As client presentations become more compliance-focused, lengthy, and technical in nature there is an corresponding increase in client dissatisfaction with financial advice. Coincidence? I think not.
There has been a trend for years for financial advice, particularly comprehensive financial plans, when presented to clients to be “too clever” with clients not necessarily understanding what we are talking about. Relevence of recommendations is lost amongst the plethora of detail.
While we might have to deliver 40+ page recommendations in order to keep compliance officers happy it is helpful to have some simple techniques that cut through to the heart of the matter and show them precisely what you are suggesting, and how that benefits them as well.
Often the best way of explaining in simple terms what you are recommending is to go really really low-tech. Use a blank piece of paper, divide it into 2 columns and put each “parties” part on either side of the page. Or pro’s and con’s if you prefer.
Insurance for example is a relatively complex area of financial advice as an example, and one where there is a general lack of understanding…or perhaps even distrust. But using a simple low-tech approach can capture precisely what you are suggesting; what the clients commitment is; and; what the other parties commitment back to them is. It is the most effective way of saying “here’s the deal; what do you think of it?”
People get it, and it is a lot more helpful than the 40 page detailed report with pie charts and graphs.
I am not suggesting ignoring the technical information, or the necessary detail of your recommendation. The detail is essential from many perspectives. However, technical information should be supporting your recommendation – it should not BE the recommendation.
GREAT advisers are able to take complex technical information and deliver it in a way that clients can grasp quickly.
As Albert Einstein so famously put it:
“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough“
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