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.

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How to Create a Value Proposition

How to Create a Value Proposition

There are thousands of pizza vendors in the United States. But only one of them is known for, “Fresh, hot pizza in 30 minutes or less, guaranteed.”

There are thousands of clothing retailers in the United States. But if I say the words, “You’re going to like the way you look. I guarantee it,” I guarantee you’ll know exactly whom I’m referring to. You can probably see his face.

If you don’t already know what your value proposition is, you probably don’t have one.

Your value proposition establishes two things: The value that you bring to the relationship and why you’re the one they should engage to bring it.

A great value proposition has six characteristics:

It defines who you work with;
It focuses the client experience – not your qualifications.
It addresses specific problems you can solve for the client.
It’s unique to you in your market. None of your competitors can quite say the same thing.
It connects with the client on an emotional level.
It helps you justify your fees so you’re competing on something other than price.

Here’s how to create your value proposition so it has these six characteristics.

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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.

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