Sales & Marketing

I’ve recently just published my first two articles on LinkedIn. I’ve been writing this blog for a number of years now, and LinkedIn has opened up their platform for people to publish articles directly, and I’ve held back until now. In part, because we share our articles on LinkedIn anyway, so our target market get drawn to our own site, also in part because our articles are always for a very targeted group of readers who make up a very small percentage of LinkedIn members, and also due to some material I’ve read about SEO rankings.

So why have I broken my silence on LinkedIn publishing?

Client engagement is an artform that we are particularly passionate about here at Elixir. It’s one thing to have the ability to deliver outstanding, technically brilliant advice that is always  in the best interest of your clients, but if you can’t sell it to your clients, or you’re not winning enough of them to provide advice to, you’re doing nothing to enhance peoples wealth, or indeed to build a business. In our own experience, the successful adviser is one who not only has the ability to communicate well and ask the right questions of their prospects (and clients), but who also uses a robust process to deliver their proposition to each potential new client.

Most Australian advisers are currently absorbed in altering their business practices to comply with the new FoFA Legislation, and a particularly large issue is deciding on when and how to deliver their Fee Disclosure Statements (we now have a three-letter F word … the FDS!). We have heard of a number of advisers who are planning to post out all of their FDS's on the 1st of July, indeed some licensees are even suggesting this is a good option. It may have been suggested in the ASIC regulatory guide, but we think this is a dangerous strategy, and there are far better options that are still compliant with both the wording and the intent of the legislation.

We are often asked by advisers to take a look at their pricing model and let them know if they “have it right”. This begs the question, “is there such a thing as the right pricing model?” The answer is “yes”, although what is the “right” model will vary for every firm. So here is a list of questions to ask yourself when considering whether or not you have got your pricing right:

If we asked a random selection of your clients RIGHT NOW, what they thought of your business, what would they say? Do you know what your clients value about you and the services you provide? Whether you are completely overhauling your business to change your charging method, or you routinely contemplate your business and make improvements for continual evolution of your services, it is important to truly understand what works and what doesn’t in your current model.

Trust is a word that is frequently associated with financial advice, and unfortunately it’s often for the absence of it. When a consumer decides that they will seek advice, the most important factor to them when choosing their adviser, by a margin of more than two to one, is trust. And yet when we consider the reality of trust – away from the rhetoric and the assumptions that are bandied around freely by all who have an opinion on the advice profession, it can be a difficult position to establish, and to maintain.

Okay, so we may be a bit slow on the uptake here at Elixir in embracing social media and the blogosphere, but that's not going to hold us back from getting into it now! We've been exploring and learning as much as we can about social media - especially from gurus like Baz at The Social Adviser. (And I can't help but plug him - I've heard lots of people talk to advisers about harnessing social media but there is noone who understands it better than Baz - what he doesn't know about successfully engaging with people as a professional adviser online is not worth a tweet!) Our coaches have been writing articles for industry magazines for years, and we've even published books. But in all honesty, our team has been so busy with our clients, and I added to my workload with having my twin girls, that my plans to start a blog have taken some 18 months to come to fruition. Am I disappointed about that? Not really, I like to see it as an opportunity - we've learnt a lot about it, and we can now show all our clients and our followers that it's actually not that hard to get started.