availability, expertise and likability) that will truly differentiate.

Phil Wickenden is managing director of So Here’s The Plan 

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