With everything going on right now with the market and Corona, how we interact with clients is our main competitive advantage. To be a first-class winning organization, you need to know how to serve your clients’ emotional needs, not just their economic needs. When we have an exceptional and elevated experience, it stays with us. This is the key to surpassing competitors in a tumultuous environment.
It’s that glorious event. A time when your team comes together to discuss your firm’s strategies for the coming year – the annual strategic plan. Opportunities and challenges are discussed. The virtual whiteboard and yellow pads are a bounty of ideas. It’s a celebration of motivation.
And then you look up…and it’s June.
For some firms, that beautiful strategic plan you created has not been looked at for months. We go to the common drive to print it off and say, “How are we doing?” The problem is there may be a missing component in your strategic plan.
Financial advisors are always trying to set themselves apart in this crowded marketplace. One of the ways they attempt to do this is through a strong value proposition. A value proposition is a statement that articulates in clear terms the value you and your firm provide. It is one of the most powerful elements of your brand. The big question is: Is your value proposition valuable?
Communicating your value for Fee-Only advisers has become a competitive undertaking. It is complicated by fee pressures, access to affluent clients and an ever-evolving service model. Advisers try to set themselves apart from others, but in many cases, the message is missing the mark.
In the ongoing battle of growth vs. culture which side will win? First, let’s look at the problem. Many companies are watching their bottom line and seeing a pattern. Some are in growth mode; others are seeing stagnant productivity, revenues or clients. Whatever stage you are in, one circumstance facing everyone is the continual changes to client buying patterns and perceptions. Figuring your way through these challenges will determine which side wins in the growth vs. culture battle.
If a client or prospect reads your “About Us” page will they think it’s interesting? Your “About Us” page is one of the most important pages on your website. It shows who you are and why people should engage with you. As you craft your company website, social media pages or professional bio, you always want to engage people with the work you do and the value you provide…that’s your core. It’s easy to forget; however, that your team is made up of interesting people. These are the people who your prospects and clients will be interacting with. You want to appeal to your clients’ curiosity. You can make your “About Us” page more interesting and engaging by sharing what makes you and your team…you!
A tough decision many firms face is whether or not to let go of less-than-profitable clients. It comes down to the business model you want for your future. Some firms will work with any client who wishes to take positive action in their lives, regardless of their profitability to the firm. This can be a successful model, but it may require increased overhead, technology or staff to support the service needs long-term. On the other hand, letting go of less-profitable, lower-tier clients may allow you to provide a more boutique experience for your “A” clients and high-potential relationships and give you time to focus on markets that are appropriate for your business.
One question many financial advisors will ask is “How do I get more referrals from my centers of influence (COIs)?” or “How do I go about finding a good center of influence relationship?” It is enticing for financial advisors to expand their network but many soon realize setting up a strategic alliance or a professional COI relationship does not automatically turn on the flow of referrals. There needs to be a marketing and business development strategy in place, clear expectations, and proper due diligence.