How organised are you?

After a nice summer break, it's time to start thinking about dusting the pen off for the new year.

Monday, January 21st 2019, 8:56AM

by Jon-Paul Hale

Jon-Paul Hale

For many, it appeared to be a pretty rough year last year, and the finish was one of mixed comments.

We've had the regulation discussion going on, and we've had a bunch of changes applied to us already.

It can be put into the context of two camps, what should we be doing now, with the current rules and legislation that we have, and what should we be planning for, with the regulations and law that are coming.

Moreover, this is where at this time of year dusting off the old business plan is a chance to reflect and adjust course if needed.

The comments to date suggest what we presently have with the proposed changes are what we will get, though there is still time and chance for amendments. Unlikely to be significant changes from what has already been signalled.

Many advisers completed their level 5 qualifications, though as I wrote in my previous article, there's likely to be gaps that need filling. Make sure you plan for those and tackle them once we have clarity about what is required for education requirements.

I think both the financial advice stream and the specialty stream will be required once we're done because the financial advice stream is going to become part of core, which in the present dialogue is Financial Advice for the code and then specialty stream for the FA and Licensing piece, though the FMA is still to state what they will need for the end of 2021.

Regardless of what happens with the new stuff, we still have to discharge our core role. See people, solve problems, and help with claims.

So for the next little while, we're going to have a focus on just getting on with it.

This is the tackling of the usual headaches, finding the right people to talk to and ensure we're advising them in the ways that meet their requirements. Yes, it's time to start the transition process from selling your client to know your client.

Also, for those taking up the challenge now, it will make the job of meeting this requirement later much more manageable.

As to precisely what "know your client" is, that's going to come down to your good judgement for the moment. At the same time, it is not rocket science either.

For those purely selling, the process changes a bit from what could be described as typical class advice sales. Married with kids, got a mortgage, you need XYZ cover. To a bit more detail around who they are and what their situation is.

If you think back to school cert maths, it's not just giving the answer; it's demonstrating that you went through the process of working it out. Yup, many will say more paperwork? So yes it is to a degree.

However, what does come from adding this into your process, is both more personalised advice on the amounts of coverage, and more credibility with the clients on what you're doing.

This translates into better sales, not always higher sales, but certainly better sales. What I mean by this is a client who understands and buys into why they have what they have, is more likely to prioritise paying the premium over paying for SkyTV.

So you end up with less work propping up sales and berating clients that you'll send them a bill if they don't pay their premiums because they don't miss them.

The other side of this is your book persistency is significantly better, and this is something your providers are deeply concerned about because it impacts their bottom link massively.

1% persistency across the industry is worth some $60-80 million to the industry. So yeah, they are interested in you lifting this too.

Better sales lift persistency, which with a few companies rewards you with increased revenues.

I don't have clauses for clawbacks in my scope of service; if we get it right they hang onto the cover, if we don't, then they won't. It's a relatively simple equation.

So while you're easing back into work, think about where your education needs are this year, and while you're there, pick up a slightly more comprehensive needs analysis fact find and start using it.

You may find those two simple things provide a significant lift to the reflection you have at the end of 2019.

Have a great year and have some fun!

Tags: Jon-Paul Hale

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