BestAdvice (BA): Why is Paymentshield supporting National Conversation Week?
Rob Evans (RE): Our finances massively influence our lives and the right conversations are critical in order to get them in the best shape they can be. However, at Paymentshield, we surveyed 2,000 people in the UK and found that while finance is one our biggest worries, only half said they would seek financial advice.
So, we think it’s important to encourage everyone in the UK to be more proactive when it comes to their finances, whether that’s learning more about finances, or taking the step to seek advice.
Conversations are also important for advisers. They give them the chance to find out about their clients’ circumstances, the financial products they have in place, and test the suitability of these products.
In fact, I’d go as far as to say to advisers that if you are not having an in-depth conversation with your clients, you are taking value off the table. You could potentially miss out on income, and your client could miss out on the opportunity to improve their financial situation or cover.
BA: In a world of robo-advice, is there still a future for professional financial advice?
RE: Of course, trusted financial advice is more needed now than ever. Consumers have access to so much information but we are still falling behind on levels of financial literacy.Trust in institutions is also low, so personal relationships with well qualified advisors are even more important.
Objective, independent and individual financial advice can help people to make the right decisions and realise greater financial independence, so financial advisers play a critical role that I don’t see being filled elsewhere.
However, it is true that the environment in which advisers operate is changing. In the face of increasingly sophisticated technology, advisers need to adapt to offer their clients an experience they cannot get elsewhere and make sure they continue to fill the need for objective, individual and personal financial advice.
BA: So, how can advisers consistently deliver high quality advice and an excellent experience in a way that is sustainable?
RE: Delivering an experience to your clients means exceptional customer service and you can only do that if you partner with firms that understand your challenges and make it as easy as possible for you to deliver that service.
When choosing a firm with which to partner ask them, not just ‘how are you going to make my life easier?’, but also ‘how are you going to deliver quality to my clients?’ Don’t sacrifice experience for convenience.
Be open to technology, learn what other businesses are doing and adapt, but do not be blinkered into believing that it can do your job for you.
Algorithms are amazing, but they are algorithms and they will not provide your clients with a personal, tailored and trusted experience. Look for technology that enables you the freedom to have more interaction with your clients, not technology that replaces your interaction.
BA: How will advisers make it through Brexit?
RE: Brexit is clearly a challenge but, at a time of uncertainty, people need advice even more and that creates opportunity. Good businesses that are adaptable can thrive, even in difficult economic environments.
Make sure you are proactive and use the full range of products to which you have access. The more you can help customers make better financial decisions, whether it is their mortgage, protection or GI, the deeper the relationship will be. The strength of the relationship is what will mean the customer comes back to seek your advice, recommends you to others and ultimately helps you protect and grow your business.