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Top 5 Tips for Improving Adviser / Paraplanner Interactions
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The value of smooth and efficient interaction between an adviser and their paraplanner is worth its weight in gold. Realistically, it’s the difference between a Statement of Advice (SoA) being produced in 3 days, or 21. No joke. And when it comes to quality… Well, you know what they say.
Garbage in, garbage out.
So what key factors separate the truly great from the goddamn ghastly? That’s the big question isn’t it. And here’s your answer, from a paraplanner’s perspective.
Five steps advisers can follow to improve both their advice and the lives of any paraplanner!
Complete a Paraplanning Request Form (PPR) – oh I know, you can detail it all in the email and it saves a form but what happens when you forget the plan preparation fee? Or the reason you are replacing the product? Or the date the appointment is on? You don’t have to complete the paraplanning request form cover to cover but you do need to use one to help us understand what you want and it will also help to get the SoA quicker. Just as a fact find helps you create order around the data collection process, the paraplanning request form helps us get a sense of order on the advice outcomes.
Communicate – be responsive. Ask your paraplanner if they have ever had a half-finished SoA sit on their desk for a month. 9 times out of 10 they will say yes. And I bet the reason is that the adviser hasn’t got back to them on missing info. Avoid the trap of sending through the SoA request and then wiping your hands of it. Check to see if everything is there. A quick phone call to give an overview of the client scenario is a sure way to avoid the email ping pong we all despise.
Collaborate – the humble paraplanner has come a very long way. Many of us are as qualified as advisers. Many have worked in advice longer than the adviser they work with. Work with us, ask for our input, our feedback, our ideas on how you can make the interactions better. Not only does this help the advice but it can make us as paraplanners feel part of it and valued, and everyone performs better when they feel valued and connected.
Clearly articulate goals – I try not to harp on about goals and how SMART they should be but when you think about it, advice all boils down to this. The client has a need or want that you are trying to meet. If you have not articulated in the SoA what those needs and wants are, how then can you measure if the advice meets them? Make it clear to us what the ‘why’ is so we can show it in the advice.
Product replacement research – although not sexy, it has to rate top 5. Why? Sadly because it is one of those areas that gets rushed, sidelined, thrown together. So when it is done well, it shows in the quality of the written advice and saves us so much time! Best way to solve this is to have a standard research form that you use to call the provider and record all the fees, portfolio and insurance details for their existing product. Make it even better by adding a ‘best interest discussion’ at the bottom for you to highlight why this existing product doesn’t meet the client’s needs.
Nail these key points and your paraplanner is going to love you that little bit more, without a doubt.