Being a financial advisor has consistently been rated as one of the best jobs in America. And although that is good news for the industry, it means there will always be even more individuals joining the current lineup of brokers, financial advisors, financial planners, insurance agents, and banking and credit union financial professionals. For clients, however, they look around and there seems to be an “expert” everywhere. The key for any advisor today is to find a way to stand out and differentiate from all the rest in the increasingly crowded marketplace.
One differentiator is the relationship that an advisor has with his or her current clients. The financial services business is, ultimately, a relationship business. We know that there is a direct correlation between the acquisition of referrals and the relationships that advisors have with their clients. Some clients simply want to introduce their friends, family and colleagues to their advisor.
Your current clients will tell you what your differentiation is. Ask or formally survey your clients.
However, if you ask or survey your clients and their responses are not that compelling, you may have to stop and figure out a new way of standing out as the extraordinary advisor that you really are.
Here are sample survey questions to ask clients to determine your differentiation:
1. How would you, right now, describe our organization to someone else who may have a need for our services?
2. How have you described our organization in the past?
On a scale of 1-5 with 5 being the best…
3. We keep you fully informed.
4. We do things right the first time.
5. We are focused on quality personal service.
6. We regularly provide information of value.
7. We have adequate contact with you.
8. Our employees go above and beyond for you.
Anyone in particular? _______________
9. We make it easy for you to contact us.
10. I would be willing to recommend your services to a friend or colleague. Yes/No
And here’s a referral right now! ______________
Surveys can be done online using Survey Monkey for free, through a website form that clients can fill out, or by using the old school USPS.
Your survey answers from your clients may give you exactly what you need to start clarifying your true differentiation. You are unique, of course, you just need to let those know that haven’t worked with you yet what they will receive.