Peer Review: A powerful tool for building better risk recommendations
Russell Hutchinson suggests some new ideas to make your recommendations to clients even better.
Tuesday, October 9th 2012, 1:08PM
There is a world of difference between swapping stories over dinner at a conference and challenging yourself to write better risk recommendations. I don’t mean longer, more complicated, or more compliant – forget about those just for a moment – just think about how to make them better.
Being self-employed I know what it’s like to relish my freedom. The problem with that is getting good direction on how to improve my work, and I believe I need to improve it every year.
A good approach to improving anything is to compare it to others – week in week out, constantly seeing how it stacks up and getting some objectives views about that.
Take risk recommendations. They are the heart of your practice. You should invent a process for reviewing them systematically.
Obviously you will have a standard format which you vary for each new client based on their personal situation. Equally obviously you should have a standard approach to checking each one to make sure it’s right: a rough draft, a good proof, a re-check of all names and amounts back to data collected, a re-check of calculations, a re-check of recommendations, a final proof.
Ideally the re-checks are done by someone else working off a checklist.
But that’s just the basics. Why not see who you can get involved to improve the recommendations?
Sit down and create a panel of experts; A copywriter to review your standard areas of text, an accountant to review your calculations, another adviser to review your product selection, a valued client to review from their side of the fence, a lawyer to look at your wills and trusts recommendations, a business broker to look at your company needs analysis… grab half a dozen of your best reviews and take the first one of your panel to lunch. Grab one a month and keep going until you are convinced you make the best recommendation documents in your area.
Then tell everyone how good they are.
Tell your clients that’s why they need to do a new annual review with you.
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