News article

VouchedFor reveals qualification criteria for next year’s Top Rated adviser guide (and something new for 2022)

Each year VouchedFor publishes its guide to Top Rated advisers in The Times newspaper.

There are two ways to qualify:

  1. As an individual adviser/planner; last year just over 2,000 advisers qualified
  2. As a firm; only 20 firms qualified in 2021

We’re big fans of the work that VouchedFor does and over the years the guide has developed into something that provides much-needed support to the advice/planning community. It showcases the value of advice/planning to consumers while giving advisers/planners something to shout about to existing and potential clients.

There are additional benefits too; getting the reviews needed to qualify for the guide will improve your position in VouchedFor’s search results and make their reputational tools more powerful.

The 2022 guide will be published in March next year. Closer to that date we’ll explain how to promote your inclusion and capitalise on being a Top Rated adviser or firm. First things first though, you’ve got to qualify, and the deadline of 31st December is looming large.

So, here’s everything you need to know.

How do you qualify as an individual adviser/planner?

To qualify as an individual, you need to:

  • Have 10 reviews in the period 1st January 2021 to 31st December 2021
  • Get an average rating of at least 4.5/5 on these reviews
  • Maintain an all-time rating of 4.5/5 or higher
  • Have a fully verified VouchedFor profile and have passed their checks/monitoring.

How do you qualify as a firm?

Only 20 firms qualified last year compared to 2,000 individual advisers/planners. That ratio gives firms who qualify a massive opportunity to set themselves apart. Consequently, we’re encouraging all our clients to do their best to qualify as a firm.

To qualify as a firm, you need to:

  • Ask 100% of clients to provide a review (there are some exemptions to this which are listed at the end of this article)
  • Get at least 20% of your clients to leave a review, with a minimum of 100 reviews per firm or 25 per adviser/planner
  • Commit to including regular review requests in your processes
  • Maintain an all-time rating of 4.5/5 or higher
  • Pass additional discretionary checks that include things such as your complaints history.

To apply as a Top Rated firm you need to register your interest by clicking here and completing the simple form.

Something new for 2022

To ensure newer advisers/planners/firms who will have fewer clients aren’t disadvantaged, VouchedFor has decided to keep the qualification criteria unchanged for 2022.

However, to reward consistent performance the 2022 guide will call out the number of years that an adviser/planner has been Top Rated. This will give credit to the advisers and planners who have sustained an excellent level of feedback for a long time.

What should you do next?

We recommend that advisers/planners develop a portfolio of social proof that includes client videos, client surveys and online reviews, with Google and VouchedFor being our preferred platforms. The looming qualification deadline to be included in the guide should give you all the motivation you need to focus on collecting reviews over the next few weeks.

It’s not hard either. In our experience qualification can be achieved in five simple steps:

  1. Decide whether you’re targeting individual/firm qualification or both
  2. Pull together a database of clients you will ask to leave a review
  3. Write the email you will use to request a review; you can request our free template by clicking here
  4. Monitor the number of reviews received over a period of two weeks
  5. Send reminder emails if you haven’t achieved the qualification criteria.

Qualification is only half the job. But let’s take this one step at a time! We’ll write more about how you can promote your inclusion in the Top Rated guide in the coming weeks.

We’re here to help

One of the three reasons we started The Yardstick Agency was to help connect consumers with high-quality advisers and planners. So, we’re passionate about helping as many as possible qualify for the guide.

We can help in two ways:

  1. Click here to request our free review request template
  2. Project manage the whole five-step process, leaving you to get on with the day job knowing that your qualification is in safe hands. If you’d like to learn more about this service, please email or call 0115 8965 300.

And finally, the exceptions…

As we said earlier, to qualify as a firm you need to invite 100% of your clients to leave a review. However, there are some sensible exceptions as follows:

  • New clients, who have been a client for less than 3 months
  • M&A clients, whose original firm was acquired by or merged with yours in the last 12 months
  • Clients without an email address
  • Celebrity clients
  • Clients who are unwell or infirm
  • Clients of advisers who are under notice
  • Clients who have previously reviewed you on VouchedFor
  • Corporate clients
  • Clients who have not paid you for a service within the last 12 months.

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