Future proofing your Business—Through Relationships
September 25, 2017

Have you ever stopped to ask yourself; where will I be in five or ten years’ time? You may still be at the helm of the business or instead hoping to spend more time on leisure activities. More to the point, where will your business be at that time?

With ongoing changes coming from the FCA will the Financial Services industry itself even be recognisable from what we know today? In the digital age, communication is moving faster now than ever before, so it’s vital to keep yourself ahead of the curve. Although you may be confident that you’re doing well now, it’s important that you are always looking ahead.

The talk of changing times can be nerve-wracking for us all but don’t worry, help is on hand! This series of blogs will take you through three key concepts instrumental in future proofing your Financial Services business. This week’s blog looks at how the client’s relationship with firm and assessing how this can be significant for future proofing your business!

We all know that business is prone to occurrences which we do not see coming which could have a considerable impact. It could be an adviser wanting to leave for a new challenge or an experienced adviser with a loyal client base deciding to retire.  Would their clients stay or go? Whatever the situation, you need to be prepared for the worst outcomes, while also providing the most support for your clients. But, how can we do this?

To minimise this risk, you need to build relationships with the firm. Being in the service industry, we are aware of the importance of relationships – particularly those with our clients. But what about the relationship we have with a firm? This may be overlooked but actually, we must work to develop stronger client relationships with the whole firm rather than just one individual adviser.

Clients value the one to one relationship with their adviser. It is very important as it builds a personal connection. We are not suggesting that you change these relationships with clients as we understand that a personal connection is needed to build trust and transparency. Instead, we suggest that other members of the firm are introduced where possible to build a trusted network.

The key is to put the adviser at the centre of the relationship, but make it clear there is a whole team – a whole support network – around that key adviser, working in the client’s interests. So for example, it is important that the firm introduces the supporting team and infrastructure. This should include everyone, from the Directors to the paraplanners and administrators.

We recommend therefore that clients build a trusted network through planned and structured introductions with other members of the team. In addition, some firms provide Welcome Packs to new clients which can be customised specifically to the client. A welcome pack is a good way to give a basic introduction to other members of the firm. A small picture and short biography allows the client to put a face to name and begin to build a connection.

You could go even further with this, by having an administrator make an introductory phone call after an initial meeting. Another nice touch is a Director introducing themselves to a client when they come into the office, knowing their name and a little bit about them.

Every introduction is another stitch in the tapestry of your firm.  The next blog looks at how generational planning can be implemented in your firm’s future proofing strategy.