I have been asked on several occasions why Wingate Financial Planning spend so much time entering awards. There are several reasons, and no one particular reason stands out.
Firstly, and significantly, we actually stand a good chance of winning!
To be clear, not all awards are equal, and some are more vigorous than others. It is misleading that sometimes the more prestigious “brands” have the least rigorous judging! Being in the “market” for awards for ten years I think puts us at a slight disadvantage to some of our peers, as new faces can be more appealing – this is something I feel empirically. However there is a counter argument to this; having spoken to judges they are concerned that less established firms may be given an award and in short order be making headlines in a negative fashion, as this has certainly happened before.
A second reason is that, we receive a very high level of enquiries from new clients that have been referred by our existing clients. Giving our existing clients a simple message “Wingate is a multi award winning firm of Chartered Financial Planners”, they can pass on to friends and family, with their own experiences. This may also increase the confidence with which they pass on our details on what is a significantly personal area (opinion is that only health is held more closely than finances and money for many people).
We also know that some people will actively seek out award winning Chartered Financial Planners through search engines, for example Google. At the time of writing we do rank quite highly for the search term “award winning financial advisers, surrey”. Whilst awards are obviously no guarantee of the provenance of firm one that is independent, Chartered and wins awards is more likely to be at the pinnacle of financial planning advice than one that is not.
Finally, the process of entering awards is a useful health check of whether (in the opinion of our peers) we are doing the “right thing”. We spend a significant time answering questions and preparing documents to submit for awards and we feel this is a healthy process. It is a discipline in thinking about negative trends that we are trying to prevent and positive behaviour we are keen to improve, it also encourages us to look at the business with a critical eye, as a third-party would, something we think is very positive.
So whilst cynics may think entering awards is about ego, we find awards work in attracting new clients and helping (some of) our existing clients have confidence and positive feelings that they are dealing with a firm which continues to be amongst the best in its field.