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Client focus best medicine for adviser ailments: Dr Dave

New regulation provides advisers with opportunities if they are able to focus on a defined client group and build relationships within that space, according to the TNP director of development Dr Dave McMillan.

Friday, June 17th 2011, 4:58PM

by Benn Bathgate

Speaking at the Life Brokers Association (LBA) conference in Wellington, McMillan said,  "one of the great things about regulation is it makes us extremely client focused."

He said that over the past 20 years the adviser business has changed into a relationship business rather than being strictly about transactions.

"Clients want more than that, clients expect more than that. This whole business is about building rapport with clients."

McMillan said one key task for advisers was to accurately target their market.

He said those earning below $45,000 tended to see the state as their insurance provider but clients in the $45-$65,000 earnings range "start to become prospects for us."

He said that was a market that advisers had largely vacated, leaving banks to fill the gap.

Those earning $65,000 upwards, including small business owners, were highlighted by McMillan as a key market for advisers.

"The great thing with these people is the persistency is good. You're not facing lapses because somebody's got no money left. The whole mentality is not about the state, their mind is in the right place for you."

He said it was up to advisers to go out and prospect to make sure these clients did business with them rather than the banks.

"If you don't go out and prospect, the bank will snare trap [clients]."

He also outlined the importance of advisers to product providers, describing the audience as the ‘Suez canal' linking providers to clients.

He said for providers, advisers offer "the quickest and cheapest way through because they only pay when you get a result, there's no other costs in there."

Benn Bathgate is a business reporter for ASSET and Good Returns, email story ideas to benn@goodreturns.co.nz

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