On the weekend, I went to Bunnings. Not being a fan of ‘Do it yourself’, a visit to a shop like Bunnings can send me into a cold shiver! Love the plants, not sure about the rest of place! However, sometimes you just have to go!
What I find refreshing about hardware stores is their marketing – yep hardware stores have good marketing! In my eyes and, I believe many others, most hardware stores sell the same stuff. They might have a few different brands, but overall, it’s the same products to help you around the house and garden. Being a very competitive market has meant they have had to work hard to differentiate themselves, and I believe a couple of them have done a great job of that. Bunnings and Home Hardware. What’s so good about their marketing I hear you ask?
It’s what they say about themselves!
Bunnings – Lowest prices are just the beginning.
Home Hardware – Go where the tradies go.
Both articulate their value differently. One focuses on prices, the other on expertise.
Can you see how easily they have achieved this? Both businesses deliver a similar product, but both have very different marketing approaches.
Why am I talking hardware stores? Because, similar to hardware stores, the majority of advice businesses do offer the same solutions. One of the challenges some financial advice businesses struggle with is differentiating themselves from all the others.
In the past, I’ve talked about using client stories to help articulate your difference; using a current scenario to explain the value you can add to clients.
Another very useful method that you can start working on in your business right now is how you describe your business.
For example, consider these two examples below:
The question is, “What does your business do?”
“We develop financial solutions for the needs of our clients. We work with them to achieve their goals and give them financial freedom. We’ve been around for 20 years and enjoy working with our clients to help develop their plan and manage their financial implementation.”
“We work with clients who are thinking about retirement. We help them with issues such as, will they have enough money to retire on when they want to retire, how to actually transition to retirement, how will they work with Centrelink, selling assets if required, overall, helping them with their total retirement planning.”
Can you see, how business one talks about the general and business two speaks of the specifics? Business one might be able to help pre-retires, and I suspect probably could. However, they didn’t say that. In fact, they didn’t say much at all.
There are three goals you want to achieve when articulating your value:
1. To be remembered.
2. To be understood.
3. To be introduced/referred.
Business number two can achieve that. They will be remembered for working with pre-retires who are looking for advice about moving into retirement.
Business number one has a formidable chance of being forgotten because they are too general and haven’t given anyone anything to grasp on to and remember easily.
I appreciate that many Financial Advisers feel that if they target a particular demographic or niche area that they may not get enough clients. I can tell you from experience and education; that is not the case. The more specific you are, in today’s world, the better your business will be.
A single way to differentiate and stand out, is to work on the words that come out when people ask, “What does your business do/what do you do?’
Remember the three goals. How does your business explanation achieve these aims?
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