You Are Your Value Proposition

“What makes you different and better than my current financial advisor?”

It’s a legitimate question many investors ask and one that most advisors dread hearing.  The reason why is because it calls for a compelling, cut-to-the-chase response that few advisors are equipped to provide.

Be Different, Really different

Most advisors react to this million-dollar question the same way, first with the blank stare of deer caught in headlights followed up by a tongue-tied, mumbo jumbo explanation that mimics what every other advisor is saying.

Yawn.

If you want to put investors to sleep, talk to them about the same things the same ways as other advisors.  If you want to raise their eyebrows and pique their interest, skip the rhetoric about firm, product or service benefits.  It may be important, but it’s generally not a distinguishing factor.  If you really want to stand out and be noticed, talk to investors about your most important differentiator.  Talk to them about you.

You Are The Differentiator

Government regulation and industry compliance have pretty much leveled the financial services playing field.  For the most part, all that really differentiates one firm and one advisor from another is branding.  Products are similar.  Services are similar.  Even the words and catch-phrases are alike, with everyone talking about “holistic approaches, client-centric service models and fiduciary responsibilities.”   You don’t need a score card to tell the difference between advisors because it appears like they are all playing on the same team.

Once you strip away all the commoditization in the financial services industry, all that’s left for an investor to consider and evaluate is you – the advisor.  You are their first point of contact.  You must know them and their businesses so well that clients consider you part of their success equation.  Your deep understanding of who they are personally and professionally allows you to anticipate their needs with clarity and respond to them with conviction.  Without you, they could never fully realize the resources of your firm or the benefits of products and services offered.

Find Your Sweet Spot

To find your differentiator, be honest with yourself.  Find out what financial problems you are the best at solving and then search for the people who have these types of problems.  What invariably happens is you find your sweet spot niche.  It will be a smaller segment of the investing public but your ability to create uncommon value for them is what becomes your differentiator.  It may inevitably involve solutions your firm, products and services provide, but it will be your ability to personalize the connections necessary that makes the difference in their lives.

Finding the differentiator within yourself requires discipline.  You’ll have to acquire additional expertise and experience that enhances your capabilities to your sweet spot clients and prospects.  Whatever it takes, do it.  Most advisors will stop at this point but if you are disciplined enough to learn more so you can do more, investors can’t help but take notice.  They will acknowledge and appreciate the added value you provide.

Make Your Value Proposition More About You

It’s okay to talk about your firm, products and services in your value proposition.  It’s okay to call attention to your expertise and experience.  Unfortunately, if you stop there, you’ll sound more like your competition than different and better.

Different is better when it’s more effective.  Craft your value proposition so it explains not just what you do, but especially – how you do it that makes you stand out favorably from the competition.  Make it more about you because in the end, you are the one thing no other company or advisor can replicate.

Like this tip?  We have a unique approach to assist advisors in crafting a powerful value proposition. Contact us to find out how we can help you grow your practice and achieve your goals.

Altius Learning
888-569-0586, info@AltiusLearning.com
www.AltiusLearning.com

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Investments & Wealth Research Issue 4, 2019

Accenture Report: Reinventing Wealth Management for Women

Video: Prospect Pipeline

Are you treating your prospects like your best clients?  Watch Dave Mullen’s video for tips on managing your Prospect Pipeline.

Like this tip?  We have many powerful lessons and proven strategies to help you become a million-dollar plus financial advisor. Contact us to find out how we can help you grow your practice and achieve your goals.

Altius Learning
888-569-0586, info@AltiusLearning.com
www.AltiusLearning.com

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Be The Unique Your Clients Seek

Be The Unique Your Clients Seek
Differentiation is considered one of the core principles of a financial advisor’s value proposition.  It identifies what capabilities you offer that sets you apart from the competition and it explains what unique value you provide to clients that other advisors cannot replicate.

