This is the second in a four part series from The Pocket Guide to Sales for Financial Advisors, by Beverly D. Flaxington
When it comes to the selling process, most advisors focus on the process itself. How can you sell more effectively and to whom? One of the most basic components that is often overlooked is developing your story. Without a clear platform from which to launch your sales efforts, you and your team will likely struggle.
But what makes a good “story” or a good brand? How do you stand out when so many other advisors do similar things to your firm? Start the new year off by engaging in a branding exercise within your firm, and with your team. Work together to establish your story by doing the following:
- List all of the things you believe are special or different about your team, your firm, and how you work with clients.
- Once you have the list of those things you think are special or different, put your differentiators to the “so what?” test. Next to what you’ve written, ask “so what?” Why is this important or compelling for your audience?
- Review your mission statement or firm values to find the words you use to talk about what’s important to your practice. If you haven’t written a mission statement or identified firm values, it’s helpful to do that during a branding process.
- Interview clients and Centers of Influence (COIs) to learn how they talk about what you do. Don’t do a satisfaction survey; rather, interview them to hear the words they use to describe their experience of working with you. See your firm through their lens.
- Review your competition to understand their themes and differentiators.
Once you have compiled all of the information, push your team to identify the three main points that are repeatable and most compelling. Find ways to validate those three differentiators and create proof statements and stories to support them. Weave the points into all of your marketing communication efforts – be consistent with these points throughout all of your materials and sales process.
While you may believe the wealth management and advisory services you offer are unique and special, the market may not feel the same. To be competitive, you must know your own services better than your competitors know theirs. You must be able to talk about what you do using language your market recognizes and that resonates with them. And you must be consistent and clear in your efforts.
Start this new year by solidifying your brand – get your team involved to create a compelling platform.
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