But then, as often happens, a crazy thought found its way into my head. With even more passion, I exclaimed: "Financial Planning! It's the SEXIEST job in the world!”
"Wow, that was good", I thought to myself, rather smugly.
The trouble is, I’ve not been able to stop thinking about that statement ever since.
I was right! Financial Planning IS the SEXIEST job in the world:
- Helping people to identify, achieve and maintain their desired lifestyle!
- Helping people live life to the full - to do more, live more, give more!
- Helping people to have confidence and clarity over where they are heading!
- Helping people to have more time, more choices, more freedom, more LIFE!
That's what I call financial planning. We have the power to change clients lives for the better.
It really IS the sexiest job in the world!
So, if that’s the case, why aren’t people queueing at the door for this amazing service that we can deliver? And why aren’t people queueing to join the ‘profession’?
Perhaps others don’t see it for what it really is. I wonder why that might be....?
I believe that 'Financial Planning' has become the most misunderstood term in the English language - primarily due to the vested interests of the product pushing, asset-gathering 'Industry'. Most Advisers (including far too many CFPs and Chartered Financial Planners) think that Financial Planning is something to do with arranging products and investments, or using up various tax allowances, or rebalancing portfolios, or sorting out a pension transfer, or generally implementing a financial transaction.
It’s not. These are things you do, if necessary, AFTER you’ve done financial planning. I believe all that ‘stuff’ falls under the banner of ‘financial advice’ or ‘investment advice’. It’s definitely NOT Financial Planning. Not where I come from.
Besides, most clients find that ‘stuff’ really boring. And it certainly ain't sexy.
But PROPER Financial Planning… Oh my oh my! You can get moist just thinking about it!!!!
It's about really connecting with clients; understanding where they are in their life, how they got to where they are (i.e. what’s their story?) It's about being genuinely interested in another human being - and where they are trying to get to; about the life they have and the life they want. Ideally, it's the process of uncovering what they want to be, do or achieve - for themselves and their family - before it’s too late? It's about helping folk do stuff before they’re too old to enjoy themselves - or before they're in a box! Life’s not a rehearsal! I think it’s an important part of our job to remind clients of that.
In other words, what sort of life are they living now and what sort of life do they want to live in the future?
Then the big question is: What is the cost of their current and desired lifestyle? And what do they need to do to achieve it - and, more importantly, MAINTAIN it?
THAT is where proper financial planning comes in: to identify the resources available to them now, the resources becoming available to them in the future, and - more importantly, often - the resources that might HAVE to become available in order for them to achieve their Life plan - i.e. in order to achieve and maintain their desired lifestyle - without ever running out of money, or dying with too much.
I repeat! That is what we do for people! We help clients get and KEEP the life they want without fear of ever running out of money, or dying with too much!
A lot of Advisers have forgotten this. They’ve lost their WHY. They've lost their purpose. And sadly, it shows. They actually think their job is to ‘manage money’ or fiddle with products and investments - the money stuff.
Yet products and investments are simply 'tools in the bag', that we use, if required, to get the job done. I find it absolutely amazing how many Advisers have built a client service proposition that revolves around the tools in their bag! And get this, some have even allowed their 'investment philosophy' to become their service proposition! That's weird. And very stupid.
It’s not surprising Advisers have lost the plot, what with regulatory pressures, the focus on higher technical qualifications, not to mention the ongoing pressure from the ‘Industry’ to keep peddling its products… the distractions go on and on.
So, if Advisers have become boring, or overly technical, or no longer able to communicate their service in a compelling way, then it’s not necessarily their fault. The ‘Industry’ has been messing with their heads!
But what do clients want?
They want the BENEFITS! They want the SEXY stuff!
Clients ASSUME you are well qualified, experienced, trustworthy, independent, unbiased. These things are not sexy. They are mere expectations. Just like when they deal with a Doctor, clients EXPECT their Doctor to give them the right medicine! And they EXPECT us to give them the right product. Remember, the right product is not a benefit - it is an expectation!
Right now, more than ever before, clients need the clarity and peace of mind that only we can deliver through ‘inspiring’ financial planning. They need to see for themselves, through PROPER financial planning - incorporating meaningful cash-flow modelling - what their future looks like and just what is possible!
That is when clients really engage with you and your service. That’s when they're happy to pay you well too - and keep paying you well - for delivering a service that totally focuses on getting them what THEY want!
Interesting times lie ahead....
We're now moving to a very transparent, very explicit 'fee-only' world. Clients are starting to ask questions. They are starting to understand more and more just what they've been paying - and what they are now being asked to pay - for financial advice.
So, be warned. If you are not knocking clients' socks off with your service, sooner or later, somebody else will.
BOTTOM LINE: If you want to absolutely guarantee your future, it may be time to SEX UP your service! Do this right and client's will LOVE you forever!
Then check out INSPIRING ADVISERS ONLINE - it will show you how to do
this FAST - and without re-inventing the wheel.
It's a growing community of Inspiring Advisers committed to
helping clients get what THEY want.
TO JOIN THE QUIET REVOLUTION CLICK HERE