Scale down your advice

Keep your advice as simple as possible. Avoid unnecessary problems.

Scale your advice to suit your client. Agree the scope of the works before you start work. All financial planning advice is scaled. Advice occurs along a spectrum of comprehensiveness, and scaling down as much as possible makes sense because it reduces the number of tasks you have to complete and narrows your initial and ongoing responsibilities to that client.

This in turn reduces the time you have to spend with each client.

For example, your client may be a single fifty year old female school teacher earning $85,000 a year who is a member of Catholic Super, with two dependant teenagers, a house worth say $600,000 and a mortgage loan of $300,000. She has $200,000 of superannuation benefits.

Your advice should be scaled to only cover:

  1. ensuring she knows the advice is scaled and only covers her insurance needs
  2. understanding that Catholic Super offers low cost life insurance
  3. negotiating and agreeing a (compromised) total sum insured for life insurance inside super
  4. understanding that Catholic Super’s income protection insurance is limited and a separate and complementary income protection policy is needed
  5. negotiating and agreeing a (compromised) sum insured for income protection insurance
  6. ensuring your client understands she:
    • will be underinsured, due to her budget constraints, and that she accepts this
    • has to fully disclose any health issues to a new insurer and may lose continuity of benefits if she does not
    • can pay the premiums out of super, but this will impact her ultimate retirement benefits
    • can compensate her retirement prospects for the impact of super funded premiums by increasing her salary sacrifice contributions.

Allow one hour for the meeting, one hour for the SOA and five hours for implementation.

Please do not tell me a SOA takes 10 hours and runs for 50 pages, and insurance applications take 20 hours. They do not. SOAs have to be clear concise and effective to be compliant. By using smart templates this SOA will not take more than an hour to complete and, say, 5 hours to implement. (And if it’s taking you longer you should let Dover do it for you, because that’s how long it takes us, and this means you can get out of the back office and in front of clients, where you belong.)

All up, it’s a short day’s work and it can be done quite efficiently and profitably if you create smart systems and processes including the smart use of technology and other people, i.e. outsourcing.

The Dover Group