Direct Life and Pensions Lifequote head of new business Phil Jeynes says the biggest opportunity in 2010 is revisiting existing clients.
He says: “IFAs have this huge back book of clients that have either not bought a lot of of protection or any protection, and that to me is the ultimate place to start. Go back to your previous clients.”
Reflecting on last year, Jeynes says the only negative was that the Consumer Protection Insurance Engagement Campaign fell by the wayside. But while he questions whether it can be revived, he says: “This year, what advisers need to do is not wait for this campaign to come along and save the day, but tackle the issue of under-protection locally.”
Bright Grey and Scottish Provident proposition director Roger Edwards says as many people start to include fitness makeovers in their New Year resolutions list, IFAs should start targeting existing clients and offer them a financial makeover as part of their resolutions.
He says: “At this time of the year what most people do is join a gym, but that only lasts about six weeks before people drop back to their usual complacency.
“Why not IFAs cashing in this time of the year by suggesting a financial makeover to help sort out their finances. Start with a bit of marketing to existing clients, a bit of prospecting to new clients or putting an advert in your local paper.”
Edwards also suggests using social networks as a marketing tool, such as a Facebook advert.
He says: “Use social networking to raise awareness a bit more. You can target almost down to micro-demographics and you can control the costs.”
Bond Wealth Management IFA Henrietta Oxlade says the protection market has been “seriously” overlooked during 2008 and 2009 as many clients have lost confidence in financial products, and advisers have therefore not had the inclination to concentrate on this area.
However, she adds: “I believe that the challenge for advisers in 2010 will be to embrace the fast approaching changes in the industry, to significantly ramp up the consistency and quality of service offered to our clients, while at the same time to put the whole RDR issues into perspective.
“This is a hugely distracting time for the adviser, and it has been all too easy in 2009 to get bogged down by exam preparation, changing of business models, fee propositions and so on. The facts are that we have a job to do, and we must not lose sight of the basics.”