In our modern world, financial planning clients are drawn more and more to transparency. With the advent of the virtual firm, you’re no longer competing with advisors in just your geographical area, but an array of financial planners across the country. With so many options, it’s more important than ever to be able to communicate the value you bring to the table.
When thinking through how you can share your unique value to potential clients, ask yourself these three questions:
- Who do you serve?
- What problems do you solve?
- What does it look like to work with you?
Who do you serve?
As technology has enabled many financial planners to expand into virtual practices (or even hybrid practices), your potential client pool has expanded. This is great news because you can focus on what type of clients you’re uniquely apt to help (and that you enjoy working with)! Even if you’re only working with clients in your local area, defining your niche is still a helpful exercise.
Serving a niche market can help you hone your marketing efforts and target a specific type of potential client. When your ideal client hears about you, you want them to think, “Wow! They work with people just like me!” An added bonus is prospects who aren’t a good match can disqualify themselves before they even schedule time to meet with you, allowing you to spend more time with qualified prospects.
Another way to stand out to these clients is to share WHY you work with them. Did you come from another industry with a unique set of financial challenges and realize there needed to be someone to help solve these issues? Did you yourself go through a complex financial situation that made you want to help others? Sharing your passion for helping your unique clients can help you stand out from other financial planners in your space.
What problems do you solve?
Are you great at complex withdrawal strategies for high net worth clients or do you have experience with common tech industry stock option plans? When it’s obvious to clients that you have an expertise that relates directly to them, what would stop them from working with you? Having a niche can make highlighting these unique problems even easier.
Also consider listing out quick/easy solves that other financial advisors may not think to share. While it may be obvious to you that you’ll help clients with financial organization and setting up client portals, prospects may not realize the full scope of ways you’ll help them.
What does it look like to work with you?
It’s important to consider your process from two perspectives:
- What is the initial onboarding process?
- What does ongoing financial planning look like?
New clients are often either just starting with a financial planner or transitioning from another firm where they had a less than fantastic experience. Having a clear, easy-to-understand process for onboarding can help mitigate some of the stress prospects may be feeling. Keep it brief in marketing materials with a list of onboarding meetings with clear objectives and estimated meeting lengths. As you’re working with clients during those initial meetings, refer back to this process with additional details (i.e. for the next meeting, please share XYZ financial documents).
Ongoing Financial Planning
Clients will want to know what the process is going forward once they’re a full-fledged client. Service calendars can greatly help with this and set expectations for client interactions and involvement. Service calendars can be especially helpful when you’re charging clients fees on a recurring monthly or quarterly basis. Clients may think paying you monthly means having monthly meetings or calls, while this is likely not the case for most advisors. Listing out what services you’re providing each month can manage those expectations.
When thinking through your process, ask yourself these questions:
- What information does the client need to provide to get started?
- How many meetings will you have in the first year?
- How does this change in future years?
- What do these meetings typically entail?
- Where do meetings take place?
- How long do meetings last?
- What deliverables will you provide?
- What technology will the client need to set up?
- How should a client reach out when something comes up between meetings?
- How much does it cost to be a client?
- How do they pay you?
- Are there any other fees or expenses (to you or anyone else)?
The value you bring to those you work with is so important. Being able to articulate this value in a clear and confident way can help set you apart from other financial professionals. An added bonus: when you can express your value (and then deliver it), your clients are equipped to do the same with other individuals who may be looking for an advisor to do exactly what you do!
Posted by Honor Randall
Honor is excited to help AdvicePay users make the most out of our platform to help expand their businesses. Having worked in the financial industry for five years, Honor has considerable experience assisting financial advisors as a paraplanner. When she’s not helping enterprises implement AdvicePay into their business, you can find Honor running, cooking, and exploring National Parks with her husband.