Having conducted some remedial work with an IFA practice, it still amazes me to find the level of confusion that seems to abound about the simplest of processes.
Quite simply put, if you are in sales, there is no way you should recommend anything to your client’s unless you can prefix it with “… because you said X and Y and Z, I recommend ABC …“
Once that is introduced into the mix, then the recording of the client’s thoughts, feelings, beliefs, understanding and ultimately their needs, will be recorded clearly on the fact find or Know Your Customer documentation.
As specialist compliance consultants, we often see a scantily completed fact find, with hard facts and many blank spaces, accompanied with a verbose (usually overladen with hard facts) suitability report that suddenly states “you said you wanted ….” or “you said this was important to you“. Where none of this was previously recorded.
To any third party, it could appear that these statements were manufactured to make the product fit, although I am sure that is not the case for most advisers.
The difficulty seems to be in the understanding that whoever asks the questions may well be in control, but you need to do the work beforehand to know what questions you will ask.
Then the Questions => Discussions => Relationships => Opportunities => Recommendations => Sales. It honestly isn’t rocket science and recording what the client said and then replaying the key parts in a suitability report will not only be more professional, but serve to defend any future complaint. There is no point in having all the information in your head if you get run over by a bus or have to retire due to ill health.