Please mind your language!

Please mind your language!

Ed Evans

Having thoroughly washed my mouth out with soap and water in readiness, I thought this week I would risk delving into the language you should, or more importantly shouldn’t use in your suitability reports.

Use words that are easy to understand

Use clear and plain language. Don’t try and impress your clients with your extensive vocabulary – the reader will be be quickly turned off if they’re constantly reaching for a dictionary!

Consider applying the “granny test” to your suitability reports. This is an excellent idea I’ve heard suggested a few times and basically involves taking a step back and asking yourself whether your granny would understand the gist of your report. If the answer’s yes, then your granny’s either a financial adviser or your bang on the money. If not, then it’s back to the drawing board.

Avoid jargon

No one likes jargon. Try and keep it to a bare minimum. Admittedly our industry is full of it and sometimes it can’t be avoided, so consider including a glossary of terms in the appendix of your report.

Use the client’s own words

Adding the client’s own words to the objective statements you include in your suitability report not only clearly demonstrates that you know your client, but also provides extra context to your recommendations and helps to relate them directly back to the client’s circumstances and objectives. You’ll also gain extra brownie points from the regulator!

Use active not passive verbs

Whenever possible (there are exceptions) use active rather than passive verbs. It will make your reports sound more lively and less bureaucratic, and help keep the reader engaged in the content.

Use “you” and “we”

Keep your reports personal and personable. Refer to your client as “you” and avoid using words like policyholder or the life assured. Likewise, refer to your company as “we”.

In conclusion, the main focus of your report should always be the client and your language should reflect this.

The more focussed the report is on the client, the more focussed the client will be on the report!

As always, if you got a spare minute, please leave a comment – I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Make sure you don’t miss the next instalment – subscribe and get email alerts when we update our blog.

Many of the concepts I’ve written about in this series of blogs are highlighted in our suitability report template. See how you can make your suitability reports more reader-friendly and engagingdownload your free suitability report template here.

Share this post

< Back to latest news

One thought on "Please mind your language!"

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. We will never use your email for spam.