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Ride the Auto Enrolment Trojan Horse

As most people with a connection to financial services may feel, it seems like auto enrolment (AE) has now joined death and taxes as one of the certainties in life for both British workers and employers.  Despite ‘celebrity’ business owners like Theo Paphitis hitting our screens to assure us that they’re ‘in’, many advisers quite early on had been declaring, in the style of Douglas Bannatyne, that they’re ‘out’! 

But that was then...

It now appears that most advisers can no longer ignore the massive opportunities that are presenting themselves now and for the next few years – after all this is the biggest opportunity in the pensions arena that we have ever witnessed in our careers. Coupled with a concern for firms to not face regulatory sanction, this just be the catalyst for you to access their business as their financial ‘gate keeper’. Responsible employers may not be overly turned on to pensions, but they must comply with the new regulations.

Once all SME owners wake up to the fact that they can no longer sweep this issue under the carpet, providing a company with a scheme could merely be the tip of the iceberg when it comes to potential new business.  There are two distinct avenues here – the business itself and the workforce as individuals.

Firstly, the business as a whole.  Arranging an AE scheme will naturally give you access to business owners, directors and partners, (the type of potential ‘A clients’ we would all like to have referred to us) and therefore the opportunity to help them with an overall analysis of the company’s needs for deeper, wider financial solutions.  Exposing shortfalls and demonstrating how you can help protect their profits, their people, and the longevity of their practice can be very lucrative.

Secondly, do not underestimate the importance of your access to the workforce as individuals.  Again, I don’t think I need to labour the size of this opportunity, but every single business in the UK who employs one or more people has to put a solution in place.  The knock on effect of this is that you potentially have access to the workforce of all those employers you help. If only we had more advisers!

I would not for a moment suggest that this is going to become an ‘all-you-can-advise’ client buffet for every single employee who is enrolled into a workplace pension, but it could put you in pole position to take on any clients who are up for grabs, or even develop a breeding ground for new adviser recruits.

Whilst the RDR was arduous for some, remember that one of its purposes was to promote the professionalism of our sector to consumers, vis-a-vis employers and employees.  Therefore, you can capitalise on this with your qualifications, proposition, how you can differentiate/add value, and of course demonstrate that you are trustworthy.  You’ve worked very hard to put all those things in place; don’t neglect to fully promote them at any opportunity you can. 

Market yourself. Your brand is more than just a logo on your stationary; it’s how you put out there what you do, what you stand for and what makes you different.  There needs to be a consistent theme throughout all the material you issue and it needs to back up the spirit of professionalism you portray with your actions and face to face dealings.

It may therefore also be a good opportunity for you to design or re-visit your marketing strategy, and specifically the ways in which you communicate with clients and prospective clients.  Is your marketing literature clear?  Would it be more beneficial to run seminars instead of one to one meetings at this stage? Do you work with social media?  Are you putting in place as many touch points as you possibly can with your existing and prospective contacts?   As you introduce yourself to a new audience, it might be a perfect time for you to also introduce some fresh marketing initiatives.

I know that not every adviser wants to be involved in the AE market and, of course, that’s perfectly valid.  However, before you dismiss it out of hand, I would urge you to give careful consideration to the initial and recurring revenues you may be missing. If you don’t, someone else will. 

Although the staging dates for many large firms have already passed, if you are one of the advisers yet to get involved, don’t worry that you’ve missed the boat; there are over 38,000 small and medium sized companies with staging dates still due in 2014 alone. Use this opportunity to learn from advisers who are already involved in AE and can help with any challenges and queries you may face and take action now! 

 

Lee Travis, CEO, New Model Business Academy

 

 

 

 

[Sponsored article by SimplyBiz]

 

 

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Author: IFA Life Sponsored Post
Posted: Friday, June 06, 2014 | 9:23:58 AM


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