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Finding your unique angle

Finding your unique angle

18-07-2016 | Insight

Many advisers find nailing their value proposition a hard thing to do. Part of it is because they don’t always start in the right place, choosing to focus on the services they offer instead of the specific problems they solve for clients and the impact that has on their lives.

  • Stewart Bell
    Stewart
    Bell
    Business Coach at Audere Coaching & Consulting
Disclaimer

Stewart Bell is Founder & Business Coach at Audere Coaching & Consulting. The opinions and statements are deemed to be those of the author, and do not represent the view of Robeco.

Part of it is due to the fact that finding something unique about the way you deliver your advice is, admittedly, not an easy thing when you’re close to what you do. Meanwhile, the get-rich-quick crowd, spruiking property or the latest investment fad as the path to untold millions in a matter of months, seem to get cut through with ease. I had a conversation with an adviser to that effect during the week. She lamented the spruikers, at the same time wondering why her message of “getting the right advice to begin with” wasn’t getting cut through.

There are two issues at work here. I’d like to share with you how to overcome them. The first ties into a golden rule of marketing. People aren’t necessarily interested in what you think they need until you’ve shown you can add value to what they want. The slowest form of client attraction looks like you, armed with a bunch of educational materials aimed at creating financial literacy, to clients who don't agree they need it. You’ll talk about the importance of estate planning in a SMSF strategy, or how many clients leave themselves exposed by not regularly reviewing the appropriateness of their cover. You may be right, but the problem is this; few people wake up in the morning wanting a lecture on the finer points of financial management.

A minority of people is seeking financial advice. That’s a bigger problem to solve, one that perhaps robo-advice will help with. However, if your marketing strategy is predicated on “education” you’re going to need a lot of time and deep pockets. Most advice firms have neither.

Your second option may be the simpler of the two. The reality, if we’re honest, is that most advice firms’ marketing isn’t inspiring.
Many market the way they sell, assuming that the promise of asking great questions, listening intently and providing solutions based on that sales approach will appeal. It comes across as a weak proposition. Once you’ve seen enough of it, it will put you to sleep faster than a gin cocktail and a Xanax.

The approach at the top of your funnel needs to be different. You need to make a statement to attract attention.
So, if you don’t have an idea what your compelling proposition might be, approach it from a different angle. Start by looking at what everyone else is saying. These are all the things you’re not going to say. After all, if your aim is to stand out from the digital noise that is modern online marketing, there’s no point in singing the same lines. Now we know what not to say, you have four basic options.

  1. Contrarian. The “we do things the opposite” is a great angle to get attention. Lead with “financial plans suck”, or “budgets are for nerds”. Find a statement that goes against the grain and leverage people’s natural curiosity for the rebellious. Your message could in fact end up being a prudent and fundamental one, simply dressed up in a different way, but you won’t be running with the sheep.
  2. Metaphor. Find a memorable concept to anchor your proposition. For example, is your advice process like climbing Everest, allowing you to summit what seems like an un-scalable peak via carefully managed steps? Or is your path to financial independence like getting into a fitness routine? Given time you’ll wonder how you lived without the healthy habits you’ve built up that have made everyone notice your growing financial wellbeing.
  3. Get -result- without -downside-. Perhaps you’ll be one of those firms who undertake client research before setting a marketing strategy, discovering the big desire your target market wants and the main thing that stops them. Maybe you’ll offer “Saving without sacrifice” or “Long-term wealth without short term pain”?
  4. System/Philosophy. Alternatively, you could explore the process by which you deliver the result, or your core philosophies that speak to the values of your target market. Do you have a six-step system for taking people from directionless to ready-to-asset-up in just 12 months? Systems trump strategies every time. Prospects are more interested in repeatable ways to get a result than a skill set.
We live in a digital age where the cacophony is only getting stronger. It’s important that you’re saying something different. If not, chances are you’ll find your business piggybacking the trust of your referral partners or depending on the right-place-right-time factor for consistent growth.
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Disclaimer

Stewart Bell is Founder & Business Coach at Audere Coaching & Consulting. The opinions and statements are deemed to be those of the author, and do not represent the view of Robeco.

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