The technology shift brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic should encourage financial advisers to look at “new mechanisms” to engage with clients, according to a Midwinter head.
Appearing on a recent episode of the ifa Show, the advice software provider’s chief commercial officer Steve Davison said a key focus that he has seen in engaging with new and existing clients over the last 12-18 months is to “engage clients on the terms that they want to be engaged on”.
“So for example, the traditional advice process is sitting down for 45 to 90 minutes to complete a fact find… then wait one to perhaps four weeks for a statement of advice to be produced and presented back to you. And then that doesn’t even take into account when the implementation of that advice is going to take place,” Mr Davison said.
“It is a very long drawn out process. If you put yourself in a client’s shoes that is new to advice, or is only just considering whether it’s right for them, they’ve got to share all of their personal financial life upfront and they get nothing in return after that first interaction.
“So, we’ve got to find ways to actually create a new engagement mechanisms to give prospective clients and advisers, the confidence to actually want to engage and pay for that advice.”
Mr Davison’s comments come on the back of a recent report that revealed two in five Australians believe financial advice is out of affordable reach.
The report by research Investment Trends stated that perceived high costs and lack of investible funds are the biggest barriers for people seeking professional advice with an estimated 12.6 million (61 per cent) Australians having unmet advice needs.
In the same episode of the ifa Show, Mr Davison said it is a fact that some people don’t engage with advisers because they think financial advice is too expensive.
“The cost to produce advice today, it’s a lot, and there’s sticker shock when people would say, ‘Oh, that’s a lot of money. I can’t afford that,’” Mr Davison said.
“They also don’t think it’s for them. So they actually think advice is for people that are wealthier, or for rich people. And so we’ve actually got to help them understand that that’s the paradox, right?”
Listen to the full ifa Show episode with Mr Davison here.
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