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Don’t let financial advice feel like going back to school

How do you feel when you think back to the days when you were at school? Does it bring a smile to your face or bring back memories that are best left at the school gate?

I have been doing some ad hoc research lately to find out why people who need financial advice are not getting it. The people I been have informally interviewing are prime targets to receive advice. They have dreams they want to make real, people they love and want to protect and a life they want to live to its fullest.  They are also very aware that their current financial position and the path they are on will not facilitate their dreams and aspirations, now or in the future.

You know it doesn’t have to be this way. You know how life changing the right advice can be. So why don’t more people, who genuinely need advice, get it?

In trying to get to the heart of this I noticed a common theme emerging. The perception (rightly or wrongly) of obtaining advice and the financial planning process was too similar to how it made people feel when they were at school.  For many, this is not an experience they want to re-live. They believe that working with a financial adviser would be an interrogation of their life and they would be exposed and judged for many things, such as:

  • the decisions (personal, professional and financial) they have made to date;
  • the decisions they haven’t made;
  • for not doing their ‘homework’ and research properly;
  • taking advice from their ‘unqualified’ mates;
  • not listening to the teachers, educators and mentors;
  • not speaking up when they don’t understand;
  • misbehaving and blatantly doing the wrong thing;
  • paying too much attention to the tv, media and gossip;
  • not being accountable for their actions;
  • telling ‘white lies’ to avoid the truth;
  • not owning up to their mistakes, and;
  • for not knowing better in the first place.

These actions at school may have resulted in detentions, reprimands, punishment, bullying and sadly made kids feel silly, small and belittled. As an adult, these are experiences and feelings people do not welcome back in their life. The push back for getting advice may not be articulated in these exact words, however in testing this theory with a number of advisers there has been overwhelming agreement that they have noticed the same theme.

What this shows is the disconnect between how people perceive the financial planning process and what really happens. As an adviser it is your role to change this perception and help alleviate any negative links between advice and being at school.

One way to do this is to examine how you market and promote your business (both on and off line). What is the message you are trying to promote and is it clear and easy to understand for someone without financial planning qualifications and experience? Does the language you use resonate with your ideal clients and enable them to relate and connect with you? How do you explain the real benefits of what you do, why you do it and how you do it?  Does it help prospects and clients see beyond the fear and uncertainty of seeking advice and allow them to visualise a fuller and more rewarding life with you on their team?

You want the advice relationship to replicate the feelings of those who believed their school years were the best time of their life. For everyone else, the only reminder they want is the upcoming reunions where they can reminisce about the days that are long gone and do it over a drink or three.

On that note, I write all my blogs myself and I am not a professional writer. So if you find any spelling or grammar slip ups, they are a bonus as they were not intended to be included.

If you want more tips just like this, grab yourself a copy of my FREE e-book ’99 secrets to a successful financial advice business”. Click here, (or skip back to my home page) add your details and I’ll send it to you straight away! It’s a super easy read….  lots of pictures and short snippets of meaningful text. 

Or, if you want to know how I could help you and your business, please get in touch with me at kim@9rok.com.au, join the conversation on twitter @_9rok or give me a buzz 0421 058 926.

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