Following a recent thread about our upcoming financial adviser guide I wanted to clarify a few things. I did try to respond directly in the adviser forum but am unable to as VouchedFor is a supplier.
In early 2019, we will be publishing a guide to the UK's top rated financial advisers listed on VouchedFor. This is likely to feature as a national print supplement in the Times and as an interactive digital edition on the Telegraph, FT, Mail and our other media partners throughout 2019. Featured advisers will also have free access to a series of events as well as a personalised top rated report, detailing their individual rating and the checks we have carried out.
It is true, you do need to be on one of our fully verified memberships to qualify to appear in the guide - membership is £45 per month and there are free trials available to test the water. This cost covers the extensive checks and monitoring we do on all VouchedFor members (point 5 on this article expands on these checks).
We'd never assert that advisers who don't pay us aren't good, it's just we lack visibility on whether they are or not and therefore can't, in the best interests of consumers, include them in our guide. In the interests of transparency, we make clear on the guide that advisers have to be paying VouchedFor members to qualify.
Beyond the guide, there were a couple of other questions raised about VouchedFor enquiries and cost respectively.
To tackle enquiries first of all, a key point is that we are not primarily a lead generator.
Enquiries received directly through VouchedFor are indeed part of our value proposition and we are hard at work upping both volume and quality. Beyond the part we can play, success with enquiries closely correlates with advisers' ability to build positive client reviews and convert prospects, plus there is inevitably a degree of luck involved.
The mainstay of our value proposition however, is reputation. Advisers who report the most value from VouchedFor use their profile and reputation tools (e.g. independently verified reviews, ratings badges, certificates and their guide listing) to power word of mouth and drive a % uplift on ALL their communications e.g. more client referrals, more site visitors, a higher % of these visitors enquiring, a higher % of these going to meeting and ultimately becoming clients.
So, to the cost of VouchedFor membership. Our most popular membership level is 'Verified' which is £45 per month and includes access to all our reputation tools (including listing in the guide for those that qualify) and the ability to receive a quota of enquiries per quarter (at no extra cost). We've worked hard to get the cost of membership as low as we can without compromising on our checks and for most advisers, just one client conversion per year, received on or off VouchedFor, represents a healthy return on their investment.
I hope these comments are helpful and provide some clarity. While we are proud of the progress we have made, we are the first to acknowledge that there is more to do and we are on the case. The support and constructive criticism we have received to date provide hugely valued fuel to these efforts.
Whilst it may be old fashioned, I find that engaging on a personal level with advisers (whether they are advocates or detractors) generates more meaningful progress towards our shared goal - better client outcomes - than trading replies with pseudonyms on chat rooms. To that end, feel free to contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org with any further feedback or questions about featuring in the 2019 guide or about any other part of our proposition.