Blog Post

Advice Efficiency

The old referral model is dead. Here’s what’s next

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9 months ago

The “dream team” experience of financial planning, broking, accounting and legal going hand-in-hand is changing to a client led model and networks

A long-held belief has been that the “dream team” experience of financial planning, broking, accounting and legal should all go hand-in-hand, with an account managed by the planner.

Of course, many of these relationships have been developed in the past via referral agreements, where each of the parties refers to each other, and there are financial or other benefits to the relationship.

The model that is rapidly developing, however, is client-led networks of these important relationships, where the client introduces the accountant/broker and their lawyer to the adviser who can then act as the central hub for all these touch-points.

Why is the planner right in the centre? Because a financial planner should serve as the whole-of-life trusted partner to their clients. And by having a relationship with the other providers, they can truly add value to their clients in an independent, advice-driven way.

Business not going well? The accountant has sent the numbers, so the planner knows to call and ask whether they need to reassess their plans.

Legal issues to go over, like estate planning? If the lawyer updates on any developments, the planner can then be proactive in that arena.

Naturally, this model suggests that there will be higher touch points with the service providers of the clients, rather than the clients themselves. But over time there will be a pattern of service providers used, a natural alliance with some of these providers over multiple clients and a way of servicing clients that is so indispensable that your value could never be questioned.

It won’t work for every client and every adviser, but for those planners willing to adopt the service model of the future, without all the old associations of referral partners, this way of doing business will become an essential part of providing clients with a service that will be enduring and handed down for generations.

So if you are wanting to differentiate your offering with service first and foremost, then client-led partnerships are a great way to start. Getting to know your clients’ lives via their other professional relationships will be the right way to insert your advice relationship at the very centre of a client’s mind.

Updated 8 months ago
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