Can advisers bill less and earn more?

Vanessa Stoykov,  creator,  No More Practice

It has been interesting to see the reaction of the industry to falling advisor numbers  - all in all under 20,000, with it estimated that less than 10,000 are practicing Australia wide. 

I have also heard advisers say that they no longer have to chase clients, and that people are finding them. Their only issue now is delivering the level of service needed to deliver full advice. 

How the worm has turned for advisers. The challenge now is to run a profitable business, while staying compliant, as well as finish FASEA studies. Not an easy proposition for any professional. That is why conversations around product development and a new kind of service could be the answer for many. 

While there are certainly clients that need the time and energy put into their financial affairs by managing them with a full advice relationship, most advisers also recognise that there are clients who do not need a full advice relationship, but rather need financial ‘coaching’ and ongoing motivation via education. 

And while robo-advice was also supposed to be the answer to that, most still acknowledge that people need a human touch. So how does an adviser develop this new product line while managing the business they have?

I believe that a new offering is part technology and part education/marketing. To develop a one-to-many advice product revolves around finding pivotal points in peoples’ lives where hearing from a financial expert on a regular basis is highly desirable. This could be goal driven (saving for a house) or planning for the future rapidly approaching (those in their 40s who suddenly start to worry whether they’ll have enough). 

While there are good robo tools used through tech that an adviser can plug into, the biggest challenge is developing a process that you can create through marketing/learning best practice and using tech to serve it. 

An industry who has done this extremely well is the weight loss industry. There are aps like Noom that specialise in what is called ‘nudge learning’. That is, messages are programmed a variety of ways to remind people to keep up their motivation and measurement. 

Much of the time, money follows the same principles. A regular reminder of why sacrifice now to gain later. There are simple plugins you can use for Wordpress such as Learndash, which can help you automate your content and messaging so that clients who pay less, but require less personal attention can still benefit from your expertise in the form of financial coaching. 

There is no silver bullet for advisers to build this offer out - to make it truly personal means you have to give it your attention and put yourself in the narrative. After all, people are still buying you and your skills set. But a lower retainer, payable per month and taken automatically, without the onerous responsibilities of full advice could be a more than viable alternative for many advisers.

To start the process you need to: 

  1. Check out the software for robo and learning. Get some demos for companies who have good studies that you admire. I know companies like Iress have solutions.
  2. Write down your process for people in various financial life moments. Even put it as a mind map on paper to start the process
  3. Talk to experts in learning and design - you cannot do this alone, but there are many who are working contract that you can find via sites like LinkedIn.
  4.  Get their advice, as well as someone in digital marketing, who can help you plan your customer journey out.
  5. Push it out there - build your presence via your social channels, hosting webinars and speaking events. It’s amazing how fast this works to get people aligned to your way of learning.

For those advisers willing to innovate, there is no shortage of opportunities to grow your practice in non traditional ways. I wish you luck.

If you would like to learn more about how to do this, and see me tell my story along the way, this is your last chance to sign up for a webinar I'm hosting with Iress - please register here. I’d love to see you there.


The opinions expressed in this content are those of the author shown, and do not necessarily represent those of No More Practice Education Pty Ltd or its related entities. All content is intended for a professional financial adviser audience only and does not constitute financial advice. To view our full terms and conditions, click here

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