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How IFAs and Financial Advisers can get closer to Accountants

Many Financial Advisers recognise that accountants could be a good source of business and introductions.  They meet up and try to convince the accountant of the benefits of working together. But sadly, all too often, not a lot happens.

Why is this? What are the barriers that discourage accountants from wanting to collaborate with financial advisers? And how can you overcome them?

Over the last ten years I have had countless conversations with financial advisers who are keen to resolve this conundrum. I have also presented on the topic at conferences and in-house events. You can check out my credibility in this regard on my website.

For now, let's just explore one of the key reasons why you may have struggled to engage accountants and what you could do differently. Inevitably what follows includes some brand assumptions. There are plenty of accountants who think and operate differently to the majority. But here are some common traits:

  • An aversion to risk-taking - such as introducing another adviser who might not do all they promise. 
  • Focused on the long-term value of their client relationships - rather than short-term opportunities to earn introductory commissions.
  • Limited desire to grow their practice and client portfolio once it has reached a sustainable level - after all, the majority of clients come back year after year paying similar (or higher) fees each year.
  • Disappointed and frustrated by previous ‘relationships’ with financial advisers.

So here are two key tips to accelerate your access to accountants:

1.  Approach them with an open mind rather than an assumption that you know what will motivate them. What sort of client base do they have? What sort of clients do they enjoy working with? And have they tried working with a financial adviser in the past? What worked well and what worked badly?

2.  Ensure that your approach ensures that you stand out positively from other financial advisers that the accountant may have met. I often talk about 7 simple strategies that anyone can use to stand out and distinguish themselves from their competaition. You don’t have to do them all but the more you can adopt the more likely you are to be remembered, referred and recommended than other financial advisers.

Good luck!

Mark Lee

Author: Mark Lee
Posted: Monday, October 31, 2016 | 10:08:11 AM

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10 November 2016 | 6:26:19 PM  Mark Lee wrote:
IF it helps you can grab my white paper on '12 big mistakes most people unwittingly make when they approach accountants for business or referrals' here:
07 November 2016 | 10:41:54 AM  Simon Tutton wrote:
As members of the PFS and/or CISI some of my friends and I were frustrated at the lack of cross-disciplinary networking (i.e. we only ever mixed with other advisers/investment managers) so we have recently set up a group in Bristol called Bristol Private Clients aimed exclusively at private client professionals but from any discpline i.e. Law, financial advice, investment management, accountancy etc. So far we have had 3 events with 25-40 people at each and a good balance across professions so fingers crossed. Anyone who is interested in coming along (or setting something up similar in a different city) get in touch.

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