Five Tested and True Steps to a Thriving Financial Advisory Practice—Step 4

Position Yourself As the Go-to Financial Expert

Positioning: The secret to acquiring your ideal client and more assets under management.

Steps 1 through 3 laid the groundwork for you to be able to position yourself as the financial go-to person among your target market or niche. Now you’re ready to attract your ideal new clients.

Positioning is creating a certain perception of yourself in the minds of your target market—your tribe. It’s what you want your potential clients to think about you. It’s their impression of you. You want your people to see you as the best person for solving their financial problems, that you are the perfect fit.

How do you want potential clients to see you? Don’t go inside your head and make something up. Use the research you did in Part 3. What did you discover was your target market’s most urgent desire? What do they want from an advisor?

The answer to those questions is different for every niche.
Senior executives at Gotham Enterprises who are preparing to retire, want secure investments, help deciding their options and deferred compensation. They want guidance to transition from corporate life to retired life.

Busy plastic surgeons at Gotham General Hospital want growth, relief from doing it themselves, and assurance their finances are being handled by a Pro. They want to concentrate on their practice, their family and having fun.

Armed with your target market research, you can craft your marketing message, a.k.a. Unique Benefit Statement or UBS. Don’t worry about being unique. Focus on your benefits, the benefits your people said they want.

For instance, my niche is independent financial advisors. They told me they wanted more profitable clients and more assets under management. Using this information I say, “I help independent financial advisors get more profitable clients with less work and less stress”

Start your market message by saying, “I help,” then enter your target market. Then offer a strong promise of benefits that matches their most urgent need. Use the soundbites you discovered during your research. Use their words, what they told you during your interviews. Keep it simple and concise. Something you know they’ll believe and will intrigue them.
Examples:

“I help senior executives at Gotham Enterprises make the best use of their options and deferred compensation, and plan a secure and rewarding retirement.

“I help senior executives of Gotham Enterprises avoid costly financial mistakes and prepare for a worry-free retirement.”

“I provide professional assistance to plastic surgeons at Gotham General Hospital. I relieve them of the burden and worry of their portfolio and maximize their investments.”

“I Help Widows with Large Estates Invest and Plan for Now and the Future.”

 

Based upon your research, write your own UBS. Start with “I help_____.” Fill in the blanks. Prospects only respond to marketing messages that solve a pressing problem or satisfy a real yearning.

Prospects subconsciously rank you and your competitors from high to low. They compare your position with your competitors. It’s all in their minds. It’s how they perceive it. Those who have been interviewed by you and talked at length about their pet subject (themselves)are inclined to view you as an interested, caring advisor. 95% of wealthy investors rank trustworthiness as most important. The trend is for them to see advisors who charge a fee for their service as more trustworthy than advisors who are paid by commission. So how you label yourself is important.

After you complete your value statement, write a detailed description of your ideal client. Imagine a specific person. Give him/her a name, age, marital status, children, income, occupation, hobbies, investable assets etc..

You will use your description two ways. Firstly, you’ll use it when writing your marketing material. Pretend you’re talking to that person. It will make your material more real and engaging.

Secondly, share your description when talking to a client. This will give your client a clear image of who to refer to you. It is probably best not to say, “I’d like a referral.” But rather to say something like, “Do you know anybody like my ideal client? As a service to you, I would be willing to give your friends and colleagues some financial advice.” This way you are not asking for a favor, but offering a favor.

Be sure to walk your talk. If you are promising a happy and secure retirement, then your investment strategies should be conservative and not aggressive growth. Bring your promise and your activities in line. Set your minimum account sizes to match your target market. If you’re targeting the very wealthy, your account size needs to be high, maybe a million. Wealthy investors value advisors who have high minimums. If you’re targeting middle income market, set your minimums accordingly.

Now you can package yourself with your marketing message. Create letterheads, a logo, position papers and website to support your position.

Next week I’ll describe Step 5 of the Five Tested and True Steps to a Thriving Financial Advisory Practice. Put in place all five steps and your practice will thrive.

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