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Why Consumers Don’t Use Financial Advisors and How We Can Fix It

According to a survey by CNBC, 99% of Americans don’t use a financial advisor for various common reasons such as lack of trust, transparency, or they’re under the impression that it may just cost them too much.

The survey reflects a global sentiment towards financial advisors. However, we can fix it.

Before we jump into the solution, let us first look at some of the problems that you may find resonate with you, regardless of the country you practice in.

Global problems for Financial Advisors

1. Not yet ready for a financial advisor

While financial wellness is often listed as a new year resolution or personal goal, most people generally know what to do to improve their financial situations, but some are just not ready to do it. Some consumers shy away from the prospect of denying themselves self-indulgence, assuming that a financial advisor will turn their lifestyle upside down or judge them because of their current financial status.

2. The cost of a financial advisor is too high

Due to the modern portrayal of financial advisors in media, the public assumes that you must be rich and famous just to talk to a financial advisor. This perception leads to an assumption that it takes thousands, if not millions of dollars, to work with a financial advisor.

Many middle-class people are working hard to pay bills and make ends meet. However, to further pay to meet with a financial advisor is seen as unrealistic.  Couple this with the fact that so many advisors impose “minimums” to work with them it is no surprise a lot of people don’t think they can work with a financial advisor.

3. Pride

The second most quoted reason for not speaking to a financial advisor is pride. Much like the crowd who claim to be unready for financial advice for fear of being judged, many individuals are ashamed to admit major money mistakes and feel like failures.

This destructive cycle continues as more and more money mistakes are made without the proper guidance, digging the hole even deeper.

4. Lack of Trust

It is a well-known fact that people do business with people they like, know and trust. It’s scary to share one’s financial skeletons with a complete stranger and even scarier handing over our money to them.  The foundation for trust needs to be established first before we can open our minds, and wallets, to working with a financial advisor.

There Is A Deeper Problem

But I think that the problem goes deeper than all of this.

Throughout our life, we are conditioned to view money differently. For example, our salaries are kept secret from our colleagues, husbands and wives don’t disclose their earnings with each other, and parents don’t share financial information with their kids.

And while it is usually considered outright rude to ask someone how much they earn, in most cases, an individual will claim a higher earning capacity to impress their social circles. In other cases, consumers will instead downplay their assets, income, and investments to keep from being asked for handouts, assistance, or gifts.

I get it. Money is a sensitive topic. The sensitivity is ingrained in us from our foundation years, and thus for us to seek advice in managing our money better is a deeply personal and private conversation.

There is a significant disconnect between what the consumer wants when it comes to professional help with their money and what the advisor wants to grow their business. My friend Dan Bolton sums it up beautifully, “When you take the human element out of prospecting, both the client and advisor LOSE!”

In a recent blog, we looked at shifting focus and what financial advisors and clients actually want. You can revisit that blog post here.

Regardless of the analysis, the outlooks, and the research, it all leads right back to the human connection, and by focusing on it, we end up improving the industry and outcomes for both the consumer and advisor.

How Do We Fix The Industry?

Simple – trust isn’t bought. It is earned.

And therefore, we as financial advisors must add the human element back into our marketing, tech, and client acquisition tools. Doing so empowers us all to connect for the right reasons at the right time and place.

People deserve access to financial advice and advisors. People deserve to get affordable and meaningful help from financial professionals.

Advisors want to help as many people as possible and be given all the digital tech we have the stage has been set to make it possible. Therefore, they deserve a scalable, predictable, and affordable client acquisition tool.

But we need a way to break the ice. We need the introduction. We need a way to connect that is built on empathy and trust because the exchange of information can’t happen without it.

If we don’t like each other, then how the heck can we trust and work well with each other?

A strong connection, a human connection, is what’s needed.

This is how more people get access to advice.

This is how more advisors can grow a scalable and profitable business to serve their clients truly.

The Solution

I am so passionate about helping democratize access to financial advice while also giving financial advisors a better chance of not being one of the 9 out of 10 that fail in 3 years that my team and I are doing something about it.

As an advisor I’ve been pitched multiple times on leadgen.  Bringing in new clients is the life blood for financial advisors to thrive.  So, we’re willing to spend money to acquire them.

But when I look at the current “solutions” out there they all leave so much to be desired.

People are looking for help with their money.  People want to work with the perfect financial advisor for them.

But click-baiting a consumer into their “perfect match” advisor based upon how much they make, net worth, and requesting their contact info is just gross and does not set the stage for consumers to trust advisors.

This also has a direct impact of the quality of leads advisors are being served and have to pay for.

There’s a better way.

People are wired to connect on a human level based on strong commonalities, shared experiences, and empathy.  To that end my team and I are building a solution to be the best resource for consumers and advisors, one that feels right, and one that is human.

You can learn more about it here.

I believe that once you see what we’ve been working on, you will have one of those “aha” moments where the solution just feels right.

Best Regards,

Derek Notman

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