Advice Centre Consulting

Be the CLIENT Specialist

Advice specialisation makes sense – but not at the expense of the client.

It is certainly not practical, nor in most circumstances possible, for the one professional to be an expert in all facets of advice of a financial nature. So we see many of these professionals positioning their businesses as “Risk Specialists” or “Retirement Planning Specialists” or “Mortgage Broking Specialists”.

But I have not seen any individual or business position themselves as “Client Specialists”.

We therefore see time and time again clients who have not received advice that is fully appropriate to their needs and circumstances. This is mostly because the advice the client receives from advice specialists is limited to that which the professional is both qualified and comfortable in delivering.

Continuing with our GFM theme of innovation, let’s examine using innovation in the preparation and delivery of advice.

Currently in the advice industry there are a number of common consistencies in the preparation and delivery of advice. These include:

  • A confirmation of the clients current position, wants and circumstances;
  • A recommendation or strategy to achieve the priority want or wants of the client. This recommendation or strategy is often accompanied by explanations that are very technical and complex and in a language most suited to fellow professionals;
  • Recommendations on product, performance and costs;
  • An “advertorial” on the adviser and/or the advice business – heavily focused on how good they are!
  • Advice presentation is centered around a large document and/or complex spreadsheets and performance charts.

The Client Specialist prepares and delivers advice with one focus only – the client.

This specialist will prepare and deliver advice in three key components:

  • What’s important to the client? This will be learnt from the in depth discussion and questioning the professional has with the client in the initial and any subsequent meetings where the client will be encouraged to talk about themselves;
  • How progress will be made to achieve what’s important to the client? The medical profession are very good at the preparation and delivery of this component. An explanation on recommendations and strategies, no matter how complex, are delivered in a language the client understands;
  • When the client can expect to achieve certain milestones in their progression to achieving what’s important to them. Often a simple graphic presentation is the most effective in the preparation of this component.

The Client Specialist may engage one or more advice specialists in the preparation and even in the delivery of the appropriate advice to the client. But no matter how many professionals are involved the client remains the only focus.

This advice may need to be accompanied by documentation which satisfies regulatory requirements, but that does not alter the key focus of the Client Specialist in the preparation and delivery of advice.


 

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