Maybe It's Time For a Free Financial Plan

The following post has also been posted on my other blog, Blogged Business Planning, and the discussion about this idea has been in full swing. I encourage you to visit this post on that blog to get the full comment thread.

You've already read about my beliefs on free financial plans in an earlier blog post. Now I am going to make an argument against that post.

Yesterday, financial planner Rick Kahler, CFP® posted a great piece titled "Study A "Test Drive" For Financial Planning" on his blog which does a wonderful job quantifying the benefits of financial planning. I applaud him for this "test drive" concept, but I think it's time to challenge the financial planning profession to take that a step further and offer a true test drive. 

I believe it is time for those of us who provide true financial planning - meaning planning focusing on a client's overall financial well-being, not just investments - to offer a true test drive. It's time we teach the public the true value of financial planning so they can learn for themselves why it has so much power and why investment management is not the true value financial professionals deliver.

What I propose is to take prospective clients through the financial planning process for free! Agree on a fee in advance, but allow these prospects to decide if they believe there is value in the financial planning process after they have had the opportunity to see for themselves. If you are delivering a valuable financial planning service focused on a strong promise and deep relationship with clients, I suspect many prospects will understand the value and agree to continue the relationship in a for-fee arrangement.

We can begin teaching more people about the benefits and power of financial planning if we show more people why it is so powerful. Removing cost commitment up front will allow us to reach more people. Sure you'll be taken advantage of by some people, but even in these people you may build goodwill and good word-of-mouth if the situation is handled respectfully.

So let's really start showing the public the value of financial planning. Give them a taste of financial planning for free. Consider it a contribution to the profession and as a marketing cost, if that makes the loss experience more palatable. This is what I plan to do as soon as I begin engaging with clients again.


Stock Market Hacker said...

I do not agree to give your services for away for free. Once they get used to a goof thing for free those clients will nickel and dime you.

Post a Comment

Real Time Web Analytics