In “Why Advisors Fail to Close Prospects”, an article published in December, 2014 in RIA Biz, a financial industry publication, Financial Advisors were asked to list the reasons they failed to secure relationships with prospective clients.
Fourteen issues were identified by the advisors. The following five were noted as standouts (paraphrased here), along with some advice for how to overcome each “marketing bugaboo”.
At the risk of oversimplifying a very complex set of challenges, I would distill this list even further, down to just two overriding considerations…
Message and Image… What you say and how you say it.
What you say is driven by your firms’ policies and practices for transparency, and an intention to educate and inform your clients and prospects using plain, comprehensible language.
What you say should reflect your investment management acumen and a desire to understand your audience. It should respect their intelligence, and assume that too much information is always better than too little. Investors know there are risks. Make sure they have a firm grasp on the risks that are peculiar to their circumstances and investments.
What you say should help your prospects understand and value your commitment to excellence and continual improvement. They should also know you (or your firm) will be there for them when they need you.
What you say should make your fees (and/or commissions) completely understandable and justified. Remember, price is only an issue if there is a perceived lack of value. If your prospect doesn’t believe you are worth what you’re charging, then maybe you’re not the right advisor for them.
How You Say It is the outcome of your firm’s strategies for marketing, communications, training and the client experience.
How you say it is consistent. It’s shared by everyone in your organization because it reflects your values and a collective belief in the firm’s mission.
How you say it is enhanced and extended by a terrific website that offers a great user experience, engages your visitors and works great on desktops, tablets and smart phones.
How you say it holds your marketing to a high standard for content that is smart, accessible, elegant, and professional.
How you say it honors your commitment to your community by calling attention to your corporate citizenship, investor advocacy and professional thought leadership.
How you say it recognizes the way people feel when they call your office, drop by for a visit or get their statements in the mail or online. It should shout that you are always looking for ways to help.
Being intentional about what you say and how you say it will help win you new business, but it’s no small job. It requires soul-searching, hard decisions and a relentless pursuit of improvement. But in the end, differentiating yourself in the marketplace, enlightening your clients and prospects, and confidently defending your fees is the best path to growth and success.
How does your practice or firm differentiate itself in the marketplace? What firm’s or practice do you think do an exceptional job? How have you overcome questions about credibility in the past?
Thanks as always for your interest in this article. If you like it, please share it. If there are topics you would like to see me address, please let me know. I love hearing from you.