From the August 2008 issue of Research Magazine • Subscribe!

August 1, 2008

Consultant Says: FAs Should Go Blue!

Consultant Says: FAs Should Go Blue!(Hollywood, Fla.) Roch Parayre of Wharton spoke during Pershing's INSITE 2008 on how advisors can benefit from the ideas in Blue Ocean Strategy, a best-seller.

The book and related consulting and educational programs focus on success that takes place not by battling competitors (in hotly contested markets/market spaces or "red oceans") but by creating "blue oceans" of uncontested market space.

To seize new profit and growth opportunities, advisors and other businesses need to create blue oceans, which can be done by asking:o Which factors that the industry takes for granted should be eliminated? o Which factors should be reduced well below the industry's standard? o Which factors should be created that the industry has never offered? o Which factors should be raised well above the industry's standard?

To brainstorm for Blue Ocean Strategies, Parayre says, you have to "force yourself to un-focus" or "to radically refocus." You can do this by making a "not to do" list, so you have some time each week for such creative thinking.

He shares the success behind Cirque du Soleil, for instance, which re-invented circus entertainment by taking street performances and up-scaling them for mainly adult audiences. For advisors, a similar transition might mean taking the work of some hotel concierges or real-estate agents and becoming a retirement concierge.

"Explore what can bring the customer real utility, real value, and then work to monetize this into an adjacent business," like life planning, Parayre suggests.

"Don't be afraid to break with conventional wisdom," he adds, and to re-invent your business accordingly.

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Janet Levaux, MBA/MA, is the managing editor of Research; reach her at jlevaux@researchmag.com.

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