I am sure all of you think that you have a client centered practice. But, how far do you go in consistently executing on that objective? How ingrained is it into the culture of your business? I think a lot of it comes down to why are you in the business.
Is it all about the client and unlocking their life and financial potential, or is it about your financial reward?
The test is when it comes to making a tough decision do you act for the client or in your interests? To be client centered you must be ALL about the client and put their interests first ahead of your financial gain.
I believe many practices are more advisor centric than they realize. But this is probably why many firms do not grow to their maximum potential or even sustain themselves. The regulatory changes that are coming worldwide and also the societal shift in what people expect will drive you to change. You cannot have sustainable client relationships if you act for you ahead of the client.? Please think about what you can do to become more client centric.
Roy Diliberto shares some great points in his recent Financial Advisor Magazine article, “Why Clients Fire Advisors” – click here to read the article.
Start considering what it is like to be a client. How do you feel when you are a client of another professional advisor or financial advisor? What do you expect? How would you feel if you were a client of your own services?
An area you will also have to address is how you charge fees. Hidden transaction fees do not work. I would also say that charging AUM is not always in the clients best interests either, particularly if you are doing more than pure investment management. Your fees must be aligned to the clients best interests and what you deliver. When I had my own practice I charged retainer fees and AUM in proportions to best reflect what I did for the client. Reflect on your fee charging model that will be best for the client foremost and yet sustain profitability.