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How would you work with Mr Barnstaple ?

Did you see the article ‘A day in the life of an RDR Adviser’ in Citywire? It’s a satirical look at an adviser who’s cunningly used his new mobile phone to aid segmentation. It’s very amusing, especially when a client registered on the advisers phone as ‘Mr Barnstaple – BRONZE’ was allocated his annual allowance of 7minutes of work.

‘Mr Barnstaple – BRONZE’ appeared throughout the day, pestering the Adviser and being ignored. Only when MrBarnstaple was clever enough to conceal his number did the adviser take the call showing as ‘Unknown number -uncategorised’.

Turns out the conversation with Mr Barnstaple was potentially a very fruitful one as his Bronze client had a financial life changing event. While the article is amusing the underlying theme is also very concerning. For many well established firms adviser’s Gold clients were once Silver clients and before this Bronze clients.

A clients progression through the ranks wasn’t always guaranteed or foreseen. Referrals from bronze clients were more than often a way to build silver and golds.

Take me. I am in my early 40’s and I am a typical Bronze client:

Apart from property investments, I have under £50,000 in my pension fund and would probably be excluded from most firms. I am a reactive client. If I die or suffer a critical illness I will, or my partner will have £250,000 to play with. If my parent, god forbid dies I may inherit up to £350,000. My adviser recently changed my pension strategy and reviewed my protection plans.

Luckily for me my adviser is also a very good friend and we spend a lot of social time together. I know he will always be around as I am reminded of his existence on Facebook most days.

For many bronze clients the outlook is a rather different story. In my view being a warm client doesn’t necessarily mean the need for regular conversations or meetings. In many cases it could be as simple as being reminded on a regular basis ‘who is the firm responsible for my advice should I need new advice in the future.’

By keeping bronze clients warm then it reduces the risk of him/her seeking advice elsewhere when the need arises. There are a number of solutions to this problem, what have you put in place?

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