The skills advisers need to possess in order to be most effective at their job range from financial qualifications and technical knowledge through to softer skills which enable them to relate to their clients.
These soft skills are often the most important, many in the industry argue, yet they are so commonly overlooked by advisers themselves.
One of the reasons for this is the profession tends to attract those with competent interpersonal skills anyway but complacency can also kick in.
Tom Hegarty, managing director at New Model Business Academy explains: “A lot of advisers think they don’t need to improve because they’re good with people and their clients come back to them so they don’t need to do a great deal more.
“It’s really about the industry and organisations like ourselves making advisers understand you can improve those skills and you should.”
Jason Butler, financial wellbeing expert and speaker, believes any firm which only focuses on its advisers’ technical abilities and qualifications will be at a serious disadvantage.
This applies to advisers of all ages – not just those starting out for the first time as an adviser but also those who have been in their job for many years.
As Mr Butler puts it: “Younger people often lack the important interpersonal skills so important in delivering personal advice, whether by phone, video or in person, and older people often have bad habits and have never had any formal training.
"Therefore, improving communication and empathy skills is an essential investment that every firm must make.”
There is training available which focuses solely on interpersonal skills, but is there enough and is it getting to the right people?
This guide considers why soft skills are so important for advisers to have as part of their skillset, and how they can put these to practical use in meetings with clients.
It also looks at how advisers can use social media to humanise the financial adviser and what pitfalls to avoid in doing so.
This guide is worth an indicative 60 minutes of CPD.
Contributors to this guide: Philip Hanley, director and independent financial adviser at Philip James Financial Services; Tom Hegarty, managing director at New Model Business Academy; Darren Smith, head of the Financial Adviser School; Steve Martin, director of The Financial Planning Training Academy; Claire Walsh, chartered financial planner at Aspect 8 Financial Planning; Marie Calvin, national academy manager at 1825; Bill McManus, director of strategic markets at Hartford Funds; Jason Butler, financial wellbeing speaker; Samuel Leach, director of Samuel and Co Trading; Putnam Investments' Advisers are social report; and the Financial Conduct Authority.
Ellie Duncan is deputy content plus editor at FTAdviser