Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Discovery - the key to survival for Financial Advisors

In the UK the FSA introduced new regulations for Financial Advisors called the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) on the 31st December 2012. The main aim of RDR is to ensure that the Financial Services industry returns to being a consulting and advisory service, based on fees rather than commission, and the regulators hope it will improve the reputation of financial advice and advisors. A dramatic impact on the industry is predicted and casualties expected. How is your implementation of RDR going?

Whenever a new way of working is introduced it can be difficult to find the time to work on what’s required and implement the required changes when you have current projects to work on. With new legislation to decipher, further qualifications required, and new policies or ways of working to put into practice, it can feel like an uphill battle to keep on top of things and this seems to be the case for many people and businesses implementing RDR.

Ad+, a team of chartered accountants and business consultants who are one of only 41 practices to be included in “The UK’s best accountancy services” used MindGenius mind mapping software to help them plan and prepare for RDR, and also see MindGenius as a solution for post RDR life. Matt Donnelly, Managing Director and Founding Partner strongly believes that better client engagement, through effective questioning and listening techniques, is the only way to drive the sales process and ensure identification of opportunities for both the clients and for businesses, especially in the post RDR landscape.

Matt believes the Fact Find stage of the process (fact find, research, advice and opportunities) needs to be transformed into an engaging Discovery style session that really gets to the heart of what clients are looking for in life, exploring things such as retirement plans, how they would like to look after their family members and charitable contributions as well as the hard facts of the client’s current situation.

MindGenius have put together a short video on a Discovery style session. You can view it here. This process is generally based on a template approach that balances the hard and soft fact finding process to find out; where we are, where we want to be and how we will get there. For the session to be a success it must engage clients in the process; effective facilitation and management when using the map template can ensure the session is interactive and keeps the client visually engaged. This results in a financial plan where the client understands how the plan works and the advisor is clear on the opportunities it presents.

Sample mind map financial plan
Fig 1: A sample Financial Plan from a Discovery Session
Whether RDR is relevant to you or not, this discovery approach is worth introducing to your client engagement.

MindGenius offers a free 30 day trial. Find out more at www.mindgenius.com/FinancialServices.aspx


Dan Parker said...

This has come at an opportune moment for me. I am prepping for the new standards and trying out MindGenius but hadn't really thought about combining the two. Will definitely give this a try.

Unknown said...

Very informative blog on Financial planning ,thanks for the sharing nice information and I hope it helps us in the future.
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