Your success as a financial advisor depends on you having it. “It” is three things…
Get It –Understanding your clients wants and needs
I’m It –Differentiate yourself from your competitors
Prove It –Give them a reason to believe you
Let’s break “It” down.
Do You Get It? This isn’t rocket science. The more you know your client, the better. So how much research have you read on your target market? Have you done a macro evaluation of your target market? Are you working with millennials, XGens, or Boomers? These three macro categories all view retirement, income, Social Security, Healthcare, the market and investing differently from each other. If you try to make your approach one-size-fits-all, you are going to do poorly.
Once you have clear in your mind what generation you are working with… how much do you know about the group within the generation you are working with? Is it nurses? Teachers? Business owners? Pre-retirees? Retirees?
Do all these groups have the same problems and concerns? Would the same solutions apply? Of course not. Put yourself in their position. If you went to the doctor with a knee problem and he’s talking about blood pressure, prostate checks, diabetes… hey! All of those things are important, but what are you thinking? That he understands your concerns or he is just going through the exact same motions he does with everyone? Are you going to stick with his recommendations about changing diet, taking high blood pressure medicine and coming back to see him in a year? Or are you going to seek out a doctor who will help you with your knee?
You MUST speak about and provide solutions for the specific things they have on their mind. And you must be able to bring things up that they have not thought about themselves. The only way you can do this is to do your homework on your best clients and prospects. Become your areas foremost expert on them and their specific needs.
Do this and your business will grow quickly. It’s worth the effort. People seek out experts.
I’m It. How many advisors say they are great at picking investments? How many say they can come up with great income plans? How many say they can save their clients fees and taxes? How many say that they really care about their clients? ALL OF THEM!
You will struggle in this industry if you walk and talk like all your competition. So, what makes you different? I usually have to ask an advisor this question five times consecutively before they finally arrive at something that makes them different. They begin with general statements like I have a process for getting a client the best return possible with less risk… doesn’t every advisor say that? I don’t care if you really have a process like that… it still sounds like everybody else, so why would someone make the jump to you? I will ask a second time, what makes the advisor different. The answer generally becomes a little more specific but still similar to what everyone else says. I ask again and again until I finally hear something from the advisor that none of his/her competition is saying.
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