Breaking Down the Advice Barriers

What puts people off seeking advice, and how can we make this better?

Being in the industry, we all know the importance of great advice.

Whether it’s getting the right mortgage deal, being sorted for retirement, or making the numbers behind a business add up, advisers like you make these things possible.

But despite its clear value, seeking advice remains off-putting to most consumers.

Why is this? And what can we do to break down these barriers?


The Stakes are High

Whether it’s investing life savings for retirement, or entering into a large amount of debt for a house, the stakes are high.

A bad decision could lead to a significant loss - and what better way to avoid a bad decision than by not making a decision at all?

The financial world is one that most people don’t understand. Beyond terms such as AER and LTV, the population’s actual mathematical ability is often overestimated.

And as we’ve been taught by school that “I don’t know” is the wrong answer, it can be very difficult for someone to confront their lack of knowledge, especially when there’s so much at stake.

Ironically, this situation can be made worse by your presence, as you have the knowledge that they don’t, which can lead to clients feeling inadequate.

This is why our consumer survey results show that when confronting financial decisions, people would rather talk to those they trust – their partner, friends, or family – than an adviser.


Opening Up

But now we know the problem, we can implement the solution. And this begins before they’ve even made an enquiry.

At Unbiased, we create regular news pieces, such as advertorials in national press, to promote the value of advice to the public.

We also create guides, articles, and tips to add to our consumer knowledge hub. By approaching the subject of finances from an alternate angle, such as talking about Japanese knotweed, we bring people into the financial advice space smoothly.

By optimising these pieces for search engines, people who may not have even been thinking about advice are drawn into this world, and made aware of its benefits.

As an adviser, you can write your information in a way that invokes trust - leading clients in naturally, not putting them off at the gates.

It’s also about normalising the advice industry. As well as regular competitions online, we’ve run our Value of Advice, TaxAction, Sorted For Life, and Perfectly Matched campaigns to make people comfortable with advice.

You can normalise advice in your messaging, writing in terms that resonate with regular people, allowing them to understand your services, and be more receptive to what you offer.

If the decision to get advice is being avoided, online tools make the process as simple as possible.

It’s not just submitting enquiries through our consumer portal, but also our Mortgage Checklist and Cost of Advice tools that give people control over these big decisions.

With more people starting to believe that financial advice is for them, the 2 million people that visit Unbiased every year is just the start.

We’ll keep working to break down the barriers to advice - because we can all agree that people’s position in life should be based not on their financial literacy, but the results of their hard work.


About the author
Oliver Broadhurst
Oliver Broadhurst
Oliver has been writing professionally in the financial services space for over five years, focusing on topics ranging from customer experience to industry regulation. He’s consulted with organisations such as UK Finance and the FCA to produce business articles, industry reports, and white papers, while providing insight as a member of panels including The Opening Banking Implementation Entity’s Consumer Group.

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