3 surprising similarities paraplanners have with the top Tour de France teams

Whether you followed the 2021 Tour de France or not, you probably saw the news reports about the race’s success story, British cyclist Mark Cavendish.

After struggling through illness, injury and mental health problems, he returned to the race when another rider, Sam Bennett, retired due to injury. Cavendish then claimed four stage victories in the 21-day race, taking his overall stage wins to 34 – matching the all-time record set by Belgium’s Eddy Merckx in 1975.

While it was an amazing feat of endurance and perseverance from Mark, don’t forget there was a team of professionals working tirelessly behind the scenes to help him clinch victory. It’s the same with so many top sports people who compete solo, yet have a team of elite professionals helping them to succeed.

This is similar to financial planners and paraplanners. The financial professional meets clients, usually by themselves, yet often has a team of high calibre paraplanning professionals behind them to ensure success when it counts.

Clinching victory

Read on to discover what the teams behind sporting legends such as Mark Cavendish do to ensure success, and how this is similar to the work we do at the Paraplanning Hub.

  1. Team riders work together to improve the chances of success

In 2021, teams competing in the Tour de France can have eight riders competing, although many will not be riding to win. This is because they are “domestiques”, professional cyclists whose role is to help the lead cyclist win.

This means they have very specific roles, which include:

  • Shielding the lead cyclist from opponents who may try to knock them off their bike
  • Help with any mechanical disasters, such as a puncture
  • Give advice on race tactics and give tips to help improve performance
  • Help “pace” the leader to increase or maintain speed
  • Ride ahead of the lead cyclist to create a slipstream for them, allowing the latter to preserve energy for a sprint to the finish line.

In much the same way as domestiques, paraplanners are there to advise the financial planner and provide tips on how they could improve their recommendation. In addition, the paraplanner is there to do the heavy lifting for the financial planner, in the same way a domestique creates a slipstream.

By taking the strain on the technical side, you do not need to spend hours carrying out research, meaning your suitability letter is produced without the stress and anguish that can come with them. This leaves you free to concentrate on developing your business and speak to new and existing clients, helping you write more business.

Perhaps most important of all, paraplanners “shield” you from complaints that could knock your business off course, as we specialise in producing high-quality suitability letters that stand up to scrutiny.

  1. Mechanics ensure the equipment is at its best

Being a mechanic on a professional cycling team is more than mending punctures and oiling chains -much more. While their role is to ensure the team’s bikes are working at their best, they are also responsible for knowing each stage of the race and setting the bike up so that it provides optimum performance.

In the same way the mechanic ensures the bike is as good as it can be, a paraplanner’s role is to make certain the suitability letter and associated documents are too. This means ensuring all documentation is complete and the suitability letter is clear while covering all the necessary points.

In addition, we provide documentation that is easy to understand and backed up by robust research. This could make your recommendation more understandable to the client, helping you write the business.

  1. Team managers ensure everything is running smoothly

A lesser-known role paraplanners play is to advise financial planners on its back-office support, to ensure everything is running as smoothly as possible.

While we would never interfere, we provide feedback that many clients take on board to make their administration more efficient. This can help save time and, ultimately, could reduce the cost of running your business.

We have also provided feedback to advisers themselves, which has helped make their recommendations more robust against complaints and reduced the costs associated with producing the suitability letter.

Follow the link if would like to read how fact-find training significantly reduced client overheads and increased business.


Get in touch

While it may not always be obvious, professional paraplanners provide real value thanks to the support they provide. While your clients don’t see this support, it can make the difference between winning the business or losing it to another financial planner.

We hope you enjoyed our sporting analogy. If you would like to discuss how we may be able to support you and your business, please contact us online or call on 01472 728 030.