Tips on reframing your cost drivers as client value

We know that the cost of advice is a barrier to individuals undertaking advice. While many people reach out or are referred to a financial adviser, many can experience ‘sticker shock’ when the cost of personal advice is presented. ASIC’s research paper 'What Consumers Really Think' found that the cost of advice was the single largest barrier with 35% identifying financial advice as too expensive.

Our 2021 Value of an Adviser Report provides a framework to help explain how an adviser can add value that far exceeds this fee. For some clients, we need more tools in the toolkit.

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Unfortunately, we know the cost of advice has been increasing in recent years. But what if we could better explain how some of the ‘behind the scenes’ work goes into the clients’ personal advice? What if we look at our cost drivers (or even pain points in an advice business), and frame them as part of the client value and explain the cost of advice?

For example, lets look at some potential wording for a client brochure, and how it seeks to explain some of the behind the scenes work (that are also significant cost drivers for advice businesses), but to frame it as the value it can add to a client – in addition the advice itself.

We are committed to delivering high quality personalised advice to you based on our experience and expertise;

  • We focus on you - We take time to understand you, your goals and circumstances. We can turn your concerns into feelings of confidence, and get you sorted both in the short term and your long term priorities.
    This highlights the time and effort taken for every piece of advice, and ensures that it’s personalised and tailored to the specific needs of a client. No cookie cutter advice here.

  • We use market leading technology – We use best of breed and sophisticated financial planning technology to model your personal circumstances and complex financial scenarios to give us the best information to design your plan.
    Take the cost of your CRM, your modelling software and your overall tech-stack to give the client confidence that this is not a simple one person job / back of the envelope kind of deal. You are investing and using the best solutions available to get better outcomes for the client.

  • We are licenced through ASIC – We are confident to be held account for high professional standards, qualifications and ongoing education requirements. We happily comply with our obligations and requirements in order to work in your best interests… always.
    ASIC have found that while 79% of Australians recognise that an adviser has expertise they don’t have, 37% didn’t think that advisers have their best interests at heart. They also found that many consumers were not aware that advisers needed to be licenced. But after knowing this, their trust levels increased. We have some way to go to educate Australians on the professionalisation of advice and how this benefits them.

  • We are committed to our robust compliance framework and quality control. Our robust compliance framework is designed and implemented in our business – delivering a consistent, high quality, reputable advice process to you.
    Compliance, monitoring, audits – topics we often don’t discuss with clients. However, when we frame it in the value it delivers the client, it can be seen as a value add. The consistency and quality is something that a client can appreciate.

  • Our deep research, due diligence & monitoring - We continually review the market for the best investment, platform, insurance and client service solutions to ensure that we give you the best possible experience on your journey to financial confidence.
    Without getting into the hour by hour challenges of itemising time spent on the client, we can frame the time and expertise to maintain high standards of understanding the investment, insurance, platform solutions that are used in client implementation. This can also highlight your expertise in how to do deep due diligence and understand the complexities of solutions in our industry – and ultimately save many many hours for a client that may to try and do this on their own.

  • The breadth and depth of our team - Our experienced team seeks to provide you the best service. We have a breadth of skill sets inhouse and with key partners to be able to provide you the best expertise in your plan today, or as you need it in the future.
    A client can appreciate the value of a great team vs an average team. Experiencing smooth processes, confident, and consistent service, and knowing that anyone in the team can be a point of reliable communication. In a service based industry, make sure your clients see the value in having a strong and high performing team.

Bottom line

Where some clients have concerns over the cost of advice, look for different ways to frame different elements of an adviser relationship – what they see and what they may not. There is potential to highlight some of the less known or behind the scenes elements of your advice, which can be important to the overall client experience. This is an opportunity to not only help validate your fees, but also the value of a quality advice relationship.