View more on these topics

Phil Wickenden: Providers must address the value-delivery gap

Phil-Wickenden-MM-Peach-700.png

You have to do hard things to be successful in life. The things no one else is doing. Why? Well there are some existential reasons: for instance, life coaches will tell you those are the things that define you, the things that make the difference between existing and living. This may well be true but if that does not float your boat then author, entrepreneur and marketer Seth Godin rather gets to the point: “By doing hard work that others fear, you create unique value”.

The logic follows that because it is hard 99 per cent will not bother, which makes it even more exceptional when you decide to roll your sleeves up and deliver something special. And who doesn’t like special? This adviser does: “They make you feel special. They spent the whole day with me in person working through three complex cases I had when they did not really need to. You can’t put a price on that kind of experience.”

Unfortunately, this is an exception. We asked advisers what service and support they value in relation to retirement planning and how well they are currently served in those areas. There is a clear service deficit when we consider value versus delivery (alarmingly most pronounced in those areas most keenly sought after by advisers).

Advisers value direct contact and staff expertise above secondary resources and tools. However, as a rule, it is the areas of greatest importance where we see comparative under-delivery across the industry – possibly because this stuff is hard (and expensive) to do well. Advisers most covet case related technical support, online content and telephone consultant support – though in each of these cases perceived industry standards are notably lower.

On the flipside, the value-delivery gap is narrowest with educational materials/conversation starters. No surprises there, as they typically require the smallest investment of resources. In short, this is “easy” territory. That is not to say you should not do it but there is a surfeit of collateral out there so do not expect to be revered for adding to noise.

So, back to the hard stuff. Few providers consistently invest here, let alone stand out, meaning those that do (both) will benefit from a positively disproportionate impact on advisers’ propensity to do business with them.

Of course, the hard things are often the easiest things to avoid. To procrastinate. To make excuses. To pretend they somehow do not apply to you and your business. Up to you.

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

Recommended

Technology-Tech-Currency-Money-700x450.jpg

Is lenders’ digital shift a threat to mortgage brokers? – no data this week

Lenders are preparing to fight back in the battle for market share by ramping up their execution-only digital sales platforms. But does this represent a threat to growth in the broker market? Under MMR, a residential mortgage sale can only be non-advised where there is no interaction with the borrower. This means it must be […]

DWP-Department-for-Work-and-Pensions-500x320.jpg

Wells Street Journal: Whatever takes your Glancy

It’s fair to say Scottish Widows gets its fair share of criticism but this usually comes in the form of emails from advisers furious at being kept on hold by the overstretched telephone support team, not by left-wing anarchists bent on bringing down capitalism. But Scottish Widows former head of corporate pension proposition Peter Glancy […]

Rory-Percival-2012-700x450.jpg
25

FCA on suitability reports: ‘Ask the FOS’

Advisers who are struggling to produce concise and personalised suitability reports should take their questions to the Financial Ombudsman Service, says FCA technical specialist Rory Percival. Speaking at a Distribution Technology conference in London yesterday, Percival again raised concerns that suitability letters are too focused on defending potential complaints and not enough on client engagement. […]

FCA logo glass 3 620x430
52

FCA announces dramatic overhaul of pension transfer qualifications

The FCA has announced a radical overhaul of the qualifications needed to advise on pension transfers following the Budget reforms. In a consultation paper published today on changes to its pension transfer rules, the FCA says advice on all transfers from DB to DC schemes require the pension transfer specialist qualification, regardless of whether the […]

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up

Comments

    Leave a comment