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Rethink your client priorities

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Ingledew:’Clients place more value on relationship management’

Standard Life says many IFAs do not recognise which parts of the advice chain clients value most when pricing their services.

Speaking at Money Marketing’s RDR Invitational last week, Standard Life director of intermediary distribution Stephen Ingledew said: “Your customers value some parts of your role more than others. Advisers spend more time on administration but clients place more value on relationship management.”

Ingledew outlined the six steps that advisers most commonly follow with clients, including an initial meeting, goal setting, plan preparation, plan presentation, plan implementation and ongoing review.

He said: “To clients, the initial meeting, plan presentation and ongoing review are most important. As IFAs, it is already part of your raison d’etre to deliver on client needs but in a post-RDR world of transparent charging the question is what are they prepared to pay for and the answer is engagement and support in times of crisis.”

Ingledew said presenting a service proposition in terms of client value is one of the big challenges that IFAs face.

He said: “Be up front that your charging structure represents the cost of delivering client pro- mises. Present your charges in terms of helping clients grow their financial wellbeing.”

FP Advance chief executive Brett Davidson says: “IFAs spend time on writing the report, which the client really does not care about. Clients place the most value on the initial meeting, plan presentation and ongoing review but very little on goal-setting. There is a complete mismatch between what advisers think clients value and what they are actually willing to pay for.

“What we suggest is, instead of writing a report, do the analysis and then present the results live so it becomes an interactive chat about client issues. That is what clients want and it has a huge impact on pricing and adviser workload.”

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