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David Shelton: Pre-empt the media hype

David Shelton, 07 Sep 2012


The recent Sunday Times article on the “death of the salesman” and the loss of 3,000 advisers has given us a taste of what is to come. The fact the article was flawed in some of its arguments is not the only issue.

Of greater importance is the fact that the media onslaught around adviser charging has begun and we must expect it to continue into next year. Is it the case that individual firms cannot do much about this and we should accept it as part of the competitive challenge or is there positive action that could be taken?

The answer must be the latter. Individual firms cannot turn the tide of misrepresentation but they can be proactive with their own clients and take control of the communications to them. The first action is to write to clients about the RDR and what it means for their relationship with you.

Do this in the next few weeks to set their expectations and explain how you will deal with them. It is far better they hear about these changes from their adviser than read about it in the press. The second is to make sure you have a clear service proposition and pricing policy that is competitive and can be presented to your clients with confidence. The third is to avoid raising prices at the start of next year. Whether or not price increases are justified is a separate debate but there seems little sense in telling clients they have to pay more at the very time adviser charging is the hot topic in the popular press.

Finally, make sure you have identified all the objections that could be raised and have worked out how to deal with them. We must remember that we have been living with this for five years but for most of your clients, the first they hear about it will be from you – or from the media seeking sensational headlines.

David Shelton is the author of “The Business of Advice” book and website

With the RDR deadline only a few months away, you may well be thinking about how to communicate important changes about your firm to your clients.

Taxbriefs have created an RDR communications pack alongside leading RDR transition expert, David Shelton to provide you with all the tools to plan and execute effective communications to your client base. To view a full description of the letters provided and see a sample page please click here

This article first appeared in MoneyMarketing 6 September 2012


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David Shelton

Author, Business of Advice

David Shelton has more than 20 years experience of working in marketing and business development in the financial sector. For the last 12 years he has worked specifically with IFAs, helping them deal with a range of issues.

David Shelton is author of The Business of Advice - How to Manage and Develop a Successful Financial Advice Business, published by Taxbriefs in association with The Personal Finance Society.


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