Job Satisfaction, Wellbeing & Genuine Joy

To be certain your business is futureproof, you have to predict the future and put plans in place to meet the demands put upon you indefinitely. Easy eh?

How boring it would be if life was predictable, if people didn’t change their minds, if we didn’t fall in love with unsuitable people, if politicians told the truth and if we only needed to see clients once to solve all their problems.

To be successful in business and thrive, we have to be flexible, agile and open minded. We can never stand still, we have to be constantly thinking about the next thing. What we can do better, faster, bigger or simpler to help our clients reach their goals in life.

Understand the world around us

There is an enormous amount of competition out there. Not from each other. There will always be plenty of clients to go around. The competition is from pioneers. Especially those who use technology to deliver a great service. Amazon has revolutionised the shopping experience raising expectations that we now have to match in our businesses.

There is a shift in mood, especially among younger people, around the protection of the planet. Recent demonstrations all around the world are pushing this issue to the top of people’s agendas and we as Financial Planners have to take note. Simple changes like using client portals to deliver client reports rather than using lots of paper need to be considered to take account of how strongly some people feel.

Aside from the practical points of embracing technology and saving the planet, our businesses will only continue to attract and retain clients for as long as they remain happy with our service.

A lifelong service

With lives changing so quickly and the increasing possibility of living longer, we need to be providing a lifelong service that addresses all their concerns. This is what makes Financial Planning businesses different to any other – the lifelong service that is needed and valued by clients who are happy to pay our fees, willing to accept our advice unconditionally, promote our services to their wider network and become an ambassador for our business.

Successful Financial Planning businesses understand how clients feel. They know they can be nervous, overwhelmed, insecure, frightened, and unknowing. We provide a safe pair of hands and a great deal of reassurance.

Clients can also be overconfident; too optimistic and with spending out of control. This needs to be challenged and properly understood.

When clients feel they are understood and they trust their planner to put their interests first, the ongoing relationship will be strong. It will be so valuable that they will never want to lose it. They will want their friends and family to have it too.

Futureproofing your business is about recognising that current transactional models will disappear. Financial products can be sourced online and for those who are interested, so can financial education.

By concentrating our business on client’s lives rather than on their money, we can be certain of a strong ongoing relationship and that they will come back year after year for confirmation that they are still on track. Many clients need permission to spend their money. They have often been frugal for many years and can’t break the habit. How wonderful to be able to help these clients to change their lives and their financial behaviour.

This is the Power of Financial Planning

The value we can add to people’s lives is immense. I don’t mean just by saving tax or improving investment returns or providing income/capital in the event of disaster – these elements of our service are taken as read. But we can really help to change lives for the better and that kind of service can never be commoditised or robotised.

Our businesses will be safe in the future

Demand for this type of service will almost certainly increase as people will always want to feel reassured and confident about their money being used for their best (and longer) lives.

Financial Planners will be in business long after all the transactional, product flogging advisers have closed down: we will be in demand, well paid and personally fulfilled.

What other job offers such satisfaction, wellbeing and genuine joy?

This is the future!

If you are serious about change:

  • Your first meeting should be all about the clients: ask questions about their life, hopes and dreams. Find out what is important to them.
  • Ask ‘touchy feely’ questions: “How do you feel about … ?”
  • Listen carefully to the answers and to what is NOT said.
  • Don’t interrupt – let them speak.
  • Don’t ask about money until you are clear about what needs achieving.
  • Don’t talk about you until you know what they want to achieve. Tailor your service to their needs.
  • Don’t talk about financial products until much later – these are just the vehicles needed to serve a higher purpose.
  • Do show empathy, understanding and gain client trust.
  • Do talk to clients about “family planning”. Ensure all family members are on the same page. It is a powerful concept. Everyone likes to save for their grandchildren; maybe help the young ones with a house deposit; save the oldies from paying too much in care costs; provide security in the event of disaster and ensure the family wealth is passed through the generations. No financial products here, just a whole load of valuable advice that will need to be re-assessed every year – forever!
  • Do ensure you have proper resources in your business that allow you to spend time developing great client relationships.
  • Don’t get caught up doing the admin or paraplanning. An investment here will pay massive dividends and ensures you can spend all your time on developing the best client relationships possible – the ones that create longevity, family loyalty and an enduring business.
  • Define your business model clearly and ensure that all processes are clear and repeatable. Greater efficiency means greater profit.
  • Do consider different business models for different clients. For example, a cheaper more streamlined service for younger clients. Once these younger people are on board and you have the tech and green credentials to keep them happy, they will at some point be begging you not to retire!
  • If you are uncertain what your current clients value in your business, ask them! They won’t praise your investment skills or your lovely report writing; they will talk about how you make them feel and that you understand them.
  • When you serve clients well, they will become your ambassadors and sell your service for you: your futureproof
    sales force.
  • Do have confidence. This is the way forward. Financial Planning businesses of the future will be different and depend on relationships not products.
  • Remember … if you do what you have always done, you will always get what you have always got.