Over 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.