Are you very clear about the value that you add for your clients? Yes, I think most advisers are clear of the value that your advice offers to clients. How good are you at proactively discussing this with potential clients? Hmmm, I think there are a lot of advisers who are much happier talking about products rather than their advice process. How many of you have your advice process written down and actually walk through this with your clients? From my experience, not too many.
I’ve had the privilege over the last year of working with a number of advisers, helping them develop really compelling value propositions. The reason I was asked to work with them was because these advisers felt that they just weren’t turning enough leads and prospects into clients. They were meeting lots of people but weren’t successfully bridging the gap from that pre-sales point to actually engaging the clients in the advice process.
We identified that this was because they weren’t clearly articulating the value that they offer to these potential clients through the advice that they give. From my experience, advisers are often more comfortable getting straight to the solutions (products) rather than spending time talking about the advice process, which is where you add your value!
So with these advisers, we mapped out their advice processes, articulated the value gained by the client at each step, wrote these down and turned them into presentations of their advice propositions. So now the initial discussions focus on where the adviser adds value to the client. The result is prospects now understanding the value of the adviser, more of them turning into clients and much easier justification of fees and charges as the client now has a clear sense of the value added by the adviser.
So what are the steps to winning more clients with a strong value proposition?
Clarify your advice process and the value of this
First of all, think through all the stages of your advice process. Think about how you start your advice meeting, how you move through your fact finding stage and build your client profile. Then think about how you go about making recommendations to identifying and implementing product solutions. Finally think about the value at each step for your client, what they gain by having you involved.
Make it visual
The next step is to develop this advice process into a visual diagram. Many clients don’t want to read long documents but you really want them to see this one……so capture it in a simple graphic that you can walk through with them.
Also capture your advice process and the value to clients longhand in a printed document to be given to every client that you have an introductory meeting with. This will ensure that it remains with them after the meeting.
Make it a critical new step of your process
So now before you start giving advice to a client, you should now explain the journey you are going to undertake with the client, rather than just diving in.
I suggest that you build an introductory presentation about you, your business and what you offer to clients with this being the nub of that presentation. This presentation in my mind should be delivered using technology rather than paper, and an iPad or other tablet being far preferable to a laptop as it removes the screen as a barrier between you and the client.
Is this worth doing?
Well first of all I agree that it’s going to take a bit of effort to actually map out your process and identify the added value, turn it into a presentation and a takeaway document for clients. Indeed it also will mean that your initial meeting will take longer than before as you walk through the presentation.
However the benefits will significantly outweigh these negatives. First of all, I believe that showing this value will help get more prospects “across the line” and to the factfind stage. Secondly taking the time to set out your advice process and the value to clients will help you win that all-important trust of the client. They will take comfort in you demonstrating a robust process behind the advice that you give, that your advice is well structured and well thought out. This is likely to increase their willingness to commit with you.
Finally the client will “get” what you do. They will see the expertise that you bring and the value this offers to them. And the benefit of this? A greater understanding and acceptance of the fees and/or commission that you receive to provide advice to them and help them to achieve their financial objectives.
How do you portray your value to clients? Do you use a particular approach? Please feel free to leave your comments.