Are You Really Different?
Differentiation is critical to success in today’s competitive financial marketplace and if the process is utilized correctly, it can be one of the most powerful ways to acquire and retain ideal clients.  Unfortunately, most advisors fail to effectively differentiate because they misunderstand the term and the process.

Ask any group of financial advisors what distinguishes them from their competition and the majority will default to a sterile summary of their expertise and experience.  That’s okay to a point because expertise and experience does matter to clients and prospects.  They validate credibility but rarely do they rise to the level of being true differentiators.  The reason why is because qualification parity is so widespread in the profession.  No matter how well-schooled or experienced you are, there are many other advisors elsewhere who have similar or superior qualifications.

Some advisors try to differentiate by injecting marketing-speak into their narratives.  They are quick to call attention to their “holistic approaches, proven methodologies, robust resources and personalized solutions.”  They too, fail to differentiate because they are just repeating what everyone else is saying and the only thing different are the words they use to explain the exact same things.  It’s no wonder why investors complain about how hard it is to distinguish one advisor from another.  Their critique is well-founded in fact.

Distinguish Yourself From The Client Perspective
So how can an advisor differentiate in a profession where everyone sounds the same?  The first step is to realize that differentiators exist only in the mind of the beholder. It’s never about you, your credentials or experience.  It’s always about the client or prospect.  If you can successfully articulate why you are the best provider of one-of-a-kind solutions to the one-of-a-kind challenges your clients and prospects face, you have discovered your differentiator.

Finding your differentiator isn’t easy.  Identifying one can be a complicated, painstaking task.  If it was simple, every advisor would have one or more.  The fact is, most advisors don’t have a meaningful differentiator.   They may think they are different and better, but in reality, they are more like their competition than distinctive.

However you choose to differentiate, make sure it’s relevant to the client or prospect.  If it doesn’t matter to them, it doesn’t matter, period.  Differentiation is all about creating value and the more unique that value, the more it will be memorable and credible to your clients and prospects.

Be Different And Better
If you don’t have a differentiator, do the next best thing – create one.  Just make sure the differentiator you choose is authentic rather than aspirational.  If it’s not factual and provable, don’t claim it because empty promises can do more damage than no promises at all.  If you claim to provide something other advisors don’t offer, make it a reality.  Live your differentiator with passion and purpose and hold yourself consistently accountable to the higher standards that define it.  The risks may be great but the rewards are even greater.

Another way to discover your differentiator is through honest self-assessment.  You already know what type of work you do well.  The next step is to discover what clients tell other people that you do great. Their answers might surprise you, so ask.  Their feedback can help identify a differentiator you were too blind to see.

Speak to your colleagues and professional alliance partners.  If there is something they consider you the go-to person on, amplify that asset.  It could be hard subject matter expertise such as tax optimization strategies or a softer skill such as your ability to naturally connect with younger members of multi-generational families.

When you find your differentiator, seize it with the passion of chasing down the last bus of the night out of town.  Make it yours in ways other advisors might try to imitate but can never replicate.

Break Away From The Status Quo
Most advisors make the mistake of trying to be unique like everyone else.  Top advisors break away from that status quo mindset.  They draw a line in the sand that other advisors hesitate to cross.  The story they tell is not who they are or what they do, but how they do it that makes them unique.  Their relentless conviction to do what others won’t or can’t do is what makes them stand out and shine.

General George S. Patton once said “If everyone is thinking alike, then someone’s not thinking.”

Start thinking, acting and doing differently.  Your clients and prospects can’t help but notice the difference you can make in their lives.

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Like this tip?  We have many powerful lessons and proven strategies to help create a value proposition and become a million-dollar plus financial advisor and beyond.  Contact us today about our coaching programs.

Altius Learning

888-569-0586, info@AltiusLearning.com

www.AltiusLearning.com 

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Video: The Lever of Expansion with Dave Mullen

Dave Mullen, Founding Partner at Altius Learning discusses the Lever of Expansion and how that can increase productivity of your practice.

