Book review, Service design

Starting the year with the right intentions

Happy new yearOver the Christmas break I found some reading time to take a look at Intentionomics® by David Penglase.  For those of you in Australia, you may certainly recognise David from his consulting work within Financial Services and his conference speaking activities.

David’s book offers nine principles that he calls ‘inescapable truths’ for living a ‘happy, flourishing and prosperous life’.  In short, I think it is worth a read if you are looking for some personal focus and indeed helping your clients achieve what matters most to them.

It occurs to me that in 2014 financial planners and advisers within Australia (and I suspect outside of Australia too) will still be using Client data collection tools and fact finds that really gloss over client goals – their needs, wants and desires. Instead you will spend most of your time with clients collecting information about investment accounts and insurance policies at the expense of focusing on the stuff that really matters to them and helping them live a prosperous and protected life.

Why is this still case? Well there may be a number of reasons, but primarily I suspect it is the result of a compliance regime and technical expertise having a stronger voice in your head office than the adviser and marketing voices. Advisers know that clients primarily seek financial advice to achieve a personal goal, not tick a compliance box. In fact I’d even suggest most clients don’t know what compliance is and furthermore they don’t really care.

Certainly, I’m not saying we should limit the time we spend with clients on the mechanical aspects of advice – like technical aspects and meeting our compliance obligations. Surely though we can find greater time to explore the personal and human side of advice. After all isn’t advice fundamentally about helping people achieve their life goals?

So in 2014 will you ask your advisory group to take a long hard look at their client data collection procedure? Or will you have another year of simply ticking compliance boxes. It’s your call. Start a revolution if you need to. And to those that think this sound like too much hard work – I respect your decision. It just means your competitors are about to get another competitive advantage over you.

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2 Comments

  1. Andrea Jenkins

    Hi Pete,
    Great article, just thought I would drop you a line to answer one of your questions and maybe get some assistance. I am very client goal focused and spend a lot of time talking to clients about this during our time together but I do still use my Dealer Group Fact Find and the number one reason for this is that I have not found any other method that works for me to both capture the clients goals and objectives as well as the raw data. Any suggestions?
    Andrea

  2. Peter Bowman

    I think you need to still use your dealer group fact find to capture the information as there are probably compliance reasons to do so. I don’t want to get any adviser in trouble with the compliance dept – its just not worth the angst!

    I’d suggest though that you might be able to add to this – have a conversation about life goals – things like, where you want to live, experiences you want to have, health goals, travel goals, family and friends etc. Make it a bit more about the life that the money is used for! Happy to spend some time with your dealer group if they’d like to hire me in to offer some suggestions here.

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