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Most of the time you make a major purchase – be it a car, computer or something else that requires you to know how to use the thing you’ve bought

– you also get given one additional important thing.

A Manual.

It’s implied that in helping you and I extract full value from our purchase, there’s an expectation that we’ll be shown the ropes.

This isn’t consumer-specific either. The guidance given to me is just the same as to someone buying their first ever computer.

The same is true these days when you sign up for a software service. The clever people at amazingwidget.com know that getting you to sign up is only step one. Getting you to use their tool is where buying decision turns into an ongoing habit.

How you help people start matters.

It was this conundrum, off the back of a purchase of a brand new MacBook, that got me wondering why working with an adviser didn’t get the same treatment?

Is it that we assume getting ongoing advice is an intuitive process? Surely not.

Which is where the idea of an Advice Manual came from.

Within our Leveraged Program curriculum, we’ve got a whole bunch going on. It’s a lot, from webinars to workshops, modules to templates, coaching calls to tech stacks.

I know that getting our new clients across all these moving parts is a compulsory part of making sure they know what to use and what not to. There’s a very clear link between this and the results they get.

We solved that problem by putting together what we call the Leveraged Essentials Manual; our instruction handbook for the program.

I don’t see why this is any different from your business. If you don’t teach clients about the ins and outs of how it all works, are they expected to find out for themselves?

One philosophy of our program is we like to provide tools that are of 80% done. Templates to grab and tweak, instead of having to build from the ground up.

The second philosophy is we road test everything in our business first. Probably only 50% of what we test actually ends up in the program. If something doesn’t work, we put it away and don’t move forward with it.

The reality is most clients don’t come into financial planning understanding how it works. You ask most people they’ll confirm; it’s a bit of a mystery. Most businesses don’t prioritise letting clients know there are events, online resources, reporting tools, communication channels and more, to really put into context the investment they’ve made in advice.

It’s a huge gap.

At the end of the day, advice is a long-term investment, with a 20 to 30 year payback period. We live in an instant gratification society, where people want things now. So if you as a business are not continually engaging with your clients and reminding them they are in very early stage of the achievement of some very special long-term outcomes, the risk is they lose sight of the why, what and the how of working with you.

So we put together a document template, giving an 80% done example of key information to provide to clients to let them know:

  • how to engage with you in order to get the best of advice,
  • how to get help when they need it,
  • the best avenues of communication to use, and
  • some of your best tips, strategies for making sure that they end up with a total return on their investment in your advice investment themselves.

I wanted to share this because it’s definitely been one of the tools that I’m happy to have developed, happy to see others turn into their own Advice Manual.

Would love to know in your space what do you do in order to bring clients on board. How do you make sure that the moment everything is implemented their engagement doesn’t stop and you really own the process of teaching them how to engage with financial advice?

Alternatively, if this is not something you’ve looked at, drop me an email help@audere.com.au and I’ll share with you a little bit about how we got there and what’s in it.

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