This article was originally published on Advisorpedia.
You cultivate friends. You talk with prospects. Today they have more choices than ever. Why should they do business with you and your firm? You have your own set of reasons. Here are a few more arrows for your quiver:
1. Local connections.
You work for a big firm. How long have they had an office in the local area? Include successor (previous merged) firms in your calculations. This is important for various reasons. Community leaders are boosters of the local economy. Longevity shows commitment.
Approach: “We seek to form and honor long term relationships. We have had a presence in (your city) for 60 years. Other firms may be testing a market or decided to leave a market. We have been here for the long term.”
2. Fewer clients.
Exclusivity sells. Today, people who buy a product expect to be one of many. American Airlines has it’s AAdvantage loyalty program. You might be a member. According to Forbes, there are about 115 million members overall. When someone becomes your client, they are part of a smaller, elite group.
Approach: “I don’t work with everyone. I work with about 100 individuals and families with larger asset levels. Service is the one thing I can control. Things can get done quickly and correctly because I work with a small number of clients.
3. Professional certifications.
Prospects might assume titles like vice president are honorific titles. You have initials after your name representing earned professional credentials. They are portable. That has value.
Approach: “I’m a board certified and licensed Certified Financial Planner. I’m qualified to hang my shingle in any part of the country.”
It has value. It indirectly confirms you are successful at your job, otherwise you wouldn’t have been at it for so many years. Working at the same firm for many years also implies loyalty, stability and commitment. Senior executives and business owners value those traits.
Approach: I’ve been advising people at (firm) for 25 years. I’ve had relationships with some of the same people for that amount of time. I’ve been there for them through many different market cycles.
As advisors, we often assume the relationship is one on one with the client. In many ways it is, but the client often chooses a firm because of the depth of its broad capabilities.
Years ago, clients has a “bond guy” and a stockbroker. They had an insurance agent and a banker too. Your client knows you can’t be an expert at everything, but they want to know you can access that expertise when it’s needed. Smaller competitors might explain they have access to specialists, but the range your firm offers might be far broader.
Approach: “We have very good resources such as a large team of specialists in mortgages, insurance, business loans, personal and business retirement plans and long term care, to give a few examples.”
When you are prospecting, you are often in a competitive situation. You should make use of all the advantages you have available, even the not so obvious advantages.
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