June 21, 2018

How To Convey Value Proposition Of Advisory To Clients?

Kalpesh Ashar
Founder, Full Circle Financial Planners & Advisors

How To Convey Value Proposition Of Advisory To Clients?

Much before I stepped into the field of Financial Advisory, I have firmly believed in a ‘Puraani Kahaavat’ (coined by…me!) that “We are all clients to someone or the other at any given time and at any stage of our life”.

Isn’t it true that most of the time we too are on the other side of the fence as customers expecting the best and maximum value from our vendors as well?

Thus, it is imperative that when it comes to conveying value proposition of advisory services to our clients, it should be implemented in the same vein.

The question is HOW? Numerous articles and books have been written, presentations and debates have been held on this topic and honestly like most of us, I have gone through this grind as well. Finally (on a modest note…) I came to a near conclusion that value proposition of financial advisory, like everything in living a good life, rests on three virtues which I strongly believe in.

These are ‘SATYAM, SARALAM, SPASHTAM‘ (just can’t resist adding Bollywood references to my articles!). Once I understood this, I stopped looking further…

Let’s start with Satyam (TRUTH ) – remember the cliched dialogue in Hindi movie court scenes,  -‘Main jo bhi kahoonga sach kahoonga aur sach ke siva kuch nahi kahoonga’… If this statement is embedded in our practise right from inception, reflecting in all interactions with our workforce, the regulators, product manufacturers, media contributions and surely with our clients, the overall image we create for our self is TRUE and INVALUABLE. It takes a lot of courage and conviction following this path, but once you cross this ‘AGNEE…PATH’, the client is rest assured that whatever the situation prevailing in the economy, capital markets or in their financial life, what they will get as professional advisory from us will be nothing – but the TRUTH. That is the most reassuring feature a client looks at.

Then comes Saralam (SIMPLICITY) – The financial world as we know today is complex and confusing. As part of our practise, we need to decipher the complexities on a regular basis (that too at times when the inferences arrived at by us are half-baked!). Given this, in pursuit of proving our technical and digital prowess to our clients and peers (and at times, to ourselves as well…) we tend to get far too statistical and jargonistic in our profession. The client most of the times looks at SIMPLE and easily understood solutions. Charts, analysis, figures are there for you to refer as an advisor to comprehend prior to presenting them to your clients. The output which goes to your client should be conveyed in the manner and language which is relatable and practical from his perspective.

And finally ‘Spashtam’ (CLARITY) – Nothing is more hazardous to a client – advisor relationship than lack of clarity in COMMUNICATION. The most emphatic value proposition a client constantly seeks is having clarity on his professional association with his advisor and the road map charted out for his present and future financial profile. This journey of clarity in Communication commences in the first meeting itself where the advisor needs to state his scope of work, his fee and operational structure and the road ahead. This is an ongoing process, where the relationship like any other could at times, go through rough patches due to various reasons. It is precisely in these times where the clarity in communication whether written or verbal faces the true test. Emerging victorious from such situations is where the real mettle of the advisor is known.

One more thing, I would like to add is that we tend to ‘OVERTHINK’ on this aspect, whereas the fact remains that for adding ‘value proposition’ to any relation in our life, be it with our family, friends or clients it ultimately boils down to imbibing the ‘Tridev‘ of  these three virtues.

Each one of us has a different professional structure as per our capabilities and capacities and are at varying stages in our career, yet let us not forget that our financial advisory profession is in a nascent stage. Our clients need to strengthen their faith in us with each passing day. It thus becomes our prime duty to emphasise at appropriate times our value proposition with our clients in a genuine and ethical manner.

2 Thoughts to “How To Convey Value Proposition Of Advisory To Clients?”

  1. RUPEN says:

    Nice article

  2. Sheetal Kumar Khemka says:

    Very true….we have a choice ..accept it for a better future or deny for a short term bull run in our career….

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