What is Your Value Prop, Really? How to Stand Apart in a Sea of Competition
Recently, I had an advisor question “brand-building,” and if there is really any value in this since every advisor “does the same thing.” My first thought to this – if you don’t think you do anything of value, your prospective clients never will either.
If you want to be a successful business owner and top advisor, you need to act like one – and this starts with believing that you bring more value to your clients than anyone else could! Have you drank your own Kool-aid yet? Great! Now, instead of just telling your prospective clients that you’re the best person for the job, you need to show them. I suggest doing this by packaging your services and processes in a way that is descriptive of you and no one else. Here are three ideas to get you started:
1) Your first impression should express your unique value proposition
How are people first interacting with your brand? Is it through your website, a referral or random chance? Your first brand impression should illustrate what you do, how you’re different, and succinctly communicate this in a way that a prospective client would understand. I suggest you have this message developed in both the verbal and written form; verbal, so you can deliver it on demand or have a referral source understand it well enough to deliver a rendition of it on your behalf; and written, so that the same succinct messages can be used on all the materials put out by your company. Your messages should follow this format:
WHO YOU ARE, WHO YOU HELP (NAME PROSPECT), SERVICES PROVIDED and BENEFIT OF THOSE SERVICE.
2) Your sales process should illustrate what only YOU can do
How do you get prospective clients to take action with your firm? Are you offering anything different than the advisor down the road? It’s important to create unique value for your prospective clients at every point of contact. It’s too competitive of an industry to be offering a “me too” sales approach. Think about your first meeting. Are you still offering a “complimentary first appointment?” If so, chances are good that your competitors are too. Think about your first appointment process and the value you deliver during and after the meeting. Are you creating an experience for the prospective client? Are you providing them unique information about themselves and their personal financial situation? If so, lead with that. In today’s fast paced, highly personalized world, people are most interested in an experience that gives them value for their time – not exchanging an hour for a sales presentation. Chances are you’re already doing something unique. Don’t keep it a surprise for those who do agree to the “complimentary first appointment.”
3) Your on-boarding process should create a wow experience
So, they’re moving forward! Now is your time to lock in that client for life. A smooth onboarding experience not only builds client loyalty and improves client retention rates, but it also helps you to stand out from others in the community. Plus, chances are good that if you “wow” a new client, they’ll likely tell their friends about the positive experience, too.
When getting a client onboard and ingrained in your organization, communication is critical. A client needs to know what to expect so they can avoid feeling “under-communicated to.” By setting expectations, they can recognize that you’re doing what you said you would as they move along with your company. Showing appreciation through small gestures is powerful, too:
- A thank you card,
- A personal phone call after the accounts have been opened to see if they have any questions or
- Even gathering the information about their food and drink preferences when they onboard and then having those items on hand when they come in for their next appointment.
It’s the little things that go the longest distance.
Determine who you “want” to be and how you want your prospects to view you – then live it and exude it in all you do!