For Great Financial Advisors, the Profit is in the Relationship

For Great Financial Advisors, the Profit is in the Relationship

The industry pressures that have weighed on financial advisors over the last few years will continue into 2021 and beyond, especially with the lingering effects of the pandemic. Fee compression, increasing regulation, heightened competition, and the commoditization of services are all part of an inevitable trend that threatens the survivability of many advisors. From now on, advisors who fall short of clearly differentiating themselves will have a difficult time bucking the trend, and advisors who fail to put their entire focus on their client relationships may be doomed.

Unfortunately, many advisors learn too late in their careers what I have stressed numerous times—that this isn’t a money business. It is a people business! For the first several years of an advisor’s career, the focus is almost solely on acquiring product knowledge, investment expertise, and planning skills. While that is essential for building necessary competencies, too few advisors come to realize that money management is not the lifeblood of their business—their clients are.

For financial advisors, the profit is not in the financial analysis or the transactions they conduct; it’s in the relationship.

Read more

6 Tech Essentials for Financial Advisors

6 Tech Essentials for Financial Advisors

Unquestionably, the advisory industry has been experiencing a significant transformation. Through advances in technology and the democratization of investing, financial advice is quickly becoming commoditized, much to the detriment of Financial Advisors who continue to languish in traditional business models. Today, adopting the right technology is becoming table stakes for advisors who want to maintain the trust of their clients and stand out in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

Read more

4 Steps to Avoid the Commoditization Trap (And Justify Your Fees)

4 Steps to Avoid the Commoditization Trap (And Justify Your Fees)

Water is water, right? Everybody selling water is in the business of selling H2O. If anything was a hopeless case for commoditization and price collapse, it should be bottled water. Most cities in America can now deliver very clean, safe water right to the tap – at 0.0025 per gallon.

But bottled water companies like Waikea, Fiji, Aquafina and Desani have been tremendously successful in branding their products, affiliating themselves with target markets, associating themselves with positive lifestyles, creating a positive customer experience, and getting a premium price. Customers pay between 400 and 4,400 times more for bottled water than they do for tap water, and the premium water market continues to grow.

Financial advisors face a similar dynamic.

Read more

Why You Need to Differentiate Yourself

Why You Need to Differentiate Yourself

It used to be, in the not so distant past, that using words like “client-focused”, “trusted”, “comprehensive”, and “knowledgeable” was enough for financial advisors to separate themselves from the pack. But today these are just the table stakes clients expect their advisors to bring to the table. After all, how many clients do you know who don’t expect their advisor to be knowledgeable, trusted, and client-focused?

In fact, in a highly muddled and fiercely competitive advisory landscape, there is very little to differentiate most advisors from each other, which causes them to disappear among the multitude of “average” advisors. Needless to say, clients today aren’t looking for average when it comes to financial advice.

A case in point is the massive amount of attention the eighty million baby boomers are receiving from the financial services industry – and rightly so because trillions of dollars of assets are at stake.

Read more

Combatting Low Fees

Combatting Low Fees

If you ever need to combat lower fees, begin by understanding what your competition is actually doing. Then form your strategy accordingly.

Listen to this audio episode or read the transcript below to learn how to de-commoditize yourself and why you need to win the value-argument instead of the fee-argument.

Read more

How to Articulate Your Value to Prospects and Clients

How to Articulate Your Value to Prospects and Clients

Ours is a highly commoditized industry. Financial advisors all tend to look the same, sell the same products and talk the same language. To get noticed you need to differentiate yourself from the competition by establishing your value to prospects and clients.

First, work out what you can bring to the table that others can’t. The next step is to verbalize your unique value proposition to clients and prospects.

If you do, prospects and clients will realize why it makes perfect sense to work with you.

Read more

top