Instead of sending him for a battery of tests, the doctor prescribed a little less work, fewer Diet Cokes and more sleep and water. If the doctor had not been able to assess my colleague's behavior using a personal baseline built through years of interaction, he would have likely ended up in an MRI scanner.
The doctor read my colleague, and his emotions, and used his in-depth knowledge to properly assess the situation.
Great financial advisors do the same thing. The value is not in a financial plan itself, but in a financial advisor's ability to interpret and customize it to his or her clients, helping them understand how it can enable them to reach their goals and reading their emotional responses to provide guidance and make adjustments as necessary.
Money is an emotional subject, and the worry and anxiety it causes are what make good advice — and the advisors who deliver it — valuable. In order to demonstrate their value proposition to clients, advisors must move beyond the transactional nature of their legacy business models and focus instead on providing advice during life transitions, when it is most needed.