Ours is a highly commoditized industry. Financial advisors all tend to look the same, sell the same products and talk the same language. To get noticed you need to differentiate yourself from the competition by establishing your value to prospects and clients.
First, work out what you can bring to the table that others can’t. The next step is to verbalize your unique value proposition to clients and prospects.
If you do, prospects and clients will realize why it makes perfect sense to work with you.
Why is it important to have a unique value proposition?
Your value proposition is the first step on your ladder to success – in fact, you won’t build a successful business without one.
Ask yourself which service or feature makes you attractive to potential clients? Why should someone do business with you and not with the advisor across the street? Why do you do what you do? What’s important to you?
Start by creating a value statement that reflects your beliefs and ethics. What do you want people to say about you? Do you want people to see you as the most caring advisor? If so base your value proposition around this.
Develop a value proposition based on what’s important to clients
When you’re determining your value proposition base it on what clients want. Here are a few examples how you can do that.
Elite advisors often cite ‘listening’ as one of their most important skills – and a skill that clients appreciate highly. Ask yourself if you’re a good listener. By demonstrating your ability to actively listen, you are showing potential clients (a) you are capable of evaluating their financial problems, and (b) you are therefore capable of providing them with tailored solutions to those problems.
Superior service is another way to differentiate yourself from the competition. Examine which elements of customer service you excel at. Maybe you go to the nth degree to personalize your service?
And yet another way to win clients over is by connecting with them emotionally. People naturally warm to empathetic people. Are you a caring advisor – do you care more than other advisors? Are you interested in all areas of your clients’ lives? Do you always have them top of mind?
How to articulate your value
Once you’ve determined what your unique value proposition is you need to find a way of articulate it to clients. You need to deliver this message over and over to reinforce why it makes sense to hire you as their advisor. Think about the following:
- Is being a better listener than other advisors part of your value proposition?
If so, then communicate this when you’re meeting with clients. Focus on non-verbal clues. Maintain eye contact, smile, nod and make clients feel that nobody is more important to you than them.
Don’t get distracted, don’t think about what you’re going to say next. Be totally and extremely interested in what your client or prospect is saying. Then clients will like you because you are showing them respect.
- If caring more than other advisors is part of your value proposition, then show it.
When you first meet with a prospect use a ‘who I am’ story to illustrate your caring nature. Maintain a long-term relationship with clients by treating them like family. Call them for a catch up, just to see how they are. Call to wish them a happy birthday – or a pleasant vacation. Simple acts of kindness go a long way.
- Is commitment to educating clients a part of your value proposition?
If so, reinforce this proposition by holding tutorials or seminars – or even, as one advisor does – set up a regular breakfast meeting where clients can not only engage socially, but learn how to read their statements.
Think deeply about your value proposition. Know your value and make sure clients know it too. Your unique value proposition won’t involve products but will involve outstanding service.
People won’t return to a restaurant where they received bad service, no matter how good the food was. Starbuck’s can charge a premium because they provide a ‘Starbucks’ service – not because the coffee is markedly better than in other outlets. Determine where you can add value to your clients lives and communicate this – then ensure you embody this value in everything you do going forward.
Ninety percent of your success depends on the soft skills – develop them with Don Connelly 24/7.
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