The most valuable asset for any financial advice business is its clients: without clients you generally don't have a business.
But why are clients engaging you? Is it for the product you implement, or for your services and expertise?
According to most definitions, Client and Customer can mean the same thing: a person who buys a good or service from a business. But for professional services businesses, a Customer is generally defined as someone who does a one-off transaction with you; whereas a Client is someone who engages with you for ongoing services.
For example, some people may see an adviser to get a mortgage or to put in place insurance. They spend time with the adviser who gives advice and assists with product implementation; the adviser doesn’t charge for the service but does offer a review service. At the end of the process, does the person think they are now a Client of the product provider or the adviser? More importantly, what do your clients think?
The industry is going through a lot of change at the moment. Regulators are asking banks and insurers to ensure good customer outcomes; FSLAB is setting standards and licensing for all advice businesses; and consumer literacy and access to information is increasing. For advisers the question of client ownership is becoming increasingly important.