Fighting Off The “Free” Advice Competitor
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Fighting Off The "Free" Advice Competitor

November 3, 2021

by Tony Vidler  CFP logo   CLU logo  ChFC logo

“Free” advice is never actually “free”, is it?


None of us are silly – including the people we are talking to as prospective clients.  Everyone knows advice isn’t free…it is at someone’s expense, and someone is hoping to get a payday from delivering the “free stuff” at some point. Someone somewhere is paying for it, and social media has made most discerning consumers aware that when stuff is “free” – they are the product being sold.


But still the “free financial advice” offer persists somehow in consumers minds as being their best advice option.

For those advisers who have made the move to charging fees directly to clients for all or some of their work rather than relying on brokerage or commissions, the competition with “free advice” is still challenging.  It doesn’t have to be though.


Handling the question (or challenge) from a client on the merits of paying a fee seems to be typically met by advisers with a justification of their expertise, or licensing status, or explanation of their costs and time involved in delivering the advice….basically it is more often than not handled by an adviser trying to assert or demonstrate where the value is in the fee itself.


While that may be a valid approach, it is not necessarily an effective one.  There is always a strong propensity for a professional trying to defend a position to be seen as a little arrogant or superior, or for the discussion to be deteriorate into a debate over whether the advice is valuable at all.  We really don’t want either of those situations as they do not help with client engagement at all.


A more effective strategy is to use a simple questioning technique to help the client understand the implications of the “free advice”, and highlight the superior positioning which the fee-charging adviser should be assuming….


Watch the video to learn more…

You might also be interested in this related article:
How much should you give away for free?
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