Setting up as an independent financial adviser is challenging, with building your client base key to the success of the enterprise.
With new rules on cold-calling looming, advisers will have to think hard about how they go about finding new business. Let’s look at five ways to obtain new clients:
1. Financial Services Register
The first step is to ensure that you are regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority and/or the Financial Conduct Authority and appear on the Financial Services Register. Clients will look for the security this offers.
Software for IFAs is increasingly playing an important role, both in producing efficiency savings and cutting costs and providing clients with a wide range of options to suit their needs. This type of software is available from providers such as Intelliflo.
Developing good relationships with fellow professionals, such as solicitors and accountants, can help to improve your business prospects. Established advisers have these in place; however, you will need to look for the kind of referrals that can help you to build your client base. You will need to be proactive rather than waiting for your phone line to ring or your email to ping.
Although there are formal networks groups online, the personal touch can prove a better way of generating business. Look at the small- and medium-sized businesses in your area and contact the CEOs or owners. You can also check out organisations such as your local Rotary Club.
Take the lead and organise your own seminars once you have enough contacts in place. These can be themed for those approaching retirement or for millennials who may not have a financial plan in place.
Breakfast clubs before the start of the working day can prove successful. You might invite professionals from other fields to give a short speech to showcase their own services and they may return the opportunity.
Having a website that works for you and generates enquiries is an absolute must. For any potential client, the internet is the go-to place. Even if you have made the initial contact, they will want to check you out. Also, if they are looking to initiate the discussion, they are likely to go online to look for a potential adviser.