I had a really interesting discussion last week during a presentation at a conference for one of our clients. We were discussing how to effectively and confidently position your service, your fees and your value to new clients. One delegate expressed some discomfort with the thought of charging a fee when, for example, a product transaction doesn’t take place. Whilst the specific example was a protection case (which as you know falls outside the remit of RDR and adviser charging), the adviser felt that the client, if invoiced for the fee, would feel that they hadn’t received any value if the protection case didn’t complete due to, for example, premium loadings.
The principle at stake for me is that you ought to be, should be, and must be paid for your advice guidance and expertise. The fact that the case doesn’t proceed, for whatever reason, does not make your advice any less valuable. To make my point, I told the story of my eldest daughter Natalie who, having severe discomfort from a knee injury, (which had already been operated on) felt she needed further surgery as things hadn’t improved and to allow her to start hillwalking again. She travelled from Aberdeen to London for a private consultation with a specialist orthopaedic surgeon. After the consultation the surgeon explained that there was no operation that he could perform that would improve the situation. Quite simply she would have to live with it.
Now, did the surgeon waive his fee for the session because there was no surgery to be performed? You guessed it… absolutely not! So why should you? Imagine a world in which the only way doctors get paid is if they cut you open to perform unnecessary or pointless surgery. That’s the point of adviser charging… removing the temptation to implement unnecessary and pointless product transactions.