Use our formula to reach a goal of 100% wallet share with your most affluent clients:
 P + D + E = 100

P=Positioning yourself to your clients, it is in their best interest to have all their assets with one Financial Advisor and that is you.

D=Discovering the assets that your clients are doing away from you.

E= Exposing clients to new opportunities.  This will allow you to assume control of every aspect of their financial life.

Watch the attached 3-minute video for more insights on expanding your client relationships.

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Like this tip?  We have many powerful lessons and proven strategies to help you become a million-dollar plus financial advisor and beyond. Contact us today and find out how we can help you grow your practice and achieve your goals.

Altius Learning
888-569-0586, info@AltiusLearning.com
www.AltiusLearning.com

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Are You Looking For Clients In All The Wrong Places?

 

There are more wealthy people in the United States today than at any time in our nation’s history.  In 2017, more than 700,000 Americans became first time millionaires and it’s estimated that new billionaires are popping up at the rate of one every other day. Many people who were already wealthy became even more so thanks to prolonged bull markets and favorable changes in tax laws.

A Perfect Storm for Acquisition

While all this has been happening, aging financial advisors are retiring from the profession at a rate faster than they are being replaced.  The increase in the number of wealthy Americans coupled with a decrease in the number of working advisors should spell a perfect storm of new business opportunities.  Surprisingly, this has not been the case.  Over 60% of advisors identify meeting new client acquisition goals as the number one challenge they face.

The situation begs the question:  if there are more prospects and fewer advisors, why are many advisors struggling to meet new business objectives?  The answer is simple.  They are looking for new business in all the wrong places.

Where’s Waldo?

The frustration advisors feel as they search for new business is akin to what someone might experience when playing the “Where’s Waldo” game.  Waldo is a bespectacled cartoon character dressed in a gaudy red and white striped sweater.  The object of the game is to spot him in a large crowd of people, a task that sounds simple because of his garish appearance.  In reality, finding Waldo is anything but easy.  The only way you can see him is if you search with eagle-eyed perception, discipline and patience.

Waldo is the perfect metaphor for today’s new breed of millionaires.  Like Waldo, they are hiding in plain sight.  Unlike Waldo, they are vast in numbers.  They are everywhere, just waiting to be found.  You just have to know where to and how to look.

Adjust Your Perceptions

Advisors find it difficult to spot today’s nouveau riche because they don’t typically think, look or act like the wealthy of yesteryear.  They worked hard to acquire their money rather than have it handed down from a prior generation and most of them are still working.  You don’t see them at fancy fund raising events because many are working long hours and weekends at their businesses.  You won’t find them socializing at a medallion ball because they are more interested in attending their children’s little league or soccer ball games.  They wear Timex watches instead of Rolexes and Levi jeans instead of tuxedos.

Advisors cross paths unawares with the new rich every day.  It could be the man who owns the garage that repairs your car, the woman who operates the dry cleaners where you take your shirts or the family that franchised one pizza shop into a regional chain.  They may not look like the wealthy you know, but their assets can be and often are significant.

See What Others Can’t

Looks can be deceiving, especially when trying to profile the new generation of millionaires in America.  They are different from old money clients.  Their wants and needs have changed.  Advisors must begin to understand that appearances give a glimpse of the unseen.

Changing your perception is just part of the new acquisition success formula.  You will also have to change the conversation.  These masked millionaires will shed their identities to advisors who are able to connect with them on deeply personal levels.  They will open up to you about their involvement in the local Rotary Club, their interest in their daughter’s softball team or a dream vacation they are planning.  Before you tell them your story, ask for and listen to theirs with your head and your heart.  You might find that your next great prospect is someone you already know if you’ve been paying the right type of attention.

Learn More

Like this tip?  We have many powerful lessons and proven strategies to help you become a million-dollar plus financial advisor and beyond.  Contact us today about our coaching programs.

Altius Learning

888-569-0586, info@AltiusLearning.com

www.AltiusLearning.com 

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Video: Event Marketing with Alane Siem

Alane Siem, a Principal at Altius Learning offers insights into Event Marketing which is a very effective client acquisition strategy.  This tool will help you expand your overall client base, build brand recognition, and increase rapport with existing clients.

