One of the greatest things about our industry is that we can all have different models to suit different clientele and our own beliefs and philosophies.
So when a prospective client asks you what your brand or your specialty is, I would assume we would all have something unique and different to say.
Here are 3 suggestions to ensure you clearly identify your brand/philosophy;
What makes you unique from all the rest of us?
Remember, there is one of us for roughly every 300 Canadians. Some advisors choose a niche such as small business owner and that is what makes them unique—they can better understand their clients, if they are all similar in business structure. What is your niche? Saying I’m a really good investment advisor is fine, but certainly not unique and maybe even inaccurate. We believe offering full financial plans makes advisors unique.
What is your process?
How is each client treated? What is the system you have in place to ensure your clients all receive the same “experience”? Remember, brands are built on a unique yet predictable process.
Starbucks has built its brand on serving top quality coffee made by baristas…does that make their coffee better than Timmy’s? Maybe, maybe not, but it certainly makes it more expensive. When you go into Starbucks, there is a process, you get in line, tell them your order, then go to the back to receive your drink. All clients get the same experience.
Do you have a process that allows all of your clients to have the same experience? As an example, here is our process for client reviews.
What do you stand for?
It may sound cliché, but it is important to know what you really stand for. I got into the business to help people reach their life and financial goals. Clients know that I often encourage them to spend their money, enjoy life, take that dream trip, etc. That’s how we do business in my practice and that’s what clients tell their friends about us when they refer them to us.
I decided to go fee based because I stand for integrity and trust and want clients to see what I earn. It doesn’t mean if you are not fee based you are not trustworthy or have no integrity, it’s just for me to solve the imbedded conflicts of interest in our business, I had to go fee based. There really wasn’t another option for my belief system.
So maybe take a little bit of time and put in writing what’s important to you. Why would you want to do business with you? What makes you unique? What is your process? What do you stand for—and are you really standing for it? Sometimes it’s expensive to do the right thing or change the way you do business, but over the long term, if you want to be happy with your business and yourself, it’s worth it.
All the best with your practices.