You’ve articulated the ethical, client-focussed view of salesthat some have, but clearly many don’t – which is the issue facing the financial planning industry at the moment. I admire your ethics in that you desire to be true to the client first and foremost; but the simple fact is that your attitude isn’t the norm – with Storm Financial being the (almost) perfect case study of what happens when short-term ‘me-thinking’ drives sales behaviours in an industry where people’s emotions, future and lives are at stake.
Sue has touched on a major issue facing not just financial planners but the investment community, the big banks and the Federal Government (for this is where prime legislative responsibility lies). This problem won’t be fixed by focussing on the planners.
The deeper issue that Sue didn’t introduce is customer apathy. Having dealt with many financial planners (as a CRM provider) over the past eight years, I’m aware of the fact that those who need sound, competent, independent advice are those that basically can’t afford it as a fee-for-service. Unfortunately, these customers are also those most susceptible to snake-oil sales people.
So while we need to work to clarify how we define advisors, product experts, etc, in reality we need to apply some Blue Ocean Strategy thinking and redefine the model – because the model is broke.
Great post Sue by the way…