52 per cent say clients want over and above financial advice (but 27 per cent of advisors say no)
New research has found that over half of financial advisors are feeling the pressure to offer advice to clients on issues over and above their finances – and while the majority are willing to do so to improve client relationships and attract new business, some 27 per cent are reluctant.
In a survey of financial advisors by people management software company, BrightHR, over a quarter of respondents said they thought that offering a more rounded service would strengthen client relationships. Providing pension advice (29 per cent), property advice (26 per cent), employment law advice (25 per cent) and business software solutions (21 per cent), they said, would benefit clients most.
Yet while some financial advisors are already looking at extending their services (15 per cent) or have said they will definitely look into doing so (53 per cent), a further 27 per cent said they wouldn’t look at that option or it wouldn’t be beneficial to them.
Currently, only 26 per cent of financial advisors describe their overall relationship with their clients as ‘strong’, while 30 per cent describe their working relationships as ‘good but they would like it to better’, 41 per cent confess it is just ‘average’ and three per cent say it is ‘purely transactional’.
When asked what the best way was to strengthen the all-important client relationship, financial advisors said it was having a thorough understanding of what their client wanted. This was followed by helping them become more financially organised, being able to offer a wider service and finally, sharing their knowledge set.
However, the biggest challenges financial advisors are facing in achieving the above were the lack of time to meet clients face-to-face (53 per cent), too much admin and paperwork to get through (26 per cent), understanding ever-changing technology (11 per cent) and poor communication skills (10 per cent). This is a real shame when you consider how valuable positive client relationships are to client retention and even attracting new business.
In response to the survey findings, BrightHR has worked with author and business effectiveness expert, Dr David Fraser, to launch a new report – Better Relationships | Better Business. It delves into the importance of positive client relationships, provides suggestions to how this can be achieved and examines what impact future technological advances will have on how good client relationships are maintained.
Commenting on BrightHR’s survey and report, Dr Fraser said: “It’s surprising to learn that such a large proportion of financial advisors are admitting their client relationships were not what they could be. The awareness of the issue is encouraging because it hasn’t always been recognised. The survey clearly shows many businesses realise they need to prioritise time with clients and prospective clients but struggle to free up the capacity to do that. Internal relationships are important too, of course, to sustain the delivery performance and agility of the business. Our new report, Better Relationships | Better Business, provides some answers to these challenges.”
In addition to the report, BrightHR also offers a Partner Programme to help financial advisors build better relationships with their clients. The programme is free to join and provides them with access, via an online portal, to a range of learning resources, training materials and engaging content that they can share with clients.
Paul Tooth, co-founder and CEO of BrightHR said: “Strong client relationships are vital to a successful business, so our survey throws up some interesting results and thought-provoking questions.
“In general, the financial advisors we spoke to felt under pressure to offer more than financial advice and despite the fact they thought it could potentially improve client relationships, some one in five were unwilling to do so.
“It may help them to know that both our Partner Programme and our report have been specifically designed to give financial advisors the tools with which to engage with their clients and offer another dimension to their work, with very little effort required on their part.
“For those that are interested and willing to offer additional services, our people management software could provide yet another solution. Through our Partner Programme financial advisors can extend their service offering and position themselves as a more all-rounded advisor, while generating commission by recommending BrightHR.”
For more information, quotes, and for the full report please contact the Bright HR Press Office
0161 839 1986