Hosting events for clients and potential clients is a great way to provide insight into who you are in business and in your personal life.  Event attendance should be 50% clients and 50% non-clients.  Follow up with perspective clients as soon as possible after the event.  Stay connected on a monthly basis to maximize your probability of converting these prospects turn into clients.

In this video Alane reviews types of events, who you should invite to events, the key to a successful event, and following a specific process to help grow your practice.

 

The Elite Female Advisor

A common misconception among financial advisors is that robo-advisor technology is the most disruptive force impacting the wealth management profession.  While it’s true that automated, algorithmic-based services have altered the course of investment management, it pales in comparison to a more dynamic change that’s quickly picking up momentum: the rise of the elite female advisor.

The Evolution of Women and Wealth

The world of finance has traditionally been a male dominated industry.  Women as both investors and advisors often took a backseat in the wealth management process, subjugated to secondary roles with men viewed as the primary decision-makers.  Now, that’s all changing.  Women are no longer just silent spouses or novice investment assistants.  They have risen to prominent positions as professionals, business owners and entrepreneurs. Their numbers are vast and they have accumulated levels of significant wealth that not only rivals the assets of their male counterparts, but in many instances, exceeds it.  The years ahead bode even more favorably for females as they become the primary beneficiaries of the next generational wealth transfer.

The Right Time For Female Advisors

The reasons why women were marginalized in the past by the wealth management profession have become the exact reasons why they are now being courted by investment firms and advisory teams.  The stereotype that women do not possess the hard skills necessary to succeed in finance was never valid because there is zero difference in X and Y chromosomes specific to analytical aptitude.  Where women gain the advantage is with softer skill sets.  Women by nature embrace a more holistic view of life which is why it is no surprise that female advisors more easily covey the benefits of a holistic wealth management process.  Their ability to empathize with the full spectrum of their client’s lives and not just their finances is the catalyst that helps them build, nurture and maintain long-term, mutually profitable client relationships.

Investment firms and advisory teams are taking notice of the female advisor phenomenon.Gender diversity is no longer an option.  It is mandatory for success in the new financial world and a woman’s point of view is no longer a novelty idea.  It is a necessity.

Robust Opportunities For Female Advisors

The law of supply and demand has tilted the odds strongly in favor of female advisors.  The financial industry is still dominated by older males and a succession crisis is imminent with impending retirements creating large numbers of openings in the industry.  Women currently in the profession and those seeking to gain entry will finds doors once closed now wide open with management applauding their arrival. 


The new environment will present an abundance of challenges and opportunities for females in the wealth management profession.  How they respond to each will be watched and evaluated closely by the new generations of investors and especially women of wealth.  The path forward for elite female advisors will be as successful as they are willing to prepare for it.

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Like this tip?  We have developed a coaching program specifically tailored for highly-motivated female advisors seeking to advance and their performance and careers in the wealth management industry.  Contact us today about our coaching programs.

Altius Learning

888-569-0586, info@AltiusLearning.com

www.AltiusLearning.com

Video: The Quickest Way to Grow Your Practice – Lever of Size

How can you become more productive with the work you’re already doing? It’s fairly straightforward – Utilize the Lever of Size and work with higher-net-worth clients!

Increasing the affluency of your clients is the fastest way to grow your portfolio but often it comes with a catch. The higher a client’s affluency, the higher their expectations for will be. Consider how much time you will need to dedicate to meet these requirements.

Click here to watch Dave Mullen’s video as he discusses the balance between affluent clients and their higher expectations.

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Like this tip?  We have many powerful lessons and proven strategies to help you become a million-dollar plus financial advisor and beyond. Contact us today and find out how we can help you grow your practice and achieve your goals.

Altius Learning
888-569-0586, info@AltiusLearning.com
www.AltiusLearning.com

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