If a potential new client said this to you would you be able to respond convincingly and decisively?
Adviser Jon Landy of Acumen Financial Partnership had this situation recently present itself and was both prepared and had a demonstrable process to articulate his value in a way that was meaningful for the client.
After a lengthy and detailed analysis the adviser and the potential client decided that they wanted to progress with the advice to transfer a pension. The client was very happy with both the advice and the advice fee charged. He did however baulk at the ongoing fees and simply stated that ‘I do not want to pay them’ as he could not see the benefit.
Unlike many advisers, Jon remained totally calm and promptly logged in to the EDVOA tools he had previously signed up for and demonstrated the AAV tool (Adviser Added Value) which was able to provide a number to the additional value he provided and the benefit this would provide the client.
The AAV tool highlights a number of factors such as behavioural coaching, financial/tax planning, rebalancing and withdrawal strategies that are provided by advisers and uses research from companies such as Vanguard, Morningstar and Envestnet to show the impact of this advice on a client’s investment returns.
The result? The individual said ‘I can really see the value you add’ and became a new client.
Of course, we know there are many other reasons why financial advice is so important such as helping people understand and achieve their future objectives, protecting the family, ensuring a happy retirement and supporting the estate. This is ultimately about providing peace of mind.
The regulator and media are constantly focused on the value of advice as well as prospective new clients. Although the conversations are not happening yet, what if your existing clients said, after all the fantastic advice you have provided, ‘I do not want to pay the ongoing fees’? What would you say? How would you articulate the value? Practicing the response to that client statement is essential, whether you use the EDVOA tools or not.
Advisers should definitely NOT be defensive of their fees but should be clear and well versed in justifying them. After all, we all know that fees only come into question when fund values fall and they have not fallen since the Iphone was launched – that means that we may well be out of practice! There have been two c 50% drops in the last 19 years and when the next fall happens, that is when fees will come under scrutiny even more.
Be prepared and be proactive before the questions arise.
As Warren Buffet stated ‘Price is what you pay and value is what you get’ and EDVOA tools could help you demonstrate that value, just like Jon Landy did!
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