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The clarity advantage

Brad Isaac, ADFS

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From regular check-ins to a positive approach to compliance, Isaac details the approach that helps guide his business. He shows how beneficial client outcomes and developing a thorough understanding of regulation can be a winning formula for your practice.


Click here to find more from the 2018 Annual Meeting

Success in financial planning for our clients is associated with:

  • Checking in regularly with them
  • Satisfying all compliance regulations
  • Delivering positive client outcomes

We check in with our clients regularly on their birthdays and other special occasions. Even when we see something of interest to them specifically, we will share what we have. This is always appreciated.

Set up a process and name it. Our unique process is The Clarity Advantage. This outlines our front- and back-stage processes for everything we do.

Six client meetings per week is a minimum target. We are a holistic financial planning practice and as long as we are doing six client meetings per week, the team can achieve all of the goals we set for our business. Remember, activity generates more activity, and people like working with busy people.

Ensuring that the right team is on board is key, and we outsource when we can. However, we spend the time working this process through before handing it over.

We delegate anything we aren’t paid to do. There is always time to get the stuff done that needs doing. For me this is Monday and Friday. Tuesday through Thursday is client-facing time.

There is a photo wall in our office of our clients enjoying their lifestyles. Always remember what they enjoy drinking and have this ready for them when they arrive for their appointment. Just like we need to do what is required to make us excited about turning up on a Monday, make client appointments unique. Because our clients are indeed unique.

For a meeting coming up where the scope of advice is clear, study up and prepare further on this topic. Do an educational, online exam to refresh and get the mind working. Preparation is key, and this additional study will give us plenty more to talk about.

Regulation

Compliance in Australia is getting tougher every year, hence the need to set a minimum fee to deal with how advice is delivered and to ensure we remain profitable. With change and challenging times, there are massive opportunities to review your procedures and improve what we take to the marketplace.

We had eight-page Customer Advice records when we started in 1999. These are now called Statements of Advice and are usually over 80 pages. Create a front page with photos of your clients’ dreams, interests, and aspirations, ensuring the document is personalized. Have this up on the screen when they enter the room. It’s a great talking point, and they will realize how much we actually do care and understand what makes them tick!

We should treat compliance as our friend and as an opportunity to improve as individuals. It benefits us in the long term and protects our clients in the short term. Compliance keeps our industry professional and regulated.

Delivering a Positive Outcome

We do whatever is needed to ensure the right outcome for clients. We do this regardless of how profitable this may or may not be for the business. This will create another advocate and will not be forgotten. Such word-of-mouth advocates are certainly the lifeline of our business.

In 2012, we experienced a situation where an insurance company in Australia refused to pay our client, Marty, his $1.8 million critical illness benefit after he suffered a shocking accident and ended up a quadriplegic. On the day proceedings were to be filed in the Supreme Court, the company reinstated his cover, and Marty received closer to $2.3 million. This came after interest and additional benefits were applied, as we requested. Do you think Marty will ever forget about this? This is the value of advice in our industry that isn’t written about in any newspapers I’ve ever seen.

The longer we remain in the industry, the easier the positive outcomes for our clients become. Adding more value to our clients will repay us tenfold. More than anything, the sense of reward we feel as advisors when these wins come around is worth all the hard work.

In delivering a positive outcome for your clients, unsubscribe from the unwanted noise in the media and just see the people.

So to recap, success in financial planning for our clients is associated with:

  • Checking in regularly with them
  • Satisfying all compliance regulations
  • Delivering positive client outcomes
Isaac

Brad Isaac, ADFS, is a 10-year MDRT member with eight Court of the Table and two Top of the Table honors. He runs his boutique practice, Finstyle Planning Solutions, in Abbotsford, Victoria, Australia. He has been in the financial planning industry more than half his life, helping his clients create and protect the lifestyles they want.

 

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