I was at a product presentation yesterday, keen to get a better understanding for what’s currently on the market and to take a couple of knowledge gems back to the team. As the next BDM was introduced, I was keen to hear what he had to say as the product he was talking about was quite complex and thought it would be valuable because the way he explains it to this group of advisers will just need to be simplified a little more to convey it to the client.
After 45mins of intently listening, referring to the slide notes and asking questions, I was bamboozled. I felt dumber than when the presentation started.
Straight after, we had a break. After stuffing my face with scones covered with the leaning tower of Piza of cream, I started up a conversation with an Adviser, to see if he could clarify some of the puzzles in my head.
“So, how did you go in the last session?” I asked.
“Ummmm…. honestly? I love all the technical stuff but that was way over my head” he replied.
“Hmm (I was feverishly chewing in an attempt to clear my scone full gob), so, what chance does the client have in understanding this product?” I quizzed.
“None” he answered as we headed back to our back-jarring chairs.
Food for thought.
If you cannot explain a product or strategy simply, you either don’t fully understand it or are not adjusting your explanation to suit your audience.
So, in that case, the role of the Paraplanner is not just to document the advice and assist with strategy but to make the complex simple. To be the translator from Financial Services to every day Aussie to ensure that these detailed concepts are crystal clear and give the client confidence in the advice.
When writing your SOA a simple test I used was questioning “would my Mum understand this?” and I would write and rewrite until I was confident in passing that test.
So, when your writing your SOA, consider your audience. What are their education levels, would they prefer flow charts or text or a combination? Is the vocabulary easy to understand or are you using too much industry speak?
The clearer you can explain the advice, the more confidence the client will have in the strategy and lower the likelihood that issues will arise down the track due to lack of understanding.