Tagged ‘value proposition‘

Transitioning to Advisory is a Process. Not an Event.

Transitioning to an advisory model may seem overwhelming, but dedicating the time and making a step-by-step effort will result in steady progress. Financial advisors need to carefully evaluate their practice, identifying which clients are good candidates for a new type of engagement. While every client is unique, the process by which an FA engages clients does not have to be reinvented every time.

We advise FAs to seek out a program that is designed specifically to manage and guide them in the implementation of their advisory development process. This program should include:

  1. A Comprehensive Business Analysis: An advisor must receive a thorough assessment of their practice to understand the current state of the business from a qualitative and quantitative perspective, including its gaps and the strategy needed to help you meet the FAs goals.
  2. Business Remodeling and Re-Positioning of the Investment Offering: The crux of the success of any program lies in the FAs ability to articulate their new value proposition, to refine the client engagement and to restructure their team. The advisor must also develop strong messaging in communicating their new benefit offerings when faced with objections and pricing concerns from clients.
  3. A Price Model:  Given the commitment and importance most advisors have placed on building an advisory business, it’s surprising that there is significant unrealized revenue potential in many advisors’ businesses. It is realistic to build a business and pricing model that charges more than 1%. What can be difficult is raising the price once it’s set. The key to any pricing model is building the value into it and we will dive into WHAT value is important.
  4. A Marketing Plan: Financial advisors often struggle with their marketing and branding of themselves. With the trend on social medial  engagement, most advisors are paralyzed with HOW to use it. The process will take the time, attention and effort to “drill down” and determine a practice’s core strengths and align the marketing of the practice around those attributes.
  5. Execution and Implementation: All profitable businesses develop business plans to help them lay out goals, to identify resources needed to achieve them, and to provide an accountability mechanism to achieve goals. This is the last component of steps an FA must accomplish to optimize their business model and the transition.

Confidence to Move Forward and Make Changes

Transitioning from brokerage to a true advice-driven business model can be daunting for advisors because there are so many unknowns. Without a solid understanding of what is required and how to start, most advisors are frozen by uncertainty and their perceptions of the challenges posed by such a transition. The key to a successful transition is to have a solid plan. This requires a blend of both strategy—to guide the transformation of the practice— and tactics—to provide the road-map for the functional elements of the transition.



5 Steps to Developing Your Unique Value Promise


Your unique value promise (UVP) is nothing more than a short statement that clearly communicates the benefits your client and prospects get by using your service, process or advice. It pulls together all the complexity of your pitch into something that people can easily differentiate from the competition. Your UVP needs to be very specific. Simply describing the features or capabilities of your offer is not enough. Clients want to understand the benefits they will receive. Your unique value promise must focus on what your client really wants, needs and values, including how you will solve their problems or to improve on existing solutions.

Your UVP must answer in a compelling manner:

“Why should I buy this from you?” AND “Why should I do what you’re advising?”

Example: Telling people to buy a tire because of the specific treads is a FEATURE of the tire. Telling them to buy the tire for the safety of their family is the BENEFIT to them. The big task is helping clients connect with how the specific value you’re offering will benefit them, prompting them to think; “Yes, that’s right for me…”

All successful FA businesses have created a distinct value promise. Unfortunately, many advisors attempt to use another practice’s UVP and superimpose it into their practice and expect it to work. It won’t. Your value promise MUST BE UNIQUE to your business.

STEP 1: Know your ideal client.

Your ideal client is one you truly enjoy and appreciate working with. They’re the ones who are a perfect fit for what you offer. They are your advocates. Ideal clients generate an effortless energy, a shared vision or goal. Taking on less-than-ideal-clients might be necessary for financial reasons, but they usually turn into a greater challenge in the long haul.

STEP 2: Who is your target market?

Like many FA businesses, you likely have a lot of competition standing between you and a prospect. Narrowing your focus to one specific demographic gives potential clients a reason to notice you. If you’re not differentiating yourself in the marketplace, prospects look at price as the motivator of choice and then look for the cheapest. This can remain a challenging career theme for most advisors until they make the time to define a target market. Having a target market gets you focused and talking to right group of folks.

STEP 3: Know the needs of your target client and how you solve those needs.

Do your research to uncover the needs and concerns of your target market. Be sure you understand and can articulate exactly how you can help solve those needs and concerns. Resist the urge to focus on features. Clients and prospects don’t care about the financial plan (feature), they want to know what the financial plan will do for them (benefit). They want to know how you can solve their problems. What’s in it for the client? Once they understand the benefit to them, their resistance will drop and they’ll be open to giving you the necessary face-to-face meeting to further resolve their needs and concerns.

STEP 4: Know your product, service, process or advice.

Some advisors become too focused on a product, service, process or advice and the reasons a prospect or client should buy them, while neglecting the true client concern. For example, a large FA team used their marketing materials to focus on the endless features of their offering, that they felt were better than the those of the competition, without the mention of the benefit to the client. This marketing direction alienated their target market.

STEP 5: Be the expert.

One way to hone in on a specific sector is to become an established resource or expert in a topic of choice. If you’re perceived as an expert in your field, people will pay the price tag on whatever you offer. You can build up credibility by offering complementary information through your website or social media. Complementary information could include tips, industry information, or niche data that will help clients think of you as a reliable expert in that area. Your credibility increases with giving away information. It creates the perception: “If this is the value I’m getting for free, what will I get if I pay for it”?

Creating a unique value promise is part of having a successful business strategy. Satisfied clients are the source of a sustainable value creation. Developing a value promise is based on a review and analysis of your ideal client, your target market, your target market’s key concern and needs, and how your offerings will help solve those problems. Ultimately, your UVP will address the benefits, risks and value that your business can deliver to your clients, prospects and other third party professionals.