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Eight + 1 simple tips for getting more information from a FactFind

ABR’s editor Rob Kingsbury reports on the discussions on good practice ideas and practical tips for improving operational efficiencies raised at the recent Paraplanners’ Powwow

Discussions on the subject of how adviser firms could get more of the information they needed from the FactFind process, brought out a number of suggestions. These were based on current practices and ideas for increasing the efficiency and efficacy of the FactFinding process.

Suggestions included:

1. Sending the FactFind questionnaire out to the client before their meeting with the adviser was generally agreed to be the best way of both obtaining information and ensuring time in the meeting was utilised efficiently. This, it was felt, was far better than the form being completed during the client meeting as it meant the discussion between adviser and client could be carried on without interruption, and this would be better for the adviser/client relationship.

2. Getting the information in advance also meant that the adviser and the paraplanner were in a better position to see what other information might be needed from the client during the meeting, which could then be requested from the client, either to send in or bring with them to the meeting. Advance information would also help form the content of the agenda for the meeting.

3. Keeping the form simple – as simple as name, address, assets, debts and pensions – as that was the salient data and prospective clients would be more likely to complete a short, simple form than to fill in page after page of information.

4. Issue the FactFind as a spreadsheet. This also keeps the information factual and simple to complete.

5. Tell the client why you want the particular information so they can understand why it is necessary for the meeting.

6. Making sure the document (text or spreadsheet) looks appealing and professional, and format it so it is easy to use – an example of bad formatting seen was a set-size text box that left too little space to provide the requested information.

7. Be cognisant of the client’s preferences: an older client might not appreciate receiving and completing the FactFind online, while younger clients may expect it.

8. Sell the benefits to the client of completing the form and returning it – for example, ‘to ensure we can build as complete a picture of your finances as possible, which is essential when looking at areas such as inheritance tax’.

Plus 1: Consider whether prospects that can’t be bothered to complete the FactFind are the kind of client you want to deal with, particularly if you are looking to build long-term relationship with the client that works for you as well as them.

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