News article

3 reasons to enter awards from the advisers and planners who’ve won them

In last week’s blog, we (hopefully) put to bed the myth that you need to buy a table at an awards ceremony to win.

That leaves one final question; what are the benefits to your business of entering, and winning, awards?

We’ve written extensively about the subject in the past, but that’s us telling you why you should enter. We don’t want you to take our word for it so, in this week’s blog, we’ve asked some of the winners to show you the benefits of entering.

They came up with three main reasons. Here they are:

1. Improving the business and its culture

There are huge (and often overlooked) benefits of entering awards. In many ways, it’s a mini-SWOT analysis for your business.

Dom Spalding, Director and Chartered Financial Planner at Expert Wealth Management said: “Entering the awards helps us focus on our processes and procedures, and how we explain these to clients. It also means that we look critically at all aspects of the business, from our website to collateral material like brochures and forms.

“One example of this would be how we have improved the service and fees page on our website, to be clearer on charges disclosure, and what we do/don’t do in terms of our comprehensive financial planning service.”

Steve Pyne, Financial Planner and Managing Partner, at Holden and Partners, echoes Dom’s process point: “Entering awards in 2023 allowed us to focus on our processes and made us appreciate our strengths (and weaknesses). It also increased our awareness around competitor propositions and sector developments, while there were additional benefits associated with reputation, credibility and brand awareness.”

Dominic McLoughney, Director and Chartered Financial Planner of Becketts explains their motivation for entering awards: “In 2021 we set out our five-year plan to be ’the best small financial planning firm in the UK’. We set out three metrics to measure this: financials, client satisfaction and assessment against our peers. The first two are quite easy to analyse, however, the last one is more difficult. We agreed as a firm that industry awards and recognition was one way to do this.

“By setting a clear goal, (and what definitely felt like a lofty one in 2021) we could articulate across the company our objectives. This was a great way to instil the client-focused, high-performing culture we wanted. It allowed everyone to get on (or off) the bus and to all work together. This has had a huge effect on team morale and drive. The awards allowed for an endpoint and a fun one to work towards.”

Nikki King, at The Aspire Partnership, adds: “Entering focused our thinking about what we do well, and why we might be good enough to win, it also made us present ourselves to the outside world rather than just our clients which was a different approach for us.”

2. A boost for advisers, planners, their teams and clients

Being shortlisted, and ultimately winning awards, provides advisers, planners and their teams with a massive shot of dopamine. Clients also like to hear the good news – something which often surprises advisers/planners who generally believe their clients won’t be interested.

Back to Dom Spalding: “Winning awards brings recognition of our achievements and validation of the work done by the whole team at Expert Wealth to provide great financial planning service to clients. It’s a good shot of vitamin C for clients when we tell them that we have won an award and we usually receive many emails congratulating the team on the achievement.”

Nikki King takes up the point: “Clients were pleased and we believe it has boosted confidence in us for some clients. Staff seem to like it too and I feel it has added some weight to our employment proposition because applicants mention it. Turns out pride is a pleasant experience!”

Steve Perera, Chartered Financial Planner and Director, at Britannic Place Financial Management agreed: “I believe it’s good for team morale to get some really good recognition of all of our efforts.”

3. Improving your marketing  

Social proof, including awards, is the best way to show the value of working with you to prospective clients, but only if you enter, win and then promote your success.

Scott Gallacher, Director and Chartered Financial Planner, at Rowley Turton takes up the point: “I think the awards are an important part of our marketing strategy. It adds an independent approval to advice/service.”

He continues: “I consider award success to benefit us in terms of improving our profile. I figure that when something looks for a financial adviser and searches online for a financial planner in Leicester, the awards and associated publicity help our ranking. Consequently, they are much more likely to find us. And if they do find us, or are recommended to speak to us by an existing client, they are also more likely to choose us because of our awards.

“Put simply, if a potential client has the choice of two or three local firms, why wouldn’t they choose the award-winning one over the others?”

Scott concludes by saying: “Even being shortlisted is good as we can include this on our website, in press releases, LinkedIn posts and blog posts. Again it helps boost our profile.”

Steve Perera agrees: “I believe that we have received more recognition locally and nationally from winning awards and being shortlisted. We have been getting more enquiries from potential new clients but it’s a combination of things that have led to this.

“We have had a slight increase in referrals from existing clients and many clients have commented on our award wins – there may be some correlation there.”

And finally…

We’ll give the last word to Dominic McLoughney, of Becketts, who sums up the benefits of entering awards for us: “While instilling a client-focused, high-performing culture has been the biggest benefit, there are many knock-on results.

“We have been able to celebrate as a team by attending events. We have had new clients contact us to work with us based on award wins. We have found our profile in the profession has increased which in turn brought about interesting opportunities.”

5 ways we can help you enter and win awards

If awards are part of your business and marketing strategy in 2024, there are five ways we can help you:

  1. The Yardstick Adviser Awards Index: Updated regularly, this handy resource contains a comprehensive list of awards and also shows you which are currently open for entry.
  2. Free checklist – How to prepare an effective entry: Use our checklist to make sure your entry covers all the bases and will impress the judges.
  3. Write your entry: If you don’t want to write your own entry, our expert, and highly-experienced team, can do it for you. If you’d like our help, email or call 0115 8965 300.
  4. Free video – Everything you need to know about writing winning award entries (and what to do when you’ve won!) Watch our webinar from last year which is packed with helpful hints and tips.
  5. Free checklist – 8 ways to capitalise on your award success If you’ve been shortlisted for an award, or won, this handy checklist explains the next steps you should take to capitalise on your success.

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