LIMRA research shows 45 percent of consumers admit to lacking financial knowledge, but only one in four consumers are working with a financial professional. In a new report, LIMRA asked consumers to rank five factors by level of importance when seeking financial advice.
- Delivery Method and Cost
One third of consumers consider delivery method and cost as the most important factor when seeking financial advice. LIMRA finds that lower cost methods, such as online platforms or robo-advice, rank more favorably than a dedicated financial professional who come with a higher cost. This suggests that while consumers recognize the need for professional advice, not all are willing to pay top dollar for it. Some consumers are willing to forgo a dedicated financial professional for the sake of cost. A hybrid approach to delivery that received a rating nearly identical to that of low-cost online tools is a pool of financial professionals and web-based financial tools. This may foreshadow a consumer preference for team-based practice models over solo practices.
While cost is the top consideration for consumers, trust also plays an important role. The study finds consumers are more interested in advice models they trust. Whether the consumer is using an online tool or meeting in person, leveraging this inclination by using testimonials and focusing on building relationships that foster trust is essential.
- Company Reputation
The reputation and/or brand of a company are important to consumers. LIMRA research finds a company with strong brand recognition will have significant advantage over a company with a weaker brand even if the consumer doesn’t have a strong opinion going into the search. In addition, if the consumer has at least heard of the brand, they will rate that company slightly higher than a brand completely unknown to them.
LIMRA findings show consumers prefer a one-stop-shopping approach. Consumers value the ability to address a wide variety of financial issues at once rather than meeting with different financial professionals to address each need individually.
- Referral Source
From a consumer perspective, referrals are the least important of the five factors studied. That being said, a positive referral is likely to increase trust and boost your company’s brand value in the mind of the consumer.
For more information on how consumers are seeking financial advice, LIMRA members are invited to read the full report, What Will They Pay For.