Adviser skills

Adviser skills

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Improving the performance of financial advisers

The adviser skills possessed by a good financial adviser are the lifeblood of an financial services business. Yet many firms do not devote much (if any) effort to building and enhancing these important skills.

Being an adviser can be a lonely existence – they have colleagues, they probably have a para-planner and will probably share an office. But how often do they see other advisers and how they develop effective client relationships? How do they share and develop best practice?

In many cases, this doesn’t happen. Yes, there may be some T&C but this tends to focus on ensuring an adviser is compliant, not developing their competence and key skills. The result is that advisers with 20 years or more of experience are likely to have picked-up some bad habits along the way.

Our coaching service for financial advisers is intended to increase their effectiveness by 10%. So for an adviser who has income of £150,000, this can make a significant contribution to the client relationship. It also contributes directly to the bottom line for the business.

Developing adviser skills – some examples

Scenarios typically involve one or more of the following needs:

  • The senior adviser who has more clients than they can manage and wishes to delegate these to more junior advisers who do not possess the skills to handle ‘characters’ and/or more complex financial planning situations
  • How to deal with ‘difficult characters’
  • The need to adopt a more consultative approach with clients
  • Working with advisers to adopt a more holistic/lifestyle approach to client relationships
  • Positioning the advice proposition or delivering ‘added value’ by way of reviews or the ongoing service
  • The need to outsource the coaching of top performers or motivating top performers

This service is NOT for you if you are looking for:

  • manipulative sales techniques such as ‘closing techniques’, or
  • you wish to provide initial training to a paraplanner or a trainee financial adviser. Training in these circumstances is best conducted in-house.

What does the coaching process look like?

  1. A chemistry meeting and an initial agreement about the required outcomes (with the sponsor and the adviser)
  2. A observed client meeting
  3. Subsequent joint analysis and coaching with the financial adviser. This might, for example, involve the use of video and appropriate diagnostic questionnaires
  4. Agreed plan, deliverables and a follow-up between the adviser and the sponsor

How can skills coaching help?

Each financial adviser and each situation will require a tailored approach. The only common theme is the purpose: to develop appropriate and effective adviser skills. As such, this goes beyond merely ensuring that the adviser is ‘compliant’.

About Ian…..

Ian Patterson has a proven sales record in direct sales and as an independent financial adviser (IFA). He is a qualified coach and ex-Chairman of the Sales Training Association – a not-for-profit organisation which promotes professionalism and best practice in sales (now renamed the Sales Performance Association). He is a Chartered Insurance Practitioner, trainer and the author of eight books.

What next?

To discuss your needs further, contact us by email to arrange a call at a convenient time.