Accountants provide a good source of client referrals for risk advisers due to the “logical overlap of advice” between the two professions, says one consultant.
In a blog, risk advice consultant Chris Unwin noted that accounting clients are typically highly qualified referrals, since the accountants themselves tend to be highly regarded and well respected by their clients.
In addition, Mr Unwin said there is also logical overlap of advice, since both the accountant and the risk adviser are seeking to maximise net income for their clients in as many situations as possible.
However, he also warned risk advisers that accountants haven’t been referring clients in the past due to them being “frightened that their client will have a bad experience” as well as “fear of losing control of their clients”.
“More often than not, I believe it is the initial approach where this potential referral partnership breaks down,” Mr Unwin said.
“The biggest and most common mistake I believe risk advisers make when approaching accountants for referrals is that right from the get go they are telling the accountant why they should refer their clients to you instead of asking the accountant why they haven’t been referring this type of business up until now.”
According to Mr Unwin, it’s worth asking accountants whether their clients have accountants’ fees insurance in place.
“This is designed to demonstrate to the accountant that, if one of their clients suffered an illness or accident that prevented them from working for a period of time and they didn’t have any income protection, they would still need to submit a tax return. But how are they going to pay your bill without any income?” he explained.
Lastly, Mr Unwin suggested that advisers should try and take the accountant through your engagement process and ideally make them a client.
“This first-hand experience of what their client can expect will make for the strongest possible referral,” he said.
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